Updated: Mar 4, 2021
For the past 10 years, I've considered myself an ethical omnivore. I read that term back then and it stuck with me. I'm not usually one for labels, as they rarely resonate with me and the way I see myself to be in the world. And yet this one did. Since diving into holistic nutrition and what it means to be a responsible consumer on this planet so many debates and discussions have presented themselves (both online and in real life) around food, diet choices, family nutrition practices and so on. And even morsel these days when terms such as organic, freerange, wild, and so many more are trending.
It's certainly a subject I am passionate about and, per usual, a bit extremist about. From feeding my small developing children to what kind of fats I cook with, to where we source and how we prepare our food.
Today I come here to share about *why* 'ethical omnivore' is important for me and my family and how we act on that and create an environment for that concept to be a continuum affect in the lives of my children.
What is 'ethical omnivorism' anyway? W
We are actively practicing healthy and conscious choices when consuming our food; both animals and plant life. We choose to consume animals for their nourishing values. Our choices are ethical in the way the animals are raised, where they roam and what they eat. And also in the way the plants are cared for and harvested. Our purchases are as local as we can, close to the source from which they came... Not always and not everything... But it is a principal in this life style choice, a major piece in this practice.
Why local? Why ethical?
When our food comes from close to where we reside, it has a big impact. Here are just a few of the ways:.
° supporting local economies, keeping resources close and uplifting communities
°helping to minimize transportation of products and materials and therefore energy consumption. Imagine what costs to the planet are actually behind those "organic" banana chips you bought at Costco that come from Thailand...
°helping to balance the ecological networks we are part of :
-healthy animals living in natural rhythms - trusting and leaning to seasonal crops and harvests.
For the past decade, I've consumed only local animal products, that were raised and in turn, killed locally. That means that I buy meat from the local butcher. We know each other, she knows what my kids like to eat, what bones I use in my kitchen and I know where their cows graze. They are a local family business and community service. My cheese comes from either the same town we live in or at least from the same region. Yogurt is made at home from the milk of the local dairy farmers. Fruits and vegetables are majority seasonal and a wide variety are local as well. We forage and ferment, make medicinea and herbal drinks to get the best we can from out plant allies.
We also believe that if we want to eat meat and consume animal products, we also must be aware of the sacrifice
of the animals' life for us. We must also be able to take life ourselves, to honor the true cycle it is to kill for food. Not take it for granted. Forgetting that the plastic wrapped package in the meat section at the grocery store used to be a live, sentient being living alongside us on this beautiful planet. It's about being aware and in tune with where our food comes from, what we are nourishing ourselves with, in mind, body and spirit.
In that practice, we often talked about eventually killing our own chickens. I even went with a friend in a nearby town to learn some practical skills of chicken slaughter.
A few weeks ago, while I was away at a workshop, my three children and their dad did indeed kill two roosters for us to eat. He explained the process to them, he set up the area, they helped move things and boil the water and waited for it to be done to observe the rest of the process.
My man cleaned them, plucked them and prepared them for the kitchen. I cooked both chickens into a big fantastic nourishing, mineral and collagen dense broth for us to sip on, pure medicine. With that broth, we cooked rice and sauces and fed our dogs. The next day we cooked chicken tacos for breakfast on an open fire.
These roosters were raised from eggs by us fed from our kitchen scraps, played with and cared for by us and now they were nourishing us...feeding my childrens' hungry bellies, bringing us together around the table, strengeyhing our bones and organs with their super food power and nourishing our dogs who protect us and all of the animals we are caring for.
Life to life.
It felt important to be witnessing, living, vibrating this experience.
Such a simple act and yet so monumental.
Our children live these experiences with us. We share openly about the circle of life, the shadow of death, the grand mystery, the spirit world and what it is to be a compassionate and empathetic human on this great earth.
You cannot but that in a box at the grocery store, I promise.