Visionary Vegan Turned Praying Carnivore?

Diet seems to encourage conversation easier than many other topics. I notice this when I post a status update on Facebook that’s about food, and immediately the responses start pouring in, whereas if I post a prayer I might get one or two responses over time.   Not everyone prays, but I think it’s safe to say that every one of us eats. 

Vegetarianism, veganism, and raw-ism are some controversial topics in today’s world.  We heard a sermon, believe it or not, on veganism yesterday and it was conversationally stimulating, to say the least.  In fact, we are still talking about it, reacting to it, and in wonder about it.  It caused such intense reactions in the audience that the minister received some anonymous hate mail on her windshield.  I’d say that if one can elicit this type of reaction, then they are making some waves that cause growth one way or another.

A vegetarian for 21 years, a vegan for 3 years, and two different month long forays into a raw diet, I have some things to say on the topic.  I feel that I’ve explored different diets and the lifestyles that go with them.  I’ve even encountered health afflictions created by some of them.  My sweetheart reminds me that we visited veganism together twenty years ago and gave it our full monty…and have lived to tell the story, too.

My personal journey into vegetarianism first as a spiritual choice and then a health choice was not so difficult. My Higher Power made it abundantly clear to steer from cows by downloading an intense vision of a live cow being forced through a meat grinder as I bit into a Big Mac one day at a drive-thru.  That first bite was spit out vehemently and was the last bite of red meat I was to take for the next 23 years.

I was religious about it.  My poor mother tried to make my fiancé and I some vegetable soup one day and thought she could get away with a beef broth base without my noticing.  Wrong.  The soup ended up in the toilet.  I forced her to sit thru a Tofurkey at Thanksgiving against her will, and when she brought home what used to be my favorite dish ever, a live lobster that was a gift from a friend, I was mortified.  I begged and pleaded, tear streaming down my face, not to boil that lobster.  She finally relented and handed it to me, and I drove to the canal and sent it home in front of a fisherman at the dock who stood there with a strange look on his face.

My day of reckoning came when I became so ill I couldn’t eat.  My stomach was on fire, and my skin had broken out.  A plague of symptoms too terrible and personal to list had befallen me, and the doctor couldn’t help.  Nothing helped. As a final attempt at relief, I sought out a holistic nutritional doctor that a friend recommended, and they determined that my body had developed severe sensitivities to every substance foundational to my diet.  What was left to eat now?  Bark?  Trees?  Dirt?  It was indeed a big dilemma.

For a year or so I lived on meager fixin’s where no meat, no gluten, no soy, no wheat, no tomatoes and no yeast or dairy passed my lips.  It was impossible to eat at a restaurant, and it was painfully boring, but at least I wasn’t suffering from the horrible food reactions anymore.

Then I became pregnant and a new lesson was in store for me.  Five months in I could not stay awake, falling asleep even standing up.  I was exhausted, depleted, and unwell.  The doctor announced severe anemia, and no amount of pills or Floradix, or prune juice could fix it.  I was actually craving steak in my dreams.  And so, with great trepidation and deep concern, we went to a restaurant to order the first steak in well over two decades.  I couldn’t even bear to cook it myself, nor did I even know how.  That was a rough meal for me and for my beloved, who had to cut the meat for me because I couldn’t bear to.  The lifting of the fork was a push/pull, wanting to eat and not wanting to eat.

My baby’s life depended on it, though, and so eat I did.  I made peace with what was, in my own way.  Having a strong background in spiritual studies, my intention was pure and I prayed over that cow, chicken, fish hard and long before partaking.  Heck, I had been practicing praying over vegetables before chopping them for decades as well.

This was the full circle of my experience with extreme diets, and it’s not even touching on weight loss diets I’ve tried.  The message was very clear after this, that I had no right to judge anyone who ate meat or didn’t eat meat, nor did I have a right to presume that I knew best what they should be eating or whether they were ignorant or enlightened about food.  Even judging someone who is beginning to find their consciousness in what they eat is entitled to their experience without judgment.  I was that person who was zealous in my newfound passion for saving the lives of animals, cleaning up the planet, and honoring life the best I could.  I was also that person that had to eat things I would rather not have eaten, for survival and health purposes. 

Nowadays, I practice conscious choices and prayer, raising the vibration of whatever I consume, and forgiving myself when I forget or when I choose things I know aren’t good for me.  My current path is one of love and healing towards that which I consume, praying with deep gratitude for whatever gave of itself so that I could live.  I make the best choices that I can in terms of whether to purchase leather or cloth, natural or synthetic.  There are arguments in every direction for what is best or worst and it seems that evidence can be found in every direction according to one’s intention.

My mantra is balance in all things.  Balance is a good place to seek and a beautiful place to land.



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6 Responses to “Visionary Vegan Turned Praying Carnivore?”

  1. Renee Sullivan Says:

    This is a wonderful article. I eat mostly organic and vegetables, but I do not consider myself a vegan or vegetarian because I do eat meat on occasion…I just try to make sure that it’s from somewhere I trust if I can. I really like that you are honest and as all mothers do, we make sacrifices for our children. With each experience, we learn from it. I really appreciate that you put this out there. I think more people need to hear your story so I will be sharing this post.


  2. Oceana Says:

    Thanks, Renee! Yes, authentic sharing helps everyone I think. I appreciate your sharing this…


  3. Crowing Crone Joss Says:

    Balance in all things is a wondrous mantra to travel through life with.


  4. Oceana Says:

    I agree with you, Joss. You have a gentle grace that clearly shines through your work that is so inspiring and I suspect it is a learned balance that gives you that quality…


  5. Deborah Miles Says:

    I so enjoyed what you said. It is true, I tried the vegetarian way with salmon. I had Candida and still do, so my coffee had to have full cream, no half and half. There is a difference between cream and half and half. I need to reread why. LOL Anyway, I just had no energy and had to put organic chicken back into my life. I never ate red meat much, first because it kind of nauseated me and got stuck in my teeth. Of course, chicken can be so boring, but I don’t want to eat fish everyday. I love veggies and protein drinks, those without sugar or antibiotics. I know how it can be with the guilt trip. Like Michael Pollen said just be aware of where you food comes from. I find it hard to eat out, I always order wild salmon and if they don’t have it, I don’t eat there. I have psoriasis on my scalp, no one sees, but I have to watch what I eat or it gets aggravated also. Psoriasis is from over active immune system and I don’t know how I got that years ago, but I can’t even drink wine. Any alcohol aggravates psoriasis and I found out that red meat does also. So, I agree with you, all people have to do what is right for their bodies and do the best they can. You are such an inspiration. Blessings!


  6. Oceana Says:

    Thank you, Deborah, for sharing your story and journey. It’s such a relief when we find the solutions in our diets that heal our unique bodies, isn’t it? Bless you for your heartfelt sincerity and for always participating with such genuine authenticity.


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