Nose to Tail, Heart to Heart

April 1, 2021

For some time of my life, I simply ate "low calorie" trying to force my body to look a way it was not built to. I thought this was the picture of health, but after years of eating this way, I found myself with thyroid dysfunction and unbalanced hormones like so many women. 

And like them, I began eating more meat. Specifically red meat. Though the USDA would have us believe otherwise, meat has been the cornerstone of the human diet forever, and for good reason. You cannot find, and, animal meat has a similar molecular structure to human cells, making assimilation easier. 

Within a few months, my hormone levels all tested normal again. During that time, I mostly ate beef and a few low carbohydrate vegetables. 

That doesn't mean that eating animal flesh is no big deal - it's a huge deal. The fact that a being would choose to come to earth to be food for another truly does make them holy and worthy of our deepest appreciation. When I think about that animal, his life, and her sacrifice, I am connected to my food. I live just a little differently, knowing that their breath has lent to mine and has a very real purpose on this plane at this moment: It is me whom they have sacrificed to keep alive, so I better be living like it. In this way, I feel our connection to our food is more important than what the actual food is. And, if you can feel more connected to an animal than plant, so be it. It's hard not to. What's more, living with that animal or actually taking its life yourself makes an imprint on you that cannot be erased. 

Choosing to be connected emotionally to this reality, instead of trying to find a way around it or ignore it, just may be our ticket back to reality, back to real living. 

Another consideration is how the food is used. I cannot imagine how many cowhides and sheepskins are likely incinerated or tossed out instead of being used in the conventional model. Most Americans grew up eating muscle meat only, and some cannot fathom how to use an entire chicken or a bone-in roast. But, these parts of the animal - the bones, the marrow, the organs, and even the skin, are parts of the whole, and they are needed in our bodies, also. Cooking the offal is a lost art in our society. And processing an animal surely is, too.

You may feel like that's impossible for you and become discouraged; remind yourself that small steps matter. You might not have the means to have your own cattle right now, but developing a relationship with a farm is one step closer. Caring, dedicating, and doing what you can where you are at does matter. 

How have you found connection to your food? 

Danielle Olson Jones

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