Pagans, Food, and the Enviroment

There have been many incarnations of this post. I wrote it for a personal blog quite some time ago and for a now defunct Pagan blog. Each time I write it, I hope it gets a little better, that my ideas become more refined. What made me want to write it for a third time was observing my fellow Pagans down at Four Quarters and how they interacted with Our Mother.Everyone seemed to be very concerned with the here and now. That is, they were very conscious of picking up their trash, reducing water consumption, etc. But it seems on the macro level, the long term concern for Mother Earth is either lacking or…something.

Why do Pagans drive trucks and SUVs?

It would seem to me one of the best ways to protect Our Mother is to drive vehicles which consume less gasoline and put less carbon into the air. Now, I’m well aware of my hypocrisies when it comes to driving 10 hours to participate in ritual. I make myself feel better by knowing I drive a Ford Focus and a Subaru Outback. The Focus gets about 36 miles per gallon whereas the Outback gets about 26 mph. While we would love to buy a hybrid, there is no way we can afford one. I suspect it’s the same with fellow Pagans, the cost is so prohibited it eliminates ownership by those who, seemingly, most want them. But the money they are spending on gas and expensive trucks and SUVs can be put into econo car-ownership.

I’m well aware there are those who live in climates where electric vehicles are completely impractical. It would seem electric technology works for those in warm, dry climates, not for those who live in snowy, mountainous areas like the area I live in so electric ownership is not an available option. I accept that despite being very discouraged.

Why are so many Pagans obese?

Paganism is known for accepting all body types and for this I am glad. If I listen to my doctor, I fit into this category myself. But I’m not morbidly obese. There were many, many people there who had a difficult time walking, thus they drove their vehicles down to the Cafe and the Standing Stones despite a walk of a couple hundred feet. We were there to honor Earth and our ancestors, to connect and protect, yet they drove when they could’ve walked. This I just didn’t understand.
Why didn’t our relationship with food change when our relationship with Earth changed?

The food I saw people eating was mostly processed food. Wolf and I did buy some processed food but not all of it was. I packed some homemade soup which I made over the summer with fresh veggies out of our garden. What I’m talking about is bags of Doritos and potato chips, ramen noodles, i.e. not healthy foods. I can binge eat with the best of them but these foods do not make up the bulk of my diet, which is what appeared to be the case.

It’s only been in the last few years my relationship with food has changed despite being Pagan for a decade. It’s only recently I’ve made the connection between what I buy and how Earth is treated. Organic food is expensive (getting back to the economics of living a green lifestyle) and requires hours of preparation. Cost and time prohibitions make eating healthy difficult if not impossible for those who just cannot dedicate the money and time to food preparation. But we must. As Pagans it’s our responsibility to protect Mother Earth from predatory food practices which eliminate the local farmer and instead fills us with food from far away (why buy food from the grocery store where you don’t know where it comes from when you can buy from your neighbor and know exactly where it hails) and with toxic chemicals disguised as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

I don’t understand who we can claim to honor Our Mother when our actions don’t support our belief system. We, as Pagans, need to overcome our consumeristic tendencies and learn to tread lightly, eat right, and care for our bodies in ways which will honor Our Mother as she truly deserves to be.

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2 Responses to Pagans, Food, and the Enviroment

  1. Turtleheart says:

    Why do pagans drive trucks and SUVs? I don’t know. Around here, it’s what almost everybody drives, though.

    Why are so many pagans obese? Why didn’t our relationship with food change when our relationship with Earth changed? Well, I’m one of the obese ones. Just because I’m pagan and I want to embrace a more environmentally conscious lifestyle doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly able to resolve all the issues I have with food that have resulted in my obesity. My issues with food go very deep, so it’s unfortunately going to take a while.

    Eating local, eating non-processed, just feels beyond my capabilities; I have such a love/hate relationship with food, it’s hard enough just to get myself to eat healthy, balanced meals, let alone meals that require extra shopping, thought and preparation.

  2. Howling Hill says:

    There is lots of SUV driving around here also. While many of the Pagans I know drive cars (not necessarily econo-cars), there are a bunch who drives trucks and SUVs. I’ve asked them about their vehicles and they all say the same thing: “I need a truck because of ____” (usually snow).

    Like yourself, I have a difficult relationship with food. I use it as comfort, as a way to forestall loneliness and solitude. But as I’ve gotten to know my body and Mother Earth, I realized I’m doing everyone a disservice by continuing to eat poorly.

    It’s an on-going process, this changing how I think, how I eat, and how I view the world and Our Mother. I still believe, however, we as Pagans have to set the standard for the environmental movement and that includes how we eat.

    Eating healthy is overwhelming expensive, time consuming, and difficult. It’s because the “majority” eat what’s available: processed foods. If the tide turned and the “majority” ate fresh foods, then obtaining processed foods would be overwhelming expensive, time consuming, and difficult.

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