Ethical Eating?

This week ‘Pagan Blog Prompts’ question was: “Ethical Eating; How does your faith guide you in how you buy and eat food? Do your beliefs even have anything to do with how you eat?”

Now it got me to thinking about the topic, and I don’t think that many people actually spend any considerable amount of time thinking about this subject, unless they’ve made a conscious decision to be vegetarian or vegan, etc. I know that it’s not a topic that I don’t give much thought.

It’s an integral part of our day to day lives that is just getting glossed over. We eat when we’re hungry, sometimes even when we’re not, and then move on and go about our business. Not much thought about the food, where it came from, etc. We’re missing a part of that ‘inter-connectedness’ that is such a popular theory to throw around in the pagan/neo pagan setting, but when it comes right down to practical application, how many of us think about it as it applies to our food?

I’ll admit, I’m a city kid. Once the hunting and gathering is done, (at the grocery store) and my cupboards are full, that’s pretty much the end of the thought process about the food. Then of course, there is the ‘What do I feel like making for dinner’ train of thought that happens nightly. I know, I suck. But, I think I’m the average, I’m the norm. If you don’t work on a farm, or hunt your own food, I doubt that you put a whole lot of thought into the matter either. Instead of focusing on the ‘We Fail’ I think it’s a good time to take initiative and make a change. Give some conscious thought to where our food is coming from.

So, how does my faith guide what I buy and how I eat it? It doesn’t, it never really has. However, I am aware that ‘Food/Nourishment’ is one of the core foundations of Shinto, as such it is important and I need to make an effort to be more aware of that fact. Here’s something that I ran across on the Shinto group that I belong to.


Itadakimasu–the most important Shinto prayer

“Everything in Nature is born, matures and perishes—everything has a beginning and an end. To live and grow as the healthy child of Okami we digest well, we are sustained by divine cosmic vitality through the sacred act of eating.

Sometimes people confuse spirituality with the learning of esoteric techniques…..I think we can see more regarding spirituality more simply, via someone’s relationship other people and with food.

Being alive and being present is easily seen by relation to food– that which we receive from Divine Nature that directly connects us to the Sun, to the Seasons and to Daishizen no Meguri- the ceaseless movements of Divine Nature/ Kannagara.”


I think I’m going to print that little bit of information out, and tape it to the wall in the kitchen so that when I’m preparing the families meals I’m reminded of my place in nature, and the universe. Something that people in general might need to give a bit more attention.