Monday, September 28, 2009
Rudolf Steiner and the Necessity of a Vegetarian Diet
The founder of our premium organic way of farming, which we call biodynamic, stated that he owed his vigor to a vegetarian diet. “I myself known that I would have been unable to go through strenuous activities of the last 24 years without vegetarian nutrition” (Rudolf Steiner, Nutrition and Health: Lectures of the Workmen: Anthroposophical Press, NY, 1987). All of the energizing exposure to the cosmos, including sunlight, starlight, and moonlight, experienced by plants in a garden that can be passed directly to the human being is negated when we eat meat. When the human being eats animal protein, she or he has to break it down into amino acids, urea, and glucose. However, this cosmic energy, so vital to our health and stamina, which we find as a direct source from plants, has been absorbed by the animal that is consumed. How this animal energy is used by the human being then becomes a question. What it boils down to is that, if you want to eat meat, you should hunt it in the wild. The Native Americans, who ate the flesh of animals, maintained a state of health and alertness greater than commonly seen today. Why? According to Steiner, there entered a pact between hunter and prey regarding the transformation of the hunted animal into a level of higher existence through ritual and respect. Going to a grocery store to eat a package of meat from a cow slaughtered in a disrespectful carnage houses could lead to big problems in the realm of aggression, etc. I shall simply ask: could a lot of inner city violence be a result of fast food meat consumption? One anthropologist has suggested the warfare in prehistoric Europe became permanent only after livestock breeding became common in rural communities. And Rudolf Steiner says that, if we look at the physical processes which result from meat-eating: “...we find that red blood corpuscles become darker and heavier and the blood has a greater tendency to clot. Connection with the plant world strengthens the human inwardly. Meat introduces something which gradually becomes something of a ‘foreign substance’ in humans, and goes its own independent way in him. Because the nervous system is thus influenced from the outside it may become susceptible to various nervous diseases. So, we see that in a certain sense, ‘we are what we eat.’ Can you imagine the madness we would see in a herd of cows fed on pigeons? Despite the calm, peaceful nature of a dove, the cow would be simply mad.” Why? The dove has eaten the life energy of the plant directly and the cow would only eat the flesh of a dove that has been denuded of this energy (Rudolf Steiner, Nutrition and Health: Lectures of the Workmen: Anthroposophical Press, NY, 1987).