October 2021

Apologizing to the worms

I apologize to the worms. That is, perhaps, a bizarre thing to do, but I still do it.

For Lent  in 2009, I gave up eating meat. I had considered doing this for quite some time. I never really liked cooking meat just because I didn’t like handling it. But I still ate meat, even if I felt vaguely uncomfortable about it. Several years ago, as we were driving through Kansas on the way back home from a Colorado vacation, we passed numerous feed lots. The smell was overwhelming, the sight of hundreds of cows in a small muddy enclosure standing in their own feces with nowhere to go was appalling. After that, I determined to only eat locally grown meat, from pastured cows. But still I was uncomfortable. I am a city born child. I never saw an animal being slaughtered for food. I bought animal products all nicely packaged with little resemblance to the animal they came from. I don’t think I could kill an animal I raised for food, so why could I buy something that someone else killed? Did I have the right to kill an animal? These were the questions I thought about.

So finally, for Lent, a year and a half ago, I gave up meat. And I found that it wasn’t hard for me. And after that Lent I continued in this new lifestyle.

I freely acknowledge that I am not consistent. I still have leather shoes and leather belts. I don’t know if I will continue to purchase leather products, but I’m not going to give away the items I currently have. I still drink milk and eat cheese. While I try to be very conscious of where these dairy products come from, I know that milk and cheese come from cows that have babies and the babies are likely killed for food. Fish oil is supposedly good for my health. Do I stop taking those gelcaps? It can get very complicated and I am not consistent. I know that.

I also know that, even when I am eating only fruits and vegetables, I am still disturbing nature. I am not just a gatherer. I plant. And when I plant my garden, and turn over the soil, I see the worms scrambling for shelter. I am disturbing their habitat. So I apologize to the worms. Maybe that’s weird. But it is what I must do.


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