The Green Wolf

My ask box is open. I answer most questions privately, unless it's something that other people may be wondering about AND it's not something personal about the person asking. Feel free to ask me stuff about nature, working with animal parts in art and spirituality, paganism, ethical omnivory, sustainability and environmentalism, and so forth.

Be aware that this Tumblr frequently includes pictures of art made with animal remains, as well as occasional left-leaning political ideologies. Mostly it's nature photography and art (and not just of charismatic megafauna).

Artist, author, naturalist pagan, and wannabe polymath living in the Pacific Northwe(s)t.

I discovered neopaganism in the mid-1990s, and shortly thereafter began my work with animal totems and neoshamanism. Over the years I've wandered through various paths, ranging from Wicca-flavored neopaganism to Chaos magic, and for several few years I created (and followed) Therioshamanism, a post-industrial neo-shamanic path. These days I've relaxed into a more integrated ecopaganism, less about rituals and journeying, and more about the sacred in every moment.

I've also been creating various neopagan ritual tools and other sacred art from hides, bones, beads and other such things since about the same time. And I've written several nonfiction books on totemism, animal magic, and related topics. My newest book is "Plant and Fungus Totems: Connect With Spirits of Field, Forest and Garden"..

A few places to find me, as I'm all over the internet:

Therioshamanism: Eating, Wearing, and Hugging Animals; Or, Why Omnivores and Taxidermists Have Feelings

The other day on my Tumblr, I reblogged a set of images featuring “pet animals” on one side and “food animals” on the other, with the statement “Why love one but eat the other?” in the middle. They were from billboards that ran in Toronto a couple of years ago. The message, of course, is that we shouldn’t eat chickens, pigs, and cows because they’re animals just like puppies and kittens are; it’s an attempt to turn people to vegetarianism or veganism.

Care of

Care of

I don’t think I gave the desired response. For one thing, I have reasons for not going veg*n. I’m an obligate omnivore due to various quirks of my body and its metabolism; I even have it on doctor’s orders that I need a reasonable amount of meat protein because I tend to get sick otherwise, even on a well-balanced vegetarian diet. And I don’t respond well to attempted guilt trips masked as appeals to emotion, especially when they present only one true way for everyone to do something. So I decided to respond with some non-rhetorical reasons why we eat cows and not cats:

Because generally speaking herbivores taste better than carnivores. Also, we’ve spent centuries selectively breeding cows, pigs, and chickens to be meatier and tastier, while we haven’t done that with cats and dogs. And it’s easier to raise herbivores as food behaviorally, especially because we have bred them to be more docile.

And it’s also cultural. There have been and still are cultures in which dog and cat meat is acceptable; it’s just that in Western cultures, where this sort of ad campaign pops up, it’s not acceptable. If you talk to anyone raised on a farm, though, you know that farm kids are raised with the idea that some of the animals end up as food, and that you can be attached to them and care for them and still accept that fact. If they’re from a hunting family they often learn that the same deer they hunt are also beautiful animals that can be admired, and this doesn’t have to be a contradiction. On a farm, you’re closer to life and death than people who shop at the grocery store and have never raised their own meat or gone hunting. I didn’t grow up on a farm itself, but I grew up in a rural area with lots of farms, and with the reality that if I am going to eat, something has to die, whether animal, plant, or fungus.

I have had people ask me before, “How can you say you love animals when you have dead ones all over your home? How can you appreciate them when you support killing and eating them?”

Read the rest here. 

  1. pagansquare reblogged this from thegreenwolf
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  8. thegreenwolf reblogged this from thegreenwolf and added:
    Been chewing on this more. Wishing people were more comfortable with more than a black and white view of complex issues.
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  15. answersfromvanaheim reblogged this from thegreenwolf and added:
    This, it doesn’t have to be an either/or thing when it comes to caring about animals.
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  20. ravenousnightwind said: You’re such an inspiration! Everything you say makes perfect sense to me. :)
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