Yet another inveterate vegetarian confided to me the other day that she has been having such strong cravings for meat lately that she ended up ‘giving in’. Not at McDo’s, mind you – she made sure it was organic and local. And she was torn between being proud that she had listened to the needs of her body rather than denying them and feeling guilty for betraying the principles which had brought her to the original decision to become vegetarian.
My body as well has been asking for meat lately and I’ve heard this from others as well. This, and the fact that every second person to whom I speak seems to be trying the Paleo diet, and if not, they’re going gluten-free, made me wonder….
I’ve often quoted the work of PMH Atwater whose research on the Hunter Gene caught my attention many years ago. (As an aside, I met her at one of the annual IIIHS conferences in Montreal – now in its 43rd year of bringing together amazing teachers and researchers in fields that unite science and spirituality, and one of the least-known events in the city! http://www.iiihs.org/Conference2018_1.html )
As early as 1995, psychotherapist-turned-radio-host Thom Hartmann suggested that the gene that is activated in people with ADD is genetic throwback to our Hunter-gatherer past. The Hunter Gene invokes extreme alertness to one’s environment – an evolutionary advantage in dangerous and unpredictable circumstances, but a handicap in adapting to present-day schooling methods. Later, Hartmann rebranded it the Edison Gene (for Thomas Edison) and formulated ways to best parent and school the children manifesting its characteristics, believing their creative non-linear thought processes to be a major key to resolving serious global issues (https://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2007/11/edison-gene).
When PMH Atwater discovered that the Hunter Gene appeared in humans just before the last Ice Age, she postulated that the precipitous increase in ADD in children might be a sign that homo sapiens is being genetically prepared for another global cataclysm.
The idea of there being adjustments in our bodies helping us to adapt to environmental circumstances does not necessarily mean that we are being “taken care of” by a benevolent external force. Traditional herbalists look at what plants are growing in the summer to predict what ailments will be most prevalent in the humans and other creatures who are a part of the same environment. Physical conditions are present in our bodies long before most of us are aware of the symptoms that alert us to a change having occurred. Our human bodies are not separate from, but rather particles or cells of the planetary body, and on the same evolutionary trajectory. That the human body is changing along with the changes so evident on the planet should not be startling.
What came to me in meditation is that grains were consumed once we became agrarian – when we settled down, started creating cultural identities that we wanted to preserve, and began having lots of children to make it so. We became sedentary and ordered and stable. Rules and laws were made to rein in anyone who acted – or even thought – otherwise… We’re seeing a huge push-back against the constraint of conservative mores and a closing of the ranks on the Right to protect “the way things have always been”. It makes sense to me that there would be physical changes as well reflecting our transforming realities.
I think we must have a genetic memory of how our ancestors survived the last time Gaia went through a house-cleaning. Are so many of us reacting negatively to grain consumption not only because of Monsanto’s meddling, but also because we are being prepared to get up off our fannies and Deal with whatever is coming our way? While some are developing more acute perceptions of their environments, are others of us experiencing ancestral memories of meat cooking over communal fires?
If grain products are turning our bodies into exhausted, inflamed hothouses of all manner of disease, people who are foregoing cereals for proteins, mostly animal-sourced, describe higher energy levels and leaner, ‘meaner’ physiques.
There is a lot of guilt associated with meat-eating these days. Factory-bred animals are one of the most flagrant signs of our descent into the capacity for cruelty that stems from believing we are separate and above all other life-forms. Concentration camps for chickens, pigs, baby cows, baby sheep and everyone else that we find tasty are not only blights on our collective conscience, but also major sources of resource depletion and CO2 production.
Facebook memes marvelling at the intelligence of dogs, cats, elephants or whoever else, seem to me to emulate the incredulity of ‘civilised’ whites encountering ‘signs of intelligence’ in aboriginal peoples around the world.
So I’m not advocating that we all turn carnivorous, by any means. I’ve tried a variety of solutions to this desire/memory. Salty nuts tend to be my go-to palliative, but I find that adding a smoky flavour to just about anything also helps! When I do eat meat, I connect with the life of the creature whose body I’m consuming and promise to use that energy in service of the Circle of Being.
We’re all muddling through these confusing, chaotic Times of Transition as best we can – let’s try to be as conscious – as Woke – as we are able, through it all….