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Patti Wigington

Reader FAQ: Does Wicca Have Dietary Restrictions?

By June 13, 2013

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A while back, I got an email from a reader who had questions about Wicca and potential dietary restructions. He wrote, "I'm interested in joining a local Wiccan group, and I know that at least several of the people in the group are Vegan. I'd feel funny asking them about this, because I'm not vegetarian at all, but are there dietary laws within the structure of Wicca?"

This week, I got a similar email from another reader, so I wanted to revisit the topic. One thing that's important to keep in mind is that while thousands of us identify under the umbrella term of Pagan, or even the more specific category of Wicca, there are few universal hard and fast rules from one tradition to another. While one group might specifically be for vegetarians only, another might have no restrictions at all.

Each coven and tradition is responsible for setting up their own rules and mandates, as well as expectations for members to follow. We don't have a Pagan equivalent of the Kosher diet. That having been said, I have met some Wiccans who believe that eating meat violates the concept of Harm None, so they choose for that reason to become vegan or vegetarian. On the other hand, there are plenty of Pagans who do eat meat and even kill their own food, so it really just depends on the group you're looking at. It may well be just coincidence that the Pagans and Wiccan you (the original author) have talked to are vegan.

However, many people find that their diet does affect the way they practice. For me personally, on days in which I have a ritual planned, I typically eat a very light breakfast and lunch, consisting of veggies and fruit, and then I usually don't eat dinner until after the ceremony. I find that a not-full-of-meat-and-carbs stomach makes me more aware of my environment, and allows me to better work with the energy around me. There are also many people who do a detox cleanse or fasting prior to ritual, or during certain times of the year, or related to the moon phases. So, while the short answer is that no, there are no dietary mandates in Wicca, there's the long answer, which is that it may not be a bad idea to rethink your diet for the purpose of entering into a ritual setting.

What about the rest of you? Do you find that your food intake -- as in, how much and what kind -- has an effect on your workings or rituals?

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Comments
December 11, 2008 at 12:56 pm
(1) theo geer says:

I’ve done lots of different dietary patterns. I’ve been vegan, vegetarian, and omnivorous, as well as practiced periods of fasting for spiritual purposes. Like with so much in the world, it comes down to personal experience. I’ve experimented with my diet (and still do) because I want to eat what is best for my body and spiritual life.

I personally find that eating lightly or fasting before a peaceful spiritual experience or journey-work is a good plan. For ecstatic practice, teaching, ceremonial magic, or serious working I find I work better after having a solid meal a few hours prior. I’d encourage anyone to experiment with their diet, even hard-core carnivores. Live vegan for a week or a month. Try abstaining from bread, or processed food. Try eating raw. Try tailoring your diet to the region of the world you live in and the season.

December 11, 2008 at 3:40 pm
(2) blinda says:

I feel that my dietary choices have never had any effect whatsoever on my magick.

My personal belief is it’s more of a mind over matter. i.e. if you think it effects you then it will.

December 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm
(3) SUNSHINE says:

I like to go into circle a little bit hungry… at the end when the bread or cake is passed and we feed each other and say
” sister…may you never hunger..” It hits home . may you never hunger for food love understanding… S

December 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm
(4) Sladie Wolf says:

I love meat. LOVE it, our fridge consists of mostly meat products, but of course we have vegetables, fruit and well, junk food.

However; we do have a diet restriction as Wiccan followers, at least I do, not sure if my hubby does since he follows a slightly different path.

I do fast before Ritual, usually no longer then 12 hours due to health reasons, and I make sure I eat light IF I have to.

December 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm
(5) Cynthia says:

it is my belief that in order for vegans to eat, they must kill most of their food as do those who include meat. Also, to exclude meat and meat products, ignores one or more of the Goddesses(Diana for example). Of course not everyone acknowledges the different Gods and Goddesses, and that is their choice. I think the Native Americans have it right – honor the spirit of the creature or plant that has given its life so that we may eat and continue to live.

December 11, 2008 at 7:34 pm
(6) Elisha says:

My personal theory is that everything in nature lives off of other things. Animals kill other animals. Herbivores kill plants. Even plants feed off the earth, leeching nutrients from the soil. Death is a fact of life and part of the glory that IS life. Eating is a way of honoring the cycle of death and rebirth. The animals and plants you eat are converted into energy to fuel your body. Therefore, they die but they live on in your own life force. The only diet practices I live by is to try to eat healthfully, without a lot of processed foods and smaller portions. I eat meat, but my meals consist mostly of vegetables, simply because too much meat makes me ill. In fact, most of the reasons I eat the way I do are not spiritual but physical. I have IBS and RA and certain foods exacerbate my symptoms. When it comes to actually consuming the food, it’s a totally spiritual experience. I taste all the different flavors of the food. I experience the satisfaction of it in the deepest, darkest reaches of my body. It is a natural and necessary part of life, so why can’t it be enjoyable? Eating should be an enjoyable experience, not one where you are preoccupied with “Am I doing harm because I’m eating a bird that someone else slaughtered?” I have nothing against vegans or vegetarians. I was actually vegetarian for a few years, until I reconciled the guilty feelings.

June 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm
(7) JRP says:

I have to agree completely on your views and am glad I found someone like me.I do not have anything against vegans or vegetarians, but it’s always nice to know where I stand.

December 11, 2008 at 8:38 pm
(8) beatrice says:

i eat a kosher diet. there are certain animals that are not ment to be eaten! when i first started practing, i ate a non kosher diet. then i started removing certain foods from my diet, following fasts for ritual. ive found my health and ritual more “in tune” since changing my eating habits.

December 12, 2008 at 9:31 am
(9) Stacy Marie says:

My family and I are not vegitarian by any stretch. We do however have a kitchen altar dedicated to the animals that we eat. We say a blessing before most every meal thanking both the plant and animal spirits that gave their lives so that we can eat.
I also eat only lightly on days I perform ritual and fast several hours prior.

December 13, 2008 at 3:47 am
(10) Anavrin says:

I am a strict vegetarian (since I was 16) and I carefully read over all nutrition and ingredient labels. I like to know what goes into my body and where it came from. Similar to a vegan lifestyle, I also do not wear most animal products (leather, suede, silk, fur). I cannot separate the difference between an animal I would eat or wear and an animal I would love as a pet or companion. All animals, to me, deserve a happy, healthy life without fear of being used for their body parts. I also feel that a vegetarian/vegan diet is more healthful (if done properly just as any diet) both for the planet and myself. Feeling healthy and good about myself helps me feel and express my spirituality more clearly. Obviously this is just my opinion and, as anyone could see by the myriad of answers already given, there is no “right” way to eat. Personal choice is one of the many things that make a pagan/wiccan life appealing to many people.

December 16, 2008 at 9:43 am
(11) Jeff Kincaid says:

There are no “Wiccan” diets. While some would like to say that Vegan diets are the proper Pagan way so that nothing is harmed, I feel this is nonsense. Our Pagan ancestors certainly did not feel this way. Additionally, I feel that choosing a vegan diet *for spiritual reasons* somewhat denigrates the position of the Hunter God and Goddess in many pantheons. If you wish to eat Vegan for health reasons or just because you don’t like meat, that is perfectly fine. I have many friends who do this. Just don’t try to “hook” it to your religion.

December 16, 2008 at 9:51 am
(12) Zorya says:

When I read the title I thought “Yes, if you can’t catch it you can’t eat it.” :-) My husband and I are of the opinion that we should eat mindfully – know where the food comes from and what goes into getting it to the table. Also, do not waste the bounty that Mama has provided.

We try to buy and eat locally as much as possible.

December 16, 2008 at 10:23 am
(13) jan says:

I guess I carry the “Harm None” statement to the extreme. Ever since I became Wiccan, I also became vegan. I eat nothing and I wear nothing that came from a living creature. For me this just felt right. I have become a much healthier person in the process. However, I do not judge or preach to those who do use animal products. It is a personal choice for each of us. We all have to do what is correct for each individual…whatever we choose to consume. Blessed Be!

December 16, 2008 at 10:23 am
(14) Lisa says:

I’ve often wondered myself, at the myriad opinions of diet and how our diet relates to the Rede. My personal opinion is the same as a few of the comments above being that it’s a personal choice and our pagan ancestors certainly didn’t live on a vegetarian diet. If you eat with respect and gratitute for where your food comes from, be it an animal or plant that gives it’s life to nourish us, it is as it should be. (I mean, who says plants aren’t sentient? How do WE know?)
That being said, as a solitary practitioner who gets together, occasionally, for ritual with a close friend, we see ritual as a reason to celebrate life and the divine in all of us and we “feast”! Our meals may or may not come before or after ritual, depending on what time ritual takes place and our food is almost always natural with fresh baked breads, vegetables, etc, most of it preserved or prepared from our gardens. We use healthy, lean meat in moderation and we give thanks, always for the bounty given us by our lord and lady!
Ultimately it’s a choice we make, but should be done so with respect for all of life, for our brothers and sisters.

December 16, 2008 at 10:38 am
(15) MomWolf says:

It all comes down to personal choice. I’ve tried the vegetarian diet for about six months and then went back to eating meat and dairy products. I honor all the animals who gave thier lives so that I may live. This is my choice.

My daughter consumes no meat products, but does consume dairy (is that vegan? I’m not sure which is which). This is her choice.

We have to find our own dietary path and honor the paths of everyone else.

December 16, 2008 at 12:50 pm
(16) Raine says:

No, momwolf, if she partakes of dairy, she is not vegan. To be vegan is to refrain from anything that is, was or came from an animal, down to miniscule ingredients such as casein (comes from milk), whey, taurine and a myriad of other ingredients. I was vegan for five years and really did have to learn a whole new dictionary to know what ingredient came from where! However, I was vegan from personal reasons (concern for the animals), not because I tied it into my religion. After five years, I am no longer vegan, but I still have my Vegan tattoo as a reminder of all the animals I didn’t eat. It’s a part of my life that I will always be proud of, even though I am no longer vegan.

December 16, 2008 at 1:28 pm
(17) Lisa-Marie says:

Pagan holidays call for pork at this time of year. Meat is neccessary to live, and our ancestors certainly didn’t starve themselves. I see that people who are vegans need to take vitamins that are found in meat that people need to survive. That certainly isn’t natural. Natural is hunting and gathering, not just gathering- think about out- how would people have survived? They didn’t have fruit imported from chile during the winter.We are not herbivores. Enjoy the Earth’s bounty.

December 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm
(18) michael Thompson says:

In the same sense An it Harm none could be seen to being violated any time something is eaten cause you have to harm a plant to eat it as well. Just my thoughts

December 16, 2008 at 3:58 pm
(19) Greenman says:

Having had gastric bypass surgery I need to eat an efficient high protein diet. Beans & rice are good but I can’t eat enough to get the protein I need. As my doctor told me “Your protein has to have had a face.” And so I try to eat wisely and gratefully. I like the idea of an altar to all who given their lives so that we might eat and live.
As Anavarin said there is a lot of joy in personal choice…for me that’s one of the joys of the pagan lifestyle- there is room for all of us regardless of what we eat.
Blessed Be

December 16, 2008 at 4:09 pm
(20) Persephone says:

I’m gluten intolerant, which means no wheat, oats, rye, or barley. I cannot eat meat substitutes, as they are normally made of some type of gluten. I also have problems with soy products, and absolutely cannot have MSG or related items, or aspartame.

This is, I believe, because of my Northern European genetics. Northern Europeans kept to a Neolithic diet much longer than most other groups. People who are descended from ancestors who subsisted mostly on grain products and minimal animal-based foods for much longer have an easier time adapting to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

My personal belief is that you should eat in the way that is healthiest for you physically and mentally. My diet contains meat and dairy, both of which I normally purchase as organic, free-range and/or grass-fed, as applicable. This makes a great difference in the quality, taste and health aspects of these items.

When I was younger, we lived out in the country far enough that we had a large garden, raised a heifer every year for meat, had chickens for eggs, and also raised rabbits for meat. For a while, we also had a milk cow. I know where my food comes from, I often cared for it as it grew.

One aspect I do feel is important to bring up is that corporate beef farming (like any type of corporate farming) is unnecessarily destructive, however, there are many parts of the world that are not arable for raising plant foods, but do support raising animals for meat and dairy. We are also at peak water. This limits the amount of land that can be farmed. If we truly want to improve the world, we must first start by limiting the human impact on it, chiefly, by lowering the number of humans being born to a sustainable amount. Two billion humans are believed to be the maximum number that can be healthily supported on our world.

December 16, 2008 at 6:06 pm
(21) Nightwind says:

I must say, I’m a meat person. I don’t think it violates the laws any more than eating a carrot does. True, I will noteat pork at all.This has nothing to do with religion; I’m pagan, not jewish or muslim, but rather simply that I do not like pork, not bacon, nothing.

That being said. If you don’t like meat, fine, don’t eat it. To embrace nature is to be part of it, and to be part of it is to partake of it, so i think the whole thing about being vegan to be Wiccan does not really gel. We are by nature omnivorous beings, our bodies depend on meat just as much as they do on vegetables. Of the above comments I must say, I agree with Cynthia’s the most, very simple and wise.

December 16, 2008 at 8:04 pm
(22) Rate says:

Hellos,

To help answer the question; no, Pagans (as far as I know) do not have diet restrictions. In the past or now.

Personally, I would abide by a combination Paleodiet & Mediterranian (sp?) diet if I could. I would also abide by some Kosher & Halal diet laws, out of consideration of keeping food cross-contamination to a minimum.

So, I guess as long as you remember to eat to live; not live to eat, you should have few problems.

Ask your Dr. about food alergies, or diabetic restrictions if needed; take it from there.

I’m not qualified nor conpetant enough to give more then a suggestion. Remember that please.

Rafe

December 16, 2008 at 11:16 pm
(23) Heather says:

I’m not a true veg, but I’m a vegequarian (vegetarian except for the consumption of fish). I would be vegan, but I need to eat fish for extra protien and for Omega 3s becuase of depression, PTSD and really bad Seasonal Affective Disorder. Every since I added fish back into my diet, I felt a lot better. My diet kind of mirrors the diet of Ancient Japan. I’m not Japanese, I’m of German/Welsh descdent but I feel connected to Japan. I eat alot of fish, rice, veggies, seaweed, noodles, and fruits. And I love sushi.

December 17, 2008 at 11:49 am
(24) Granny Jo says:

All the discussion here reminds me of something my father taught me. His family is NA and lived in the Ozarks. For a time there was no hunting there and the wildlife (deer) began to abound and overbound. They ate everything from acorns to peoples gardens. Thus there cam a time they had to open the season so that people wouldn’t suffer. Yes, we should watch our diets and eat mindfully of our health and well-being. Meat is a staple of a good diet. If we only eat vegetables you are risking your health and insulting the Goddesses and Gods I believe. Plus, at certain times of the year, those fresh veggies have to be trucked in from all over the world. They were all either treated with something to keep them fresh or are weeks old by the time you get them. After all, where do you think that fresh peach came from in January? Give me fresh meat and veggies anytime. I hunt, raise and butcher my own meat, and fish also raise all I can in the way of fruit and vegetables. I know where my food came from and what goes into it. Since I process my own meat I know what happened to it after being killed. I return all I can to the earth and thank Her for her bounty

December 19, 2008 at 8:47 pm
(25) TheVeganicWitch says:

Firstly, blessings to you all )O(

This can sometimes be a charged topic. Some pagans believe what you eat is of no concern at all, some believe we are guardians of nature and therefore must be kind to our animal kin by refusing to kill or exploit them if not neccessary, and some even believe eating meat is essential to paganism and refusing to do so will offend the gods and disrupt the cycle of nature.

Personally I am vegan and for me it ties in very nicely with my pagan beliefs. I am a follower of Artemis (among other gods) and I find no conflict within that at all. This is why:

The gods of the hunt are usually depicted as part animal (Artemis was described as able to shape shift into a bear, Kernunnos and Herne are part stag etc) and are responsible for managing the relationship between humans and the other animals. Historically humans had no choice but to consume some animal products, having no other reliable sources of complete proteins, fat and B12. I believe therefore that permission and blessing for hunting was given freely; like the lion needs to eat meat to live so did humas at this time.

Now we live in a world of infinate choice I believe things are different on this level. My change to veganism (and later vegan activism) occurred simultaniously as my call to the worship of Artemis. This was confusing to me initially but as I came to understand the relationships between my ancestors and their hunter gods I could comprehend the connection more easily. These gods were called on for their blessing and permission in the hunt, and perhaps now we no longer need to kill and exploit our fellow animals for food this permission has been revoked? Perhaps they also care for the needs and desires of non-human animals, who are definatly in great need at the moment with the consumption of animal products now being at an all time high?

Just a thought and a question….Please do not take this as preaching.

BB

June 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm
(26) wmbs says:

FYI, a meat-free diet is completely healthy, we don’t need meat to eat. A vegetarian diet has all the nutrients we need to be healthy.

June 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm
(27) beatrice says:

i eat vegan on days of ritual. i also fast! but as a general rule i eat nothing that eats meat. i eat no pork or shell fish either.

June 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm
(28) Lori F - MN says:

If you’re so concerned about commercial farming, get to know your local farmer. If you are in a coven, go in together to buy a cow or lamb. I’m lucky. I married into a farming family.

June 27, 2010 at 2:25 pm
(29) ShadowDancer says:

I find this a nice discussion personally. Allow me to give you something of a 26 year old guinea pig’s point of view. Lol. I was raised Vegan. Yes as in from the day I came out. My mother went Vegetarian slowly from when she was about 14 though fish was the last thing she let go. My grandparents whom we lived with to help them out for my early years however were hard core Vegans believing in doing it from a spiritual side. I personally have absolutely no problem with people eating meat. In fact I often have to cook it for the special needs kids I work with and was a hugely passionate advocate for getting the main boy I work with to eat chicken breast as he before essentially self restricted himself to pringles and hotdogs without the bun or sauce. He was very very unhealthy. He now goes through three grilled breasts a week and I’m more pleased then I can express to see him with muscle and energy.

Personally however, perhaps because I didn’t even try dairy until my teen years I find there is very little my body will tolerate. I think there are some bodies that just won’t accept meat or meat products and yes I -did- try to eat it slowly introducing fish and buffalo (tried to eat only what I could find from grass fed farmers market) but it was doomed. Even the broth of fish or chicken can make me violently ill for days. After two weeks of misery from just a few bites a day I gave it up. I enjoy the smells, I have simply no ability to process it. Most dairy too I can’t eat though I -can- do the raw cows milk and small amounts of the regular as long as it is organic and whole works for my coffee. The only cheese that doesn’t upset me has to be either raw, or goat or sheep.

I’m a huge fan of cooking as being a vegetarian twenty years ago you were lucky if you could find a place that would serve you iceberg lettuce. We did all the cooking at home and I learned proper nutrition early. Most my family takes a fish oil supplement but again it makes me ill even when I didn’t know it wasn’t a regular vitamin! I’ve always shocked everyone around me by being highly active and my blood work every year makes my doctors laugh. I’ve got better numbers then what they want for an olympic athlete and I don’t suffer from food deprivation. I think the key is I find foods that I enjoy even after they’ve passed the tasting point and I love to say a blessing when I cook. It’s not unheard of for me to show up at work with soup for the whole class or make a giant meal for everyone so we can get the kids to help prepare things. It really seems to affect my rituals though. If I force myself on something that my body doesn’t want I feel it in my energy immediately. It doesn’t matter if it’s denying myself that cookie or forcing down a plate of greens if I don’t want it.

Nor do I feel it offends or upsets any of those I choose to worship. I think a Vegan can be just as insulting to the web of life if they plop in soy meats or even vegetables without a thought as to the struggle that occurred to make them show up on the table. Personally I find the most rewarding process to either grow my own..not feasible thanks to my adorable but thieving group of crows and squirrels around the apartment..or to forage. Of course a patch of nearby poison ivy can really ruin a beautiful layout of wild goodies so there’s sometimes I feel taunted. It does always make me relieved though that I have the option of going to the store..we’re really lucky to do so.

June 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm
(30) Kate McGuire says:

I think that everyone should see the movie, Cold Mountain. The part that applies to this discussion is when Jude Law’s character has been wounded and he is trying to make it home to Cold Mountain. He meets an aged Scottish goat woman who lives high in the mountains alone. She sees how badly he is hurt and knows that it will take more than vegetables to make him whole. It is the manner in which she kills the little goat, respectful even lovingly while thanking him.

I find that most of my life I have required animal proteins. To do without make me light headed and weak. I have adjusted the amount of meat I have in my diet. I have gone a period where all I ate was fish and chicken. It was one of the most healthy stretches of my life. At that time even the smell of red meat cooking made me nauseaous. I do follow a rule to not eat fats that aren’t liquid at room temperature. The ones that stay solid are harder to loose later. I raise sheep mostly for wool to sell to handspinners but I have eaten some of the extra boys from time to time or sold them to someone else to eat.
The truth is we as Americans eat too much. I was taking a poll from the Agriculture Department and one of the questions was, “Would I be upset if the price of food at the grocery stores went up?” Well I started to say yes, but then I thought about how overweight I am as well as so many others I see. I said no and when it came to the comments section I elaborated. American’s eat too much. If they had to pay more for it they would learn to ration it and not overeat. They would be real unhappy for 6 months to a year but they could adjust.
I started rationing about 10 years ago. I figured that me and my daughters only needed about 3 pounds of food per day to not feel hungry. My husband needed 4.33 lbs to feel sated. For one meal that would be a pound apiece for me and my girls and 1.45 lbs for a man. For a growing active teenage boy (one who participates in sports or alot of physical activity) I reckon that 5 lbs a day would be needed.
Then you figure out what is going to be your meat and 2 vegetables and make it add up to the portions you have set for every one. Most of the time Jello makes a perfect simple desert. Save the chess pie for a special occasion. If you want to have more regular desserts go with fruit pies instead of cake. Rice pudding makes a good dessert. Learn to only fix what you are going to consume. Less wasted food.

August 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm
(31) Alex says:

I feel sorry for animals, but i couldn’t force myself to vegetarnianism. I just feel apathetic and with no energy without big dose of meat at every meal.

December 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm
(32) oceankitten says:

i am so glad i found this. i have been a solitary witch for three years and when i decided that this was truly the right path for me, i immediately became vegan. unfortunately, due to a stomach surgery i had 10 years ago, where i lost most of my stomach and part of my intestine, i have discovered the hard way that my body does not absorb iron and vitamins like it’s supposed to. i let myself become anemic and suffer nerve damage because it felt so wrong to me to eat meat. after five weeks of painful iv infusions, shots, and tearful consultations with my doctor, i was at my wits end, with my health warring with my emotions. finally, on my last appointment with my doctor, i finally cried “what can i do to fix me?” she just looked at me and said, “you have to EAT MEAT.” so i ate a meatball last night and i just felt sick about it. but taking everything everyone has said, i think that if i give my thanks, and be grateful, and honor the goddess in any way i can, then i can reconcile my heart and my needs. thank you.

June 12, 2012 at 9:16 am
(33) Em Graves says:

Because of the horrific practices of the meat industry [just pull up Netflix and watch Food Inc or Frankensteer to get an idea], I do believe that eating factory-farm meat very likely breaks the reed of ‘harm none’. There are definite ways around this however — purchase your meat from cruelty-free farmers. Even better, buy from local-area farms. You’ll know your meat is living free-range when you can drive by and actually see them! Not to mention that you can likely avoid the growth-hormones and antibiotics that factory farms pump into your food.

People turn a blind-eye to the horrors of the meat industry so that they can continue eating their double cheeseburgers without any guilt. The eating of the meat isn’t the problem. It’s the way this culture is going about doing it. Demand different. It’s not even about being a good Pagan or Wiccan. It’s about being a decent human-being who respects all life on this earth — even the life that finds its way to your dinner plate.

June 12, 2012 at 9:58 am
(34) Tanith says:

One time, my friend who was following a Buddhist path, another mutual friend who was Wiccan, and myself, also Wiccan, were having a discussion about being vegetarian or not. I am not and neither was my Wiccan friend, but my Buddhist friend told me, “If it screams when it gets hurt, or if it can feel pain, I do not eat it.” I told her, “Don’t you think that the earth cries or screams in anger when a tree is cut down or fields are ripped up? Just because you can’t hear it doesn’t mean the earth may not feel pain either.”

About a year after that she told me she was on the path to hopefully become a Wiccan HPs, and I was quite happy for her. She also began eating meat very little, once or twice a week at max. I am not sure how she is doing now, we have lost touch a bit.

The grass grows and flowers, nuts, and fruits grow to feed the animals. Rabbits and deer grow and sometimes must feed wolves and foxes. This doesn’t make the wolf and the fox evil for harming the rabbits and deer. They eat because they have to. I do not eat more meat than is necessary to sustain me, I do not eat meat every night. But I don’t abstain from it. It was given to us, accept it generously and with a thankful heart.

Of course, I do try to eat cleanly, if at all, prior to ritual or spellcrafting of any sort. This usually means just water (maybe tea in the wintertime), but unless it is a huge ritual, I begin just half a day prior. I’ve had enough sugar shocks to keep me from going too long without some kind of food.

June 12, 2012 at 10:00 am
(35) Tanith says:

@ Em Graves, I agree wholeheartedly. I don’t feel bad eating meat, but I do not, whenever I can, support the inhumane ways most factories slaughter our food. I buy straight from the farmers for all things whenever possible and I rarely eat meat at restaurants anymore, especially fast food.

I’ve seen parts of Food Inc, so I agree everyone should watch it.

June 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm
(36) Lilynightwater says:

I have to say that I have considered becoming Vegan before. I don’t like how the food industry raises or treats its animals. I have to agree with Tanith though. I think Vegans kill plants to survive. So does everyone else of course. When I think about it, it just seems that the only way to not harm anything is to not eat, breathe, or anything else. In my opinion, that violates the harm none policy as well. It harms yourself. I think we should all be mindful of what we are eating and why. I think cruelty to animals is wrong, but I do not think eating them is. I tend to think along the lines of Native Americans here (at least I think I do). I am grateful to everything, animal and plant, that has given its life to nourish and sustain me. Then again, this is just one Pagans opinion.

June 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm
(37) Fourge says:

I once read that a Pagan only ate the meat that her husband came home with after hunting. I thought, “Well this is good. Her husband prays to their specific God of hunting, prays over the animal’s body, to the animal’s spirit and soul, and later that night, they eat the meat. It’s a respectable practice.”

That was many months before I finally became Vegetarian last year in February. After over a year, I wondered… under what circumstances would I ever eat meat again? I knew that health wouldn’t be much of a problem. There are supplement pills for everything these days, such as iron, which any way, I can get much of in veggies. If for some reason, there was a shortage of veggies, say something like the “end of the world” were happening, and vegetation were really down, I may just go out hunting for food, then. That’s when the story of the Pagan whose husband went hunting, flew back into my mind. I realized that so long as the food was hunted in respect for the animal like our ancestors once did, and not grown and slaughtered like factories do, then I would eat meat again.

For a whole year, I thought I wasn’t eating meat because it made me feel uncomfortable to look at raw or cooked meat, and that I thought it would make me more spiritual. I realized it was really because I found no respect for how the animal died. And out of respect, I want no part in the “food chain” process of these poor beings. Nothing about it is honorable, not to me, to say the least. I must say that something of me does feel better not eating meat. I don’t know what it is… More experimenting must be done!

June 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm
(38) Ailora says:

I’m vegetarian, striving to be vegan. I personally feel that all life is sacred, none above another. I don’t mind if others eat meat. But if they use the excuse that it’s natural, it kind of bothers me. Unless they get the meat products in a way other than from grocery stores. If the animals are locally grown humanely and those animals live normal, happy lives, well I guess I’m okay with that. But contributing to the factory farm nightmare is no in way natural.

June 13, 2012 at 10:22 am
(39) Winter says:

I dont eat any animal product because I do not believe in animal cruelty, there is no getting around it. If you eat any animal product you are condoning cruetly. I am always amazed at people who get upset over dogs being tortured but turn a blind eye to the animal cruelty that livestock suffer each and every day. You are either for or against animal torture. And that includes small family farms.

June 13, 2012 at 10:27 am
(40) Winter says:

On another note, we are not a part of the food chain, if we were we would have a predator that kept our numbers in check. And all of the so called reason of why whe are supposed to eat meat has been debunked over and over again.

June 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm
(41) Marion Mc Kay says:

I am wiccan, but my religion has nothing to do with not eating meat. I j
ust felt guilty that an animal had to die because i wanted to eat meat while I can eat so many other things. So I gave all my meat to a couple of friends. I still eat dairy and eggs.

August 6, 2013 at 10:38 pm
(42) Astrid Asimov says:

The animals do not want to be eaten.
Nor do they want their children to be eaten.

Selfish greedy people think that they can rationalize anything.
Would you eat human children?
Some old gods did.
Would you want a stronger race of aliens to eat your children?
Show me the difference.
No harm is no harm.

August 6, 2013 at 10:48 pm
(43) Astrid Asimov says:

The animals do not want to be eaten.
They do not want their children to be eaten.
Ask them.

Would you like your children to be eaten?
Selfish greedy people can and will rationalize anything.
They will corrupt themselves for a flavor.

Would you like a stronger race of beings to eat your children?
Ask your children if they would lay down their lives for the passing enjoyment of an insensitive monster.

No harm means no harm.
It doesn’t mean maybe no harm.
Maybe a little torture is OK.
No harm.

August 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm
(44) Astrid Asimov says:

Sorry for the double post.
It seems there was a lag, and I thought it was lost.

But I will use this moment for an edit:

No harm does not mean a little animal torture is OK.

If the Earth wanted you to live as a paleo, you would have been born long ago.
Now the Earth is telling us something more elevated.
Are we listening?

November 4, 2013 at 11:40 am
(45) Bill Sympson says:

MY DAUGHTER AND I HAVE NOT ATE PORK IN ABOUT 3 OR 4 YEARS,MOSTLY BECAUSE OF THE INHUMANE THINGS WE FOUND OUT ABOUT HOW THEY TREAT THESE ANIMALS BEFORE,DURING THEIR TIME FOR SLAUGHTER.ALSO PORK IS 1 OF THE MOST HARDEST MEATS TO EAT HEALTH WISE,SO MY QUESTION IS IS IT ALLOWED FOR WICCANS TO EAT PORK AND IF SO IS IT LIMITED TO JUST CERTAIN TIMES OR HOLIDAYS.IAM A BIG FOLLOWED OF SCOTT CUNNINGHAM AND I BELIEVE HE ATE PORK SOMETIMES,NOT SURE.CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME OR SEND ME A LIST IF THERE IS ONE OF THE MEATS AND DAYSS THAT WE WICCANS CAN PARTAKE OF THESE THINGS .THANKS SO MUCH FOR ANY HELP ON THIS YOU CAN GIVE .MERRY PART

November 21, 2013 at 9:16 am
(46) Mac Dvora Sintes says:

I am a witch whose practice is very close to Wicca and I follow the Wiccan Rede. I am also an animal rights activist. But the fact is, everything and everyone dies. This happens regardless of our participation. We can’t save them from death, only from being eaten, which means meat that could have fed others is wasted, rendering the animals’ death in vain. What is important isn’t whether the animal lives or dies, but HOW they lived and HOW they died. Our responsibility is to see that they live and die gently, without terror or pain. If we can do this, we’ve done better for them than we can for ourselves.

March 26, 2014 at 5:06 pm
(47) Grace says:

I believe everyone has the right to choose for themselves. I personally eat meat and animal products but I do restrict fast food, refined sugars, artificial sweetners and junk food. My energy is much higher when I dont consume these things. Whatever works for you is fine.

April 14, 2014 at 12:08 am
(48) revolutionoftheheart says:

take of the blinders — there is no such thing as cruelty-free:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/we-raise-all-our-beef-humanely-on-open-pasture-and,30983/

April 14, 2014 at 6:52 am
(49) paganwiccan says:

revolutionoftheheart(48), You do realize that the page you linked to, The Onion, is a well known satire site, right?

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