Yesterday I logged into Facebook to add some info about the upcoming meditation class. On the event page, I saw that someone had posted the question: “ARE YOU ACTUALLY HOLDING A MEDITATION CLASS ON A FARM THAT SLAUGHTERS ANIMALS?”
So, since this has come into my field and is a valid question, I will broach the topic here.
The question was posed by the owner of a local yoga studio (ironically one that I had recently taught at, but had never met the owner and one I will never frequent again on any level since ‘my kind’ isn’t welcome there). Her question seemed rather accusatory right from the start. Instead of ignoring it, I tried to tell her all about Nathan’s Animal Welfare Approved certification and how the cows are humanely treated and it was more his gig, not mine, so maybe she should talk to him. But, no matter what I said or the evidence I provided, it was obvious I wasn’t going to sway her from her [right] point of view and I was guilty by association. I eventually just stopped engaging and blocked her on Facebook.
Here are the facts: my fiancé raises grassfed beef on the property. We do not slaughter any animals here. His business is Drager Farms and his practices are Animal Welfare Approved. If you have questions about what that means as far as breeding or slaughtering, please visit the Animal Welfare Institute’s website. The cows are butchered locally at Smuckers Meats; they are the only local butcher that is approved by AWI. Anyone is welcome to schedule a tour of the farm, meet us, and the animals that live here. We have nothing to hide.
Now onto the insinuation that I am not ‘allowed’ to have meditation classes at Drager Farms because it violates the “laws of yoga”… Let’s look at this logic…
If this is ‘right thinking’, then does that mean no American has the right to meditate because we live in a country that is at war and killing other living beings? If I live in a crime ridden area, should I not have a meditation class because there is violence around me? If I eat meat (or do drugs or have sex outside of wedlock or do any other ‘sinful’ act as deemed by another person), I shouldn’t meditate or practice yoga? And if I own a yoga studio, should I ban people from my studio that eat meat because I am profiting from their existence? And maybe I shouldn’t pay taxes because my taxes subsidize farms like Nathan’s and ones far worse? I mean seriously… where does this kind of judgement and divisive thinking end??
“You’re not allowed to meditate because _____ ”
Words I heard … never.
From my side, when I moved here back in 2012, I was intensely into my yoga practices and was very open to hearing & listening to everything around me. (Ghosts, nature spirits, plants, animals, rocks… everything. And I can tell you, if a human lends them an ear, they’re all about it cuz so often these entities go unheard and ignored – which is a whole other topic for another time.) And this land was screaming for help. It had been raped and abused by conventional farming practices for years. So I knew at that time, this land needed the healing energy of meditation – and not just my own. Even though I didn’t stay here for long, I guess something got through to Nathan and he changed pretty much everything while I was living in New Mexico. And the land is coming back.
Now let’s talk about the cows… why should our animals not be exposed to the positive energy of meditation? They are giving their lives for humans. I think they deserve to be part of a meditation experience, don’t you? Also, if an animal is raised around or is attracted to meditation practices – some of you may find this to be the case if you have pets that just love to sit with you when you meditate – then there is something in their karma that allows this to be the case. And we actually help with their evolution and provide better karma for them in future lives.
I don’t know… I feel like I could go on and on about this. I didn’t even get into the whole vegan/vegetarian/carnivore arena. Maybe next time I will go there, even though I know that is a very hotly debated topic, in line with religion and politics.
But for now, please know that we are going to keep meditating under the full moon with our cows at Drager Farms.