Naysha: Why shamans aren’t vegetarians

I will talk about shamans and not about gurus or healers. I will talk about the reasons not to be a vegetarian or vegan from a shamanic point of view. I won’t say that one way or another is wrong or right. IT’S A DECISION. But there is a lot of judgment and misinformation on the subject. The silent war between meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans must stop. It is not helping nature.

We lost the connection with our food when we let go of shamanism and our shamans. We are responsible for the pain that’s going on and when we become conscious of the importance of shamanism and reconnect to nature, then we will begin to understand how to correct our errors.

The comfortable life that each of us has chosen has disconnected us from nature. The city provides you with so much comfort. You fill your refrigerator with food that you buy from the supermarket, since you don’t have time to grow your own food, because you must work 8 hours a day in order to maintain your comfort. It is the same in all aspects of modern life. We have given up our power of being INDEPENDENTS and INTERCONNECTED and instead we DEPEND on corporations and governments. These problems won’t be solved by us becoming vegetarians or vegans.

A real shaman knows how to provide their own food. All good shamans that I have met hunt and fish their own food, as well as grow vegetables. Their diet is of course depending on where they live, so shamans in northern Greenland almost only eat meat.

For me the experience of fishing has helped me develop my connection with water and other elements. When you are fishing you learn how to read the water and the weather conditions. You need to become the fish and this is how shamanism works. I can connect and feel where the better areas are and where the fish are at that moment in the day. And then when I get them out of the water I never feel sorry or offer apologies. I thank the fish for giving me its life energy.

When you kill an animal you understand life and how fabulous our existence on this earth is. Our bodies are containers than contains a great source – THE SOUL. In the eyes of the animal you can see when the spirit leaves. It’s the light that disappears from this reality to pass to another that is better. Life is a cycle. Death is not bad. It’s a process, a continuation. We are never really born; we are constantly dying since we came to earth.

When you live a genuine shamanic life you understand that everything that surrounds you in nature is ALIVE and HAS A CONSCIOUSNESS – animals, plants and even rocks. Just because they don’t move fast does not mean that they are not alive. They are just having a different experience on earth. Shamanism was born in the hunting cultures.

Is the pain of an animal a reason to become a vegetarian or vegan?

No, it’s not. Everything that is alive CAN EXPERIENCE PAIN and EMOTIONS, but this is not a bad thing. It is one of the reasons why we are here, to FEEL. Plants can also FEEL. We are just not used to listening to their pain, but they can still feel it. It is trough the pain that we know that is better to feel LOVE.

It’s a different thing when we kill animals in factories. There is no respect in it, no consideration in the way animals are killed anymore. In the shamanic traditions the animal must die fast and with as little pain as possible. In the Sami tradition for example they kill the reindeer by first cutting the nervous system and then with a knife to the hearth. Then they wait until the animal does not move the eyes anymore before taking care of the meet and everything else. They use every single part, to honour the animal, the skin, the meat, and the antlers. This is how it used to be when the shamans actively worked in the communities.

Nowadays even the vegetables are being dishonoured in the way they are being grown. People are poisoning the vegetables with chemicals in order to make them look pretty, which is not good. There are a many lands and forests being burnt down right now in the Amazon, in Africa, in Asia in order to grow vegetables.

We must find the BALANCE in OURSELVES, because that is where all these problems begin. The problem is not if people eat meat or vegetables. The problem is how it is being done. If you want to make a change and help nature, start collaborating in your community with farming projects, permaculture and such. Get active in politics.

We must stop the industrial way of producing meat and vegetables. And the most important is to truly start to reconnect with nature. It’s easy to admire nature through your car window, but to live in harmony with nature is a different experience entirely and that is what shamanism is about.

Naysha Silva

Photo: Hunting and Mentoring by USFWSmidwest on Flickr

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9 thoughts on “Naysha: Why shamans aren’t vegetarians”

  1. Jag håller med dig. Det finns alltid fanatiker men de flesta avstår nog kött och mejeriprodukter pga att djur behandlas illa. Sen finns hälsoaspekten. Vi äter för mycket av allt . Vi klarar oss bra på mindre och att ta liv i onödan är inget bra.
    Men det händer en hel del. Vi har blivit mer insiktsfulla när det gäller respekten för djur och natur. Utvecklingen går framåt
    Tack för din artikel.

  2. Jag skulle rekommendera er att se dokumentären Cowspiracy.
    Tack för artikeln men jag anser dock där finns fler aspekter…..

  3. I must thank you for this…I have recently been feeling so aghast at the disconnectedness and sheer animosity that I discovered from those (Not all, mind you.) that claim to be compassionate, that I couldn’t sleep. People don’t hear or feel the cries of the trees or the mountains. They don’t listen. The dishonor to the whole world is atrocious, and nitpicking the wrongness is going to change nothing.

  4. Rekommenderar också Cowspiracy, och är det inte lite väl cyniskt att tacka djuret du dödat, de ger inte sina liv frivilligt, de kämpade förgäves i ångest och skräck för att få behålla det, så ett “tack” känns ganska sjukt.

  5. The shamans eat food with bare hands and eat raw. They take what nature provides, not take from a life capable of getting away. A shaman does not trick a fish to a fishing pole. That is ego. Cow’s milk is intended for a calf. To consume it, is ego. True vegans know nature and understand the importance of eating animals for survival, not ego. To claim shamanism is ego. Shamans are observed by others and the title is only practiced by the shaman, not declared.

    1. No, I’ve actually been with Andean Shamans and they do not eat with their hands nor do they eat raw meat. As far as taking a life capable of getting away… I don’t know where you came up with that idea but shamans do hunt with bow and arrow and spear and with these instruments of the hunt they kill animals capable of escape. For example, a common dish for shamans in Peru and Ecuador is the monkey.

  6. I am a Shaman, and vegan. I have no issue with journeys, healing, medicine and drumming without animal use. My drum is synthetic, and I use crystals, herbs, incense, and ‘found’ animal parts where the animal has passed naturally, not exploited or killed on purpose.

    You do not have to live in Peru or Ecuador to be a Shaman, I live in the U.K and we have a powerful and beautiful relationship to the spirit and animal worlds. Try to be more open minded, please

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