I have a deep respect for nature and all the living things in it. I love to see wild animals run through my yard, and I like to watch the birds. I smile when I see the riot of color in a meadow of wildflowers. I know that each of these living things has a place here, and brings itself into balance with the earth. I strive and struggle to learn from all the living things all around me. I want to “live from the heart” as my Apache ancestors did. Yes, you could say that I’m kind of a tree-hugger.
Then again, if you asked me about the things I eat, you might wonder. I have eaten raccoon, squirrel, deer, rabbit, muskrat, hawk, dove, pheasant as well as the usual beef, pork and chicken. I’m also an avid lover of seafood, and I’ve even eaten insects. I actually have eaten some of those meats raw and enjoyed them. I must say that deer heart has a VERY strong flavor though. I am not a carnivore though, I am an omnivore like my ancestors.
I also enjoy a great deal of vegetation and plant life in my diet. I have eaten most of the usual vegetables in the American diet as well as some of the odder ones like rutabagas and eggplant. I actually LIKE brussels sprouts and broccoli, they are two of my favorite foods. I have eaten a Hindu Thanksgiving, complete with tofu turkey which was quite good. There is very little in the way of edible things that I have not tried or would not be willing to try.
All of this and I can still maintain an absolute unwavering love for nature in all it’s glory and splendor. What I cannot do however, is deny what my ancestors knew. We must strive to live WITH the land, not above it. It will be here long after we are dead and turned to dust and vapor. We may be at the top of the food chain, but we have a lot to unlearn if we are to survive as a species.