When did you decide to become a Vegetarian? by Beth Gager

At eight months old I threw away my bottle and refused to drink milk
I stuck to that decision throughout my childhood until I was finally convinced “Milk does a Body Good”
I always preferred an apple an orange watermelon
to any other food I was offered
I vividly remember biting into a brown leg
asking what it was and immediately deciding I would never eat rabbit EVER
I still kept a foot (and even a tail I think for “Good Luck”) until one hunting season I stood gazing down at a pile of rabbits
apologizing to limp bodies as they awaited the slice of my brother’s knife to detach them from from their fur and internal organs so they could be hung upside down from the clothesline
I can’t remember much about the ducks and geese
Only that I never wanted eat them or see them nailed to our wall
Feathers collecting dust plastic eyes haunting
I did decorate them for Christmas one year to my brother’s delight He took pictures Santa hat and streamers
I once liked ginger ale gravy for the idea
And then I learned that the roast in the oven was once a part of the gentle deer that gazed at me with elegant neck and alert eyes as he nibbled grass with his family in the field across the road
The same fellow that hung for weeks by his hind legs stripped of his insides and his dignity outside my cousin’s hunt club
Closely related to the pregnant doe that had been hit by a car late at night her belly swollen her body still warm
My father allowed me to touch her quiet face but made sure I went inside before the cutting began
He even took once to see another hit and run as she lay in the grass unable to move eyes dilated in terror
He drove me home in silence and returned to her to end her misery
And then I learned about crated calves and told anyone who would listen and many who wouldn’t about the abused children otherwise known as “Veal Parmigiana”
Next was fetal pig pink and white with little black socks
Stored inside a box under my bed until I carried him to my exam and pointed out his heart to the graduate assistant telling her, “He’s a dead baby” when it was over and she commented at my apparent discomfort with this assignment
I apologized for my cowardice as I dropped his shriveled, violated corpse into the trashcan with a thud
And swore not to eat his relatives ever again
I still harbored resentment for the rooster that attacked me from behind as a child
But even that became a weak excuse for devouring his cousins so I stopped
A soft glowing light gently inspires me to hug my brother because he knew not what he did
Lay my cheek against a tree
Marvel at the perfection of an apple
My mother tells me I wasn’t always this way
My niece talks to me about saving the rain forest
I talk to her about her hamburger to which my sister rolls her eyes and tells me I wasn’t a vegetarian when I was her age
I was
I am
 
 
Dedicated to my niece Sarah who became a vegetarian when she was twelve, my friend Diego Padro who is a true vegetarian soul like me, my master vegetarian chef son Eli who doesn’t even know what an egg is, my daughter Chloe who is the biggest animal guardian in the world and my friend Benjamin Wright Haile who never ate an animal in his life and spends all his money on the water rights

Eat rice and have faith in woman by Fran Winant

eat rice have faith in women

what I don’t know now I can still learn

if i am alone now I will be with them later

if I am weak now I can become strong

slowly slowly if I can learn I can teach others

if others learn first they will come back and teach me

they will not go away to the country of their knowledge

slowly we begin giving back what was taken away

our right to the control of our bodies

knowledge of how to fight and build

food that nourishes

medicine that heals

songs that remind us of ourselves

and make us want to keep on with what matters to us

eat rice have faith in women

what I don’t know now I can still learn

slowly slowly I can teach others

if others learn first they will come back and  teach me

What’s mine, What’s yours and What’s ours

I once knew a man that liked to sit under trees and look up through their branches at the sky. His name was Ray Gager and he was my father and he was a union carpenter in South Jersey  in the pines and he is a mason. He taught me a few things about life. He taught me to love my husband. He taught me to never abide by racism or hatred. He taught me to never kill an animal except when they were suffering. He taught me that men are craftsman and stewards of the trees. He taught me that I am smart and beautiful. My mother Ruth Cliver was his true love. He called her Mama she called him Dear and he kissed her every morning before going to work and tooted his horn at her when he drove away. My mother taught me to always use my instincts. She said to trust my intuition. She said we always know if people are good or bad because they always tell us. She can tell in a second if there is something that needs to be healed and she knows what it is. She will cook for him and she will make him his old fashioneds without a word because she is a woman and he is a man.  She only wishes he would take better care of the finances with her and not give her all the responsibility for the kids. They will glide across the dance floor like they own the moon and stars. We sit in the living room with the fire lit and the candles lit and we will listen to old country music for hours. Ruth never thought she was smart but she knew I was and so did Ray and so did my brothers and sisters. The reason I am smart is because I was loved. No one ever understood me, no one ever knew the real me, and yet they did. Every bad thing you could ever imagine has happened to me, especially in the past twenty years since I gave birth to a 2000 goddess, and I was brutalized in nearly every way for being who I am, but I was also always very loved and protected by people who could do nothing to protect me because they were not protected themselves. I have been talking to these green men who fight for the world of justice and taking care of our earth and know who they are since they are two years old but have had to be completely secret with me and everyone else including each other because there has been so much work to do to kill the evil in this earth. There are a lot of people in bad religions that do bad stuff to us our whole lives because they learn in their secret churches and temples things to do to control us that are of the soul from the time they are born. These people appear normal and pretty and handsome but they are always cruel because they are following their religion which is to take control over us that are kind and love the earth. They hate the earth, they hate people that aren’t white or pure in a certain way, they hate women and they hate children. They are big, big world leaders and the people sitting next to you who still won’t look at love. Do you know what is yours? I do. The moon and the stars and all the planets. Do you know what is mine? I do. Every single person that is beautiful and kind. Do you know what is ours? I do: the elephants, the whales, the manatees, the gorillas, the sea turtles, the buffalo, the bees, the trees and all the stars. On Sunday, January 19. 2020 at 2pm in the Mennonite way have a big vegetarian feast with your beloveds. Bring your instruments and play your tunes and let the children run and be free. I am love. You are love. We are almost home.

I know what’s mine

I always thought I’d get there. I always knew who I was. I always knew who the goddess was. I always knew who the god was. And I could always pick out people who are kind and beautiful like me. I always knew animals were my friends. I always talked to trees. And I always went for long walks by the sea. I am a simple pine girl and a simple jersey shore girl. I am a writer. I am a coach. I am a healer. I am an artist. I am a musician. I am a dancer. I am a yogi. I am a mother. And I love everything that is beautiful, especially you who are reading this with an open heart and an eager activist mind. There is no doubt anymore that we are in the green world. This is the Pan Revolution. And we shall be sacred. And anyone who says anything bad to us when we are being sacred will simply fall away from our beautiful, lush, gorgeous lives. They might be people we have loved deeply. But if they are choosing to be mean and small now, that it their choice. And if you, my love, choose them, you will have made your choice, too. Just like you, I have been brutalized in every way possible. And I am still being brutalized by people who are being so mean all the time. I have no food. I have no money. But I have beloveds in my sight. If you have a gift for breaking through bad codes that exist on the internet friend any of these people. Benjamin Wright Haile. Danny Schmidt. Paul Cureri. Arjan Bouw. Stephen McInnes. Oryx Cohen. Matt Cureri. Alexi Murdoch.

Turning of the Year ~2020~ The Pan Revolution

Women’s Sacred Gathering at the Turning of Year

“Of those so close beside me which are you?” Theodore Roethke

Opening…       Pottery bowls held first and last by our youngest and our eldest

Each girl or woman holds a bowl in her hands and sings her wishes for the new

year

It Begins…       The body grows centered for our sacred dance

We Dance…     Lyrical…Flow…Stacatto…Chaos…Flow…Lyrical…Stillness

We Embrace… Women and girls gather their hearts together in a hug of gratitude

We Join…         Dancing goddesses join hands in a sacred circle as we spin around the room and sing our sacred songs to welcome in the new year

We Close…       Women, men, boys and girls gather together for sacred nourishment

Turning of the Year ~2020~ The Pan Revolution

                            Men’s Sacred Gathering for the Turning of the Year

         “I wake to sleep and take my waking slow. I learn by going where it is to go.”

                                                                                                                     ~ Theodore Roethke

Opening:      Tibetan prayer bowls first and last held by our youngest and our eldest

Each man takes a turn whispering his wish for the new year inside his

sacred metal

 

Feet:                One by one in a line each man walks his oiled feet to the altar

 

We Begin:     Lyrical…Flow…Stacatto…Chaos…Lyrical…Flow…Stillness

 

We Gather:  We sit in a sacred circle and we speak one truth about our commitment

to ourselves and our family and our tribe for the new year

 

Closing:         We hold hands in a sacred way. We say a blessing of gratitude. We

release each other into 2020.