— by Susan Eirich, PhD —
Each morning I collect the fine eggs from our fine chickens – pale blue and pink and green. Most are destined for the distinct pleasure of our bears, foxes and coyotes. (To make it very clear: for the distinct pleasure of Teton Totem, Humble Bumble, Huckleberry Bear Bear, Bramble and Ramble bears; Faerytale and Shaman coyotes, Foxie Moxie, Lightfoot II, Loki and Sprite foxes). The chickens have their contribution to make and they do it well.
Our fine eggs
But each morning I reserve one for myself. I boil it 3 minutes. Dipping my spoon into the deep orange yolk I think about how the egg came into existence. It is made of the tender green spring grasses the chickens are now eating; the bugs and worms they scratch up with such vigor and delight. Which all turns into chicken, which turns into egg and as I eat it, turns in me. Part of my very flesh tomorrow will be made of this egg, and the bugs and the worms and the grasses and the soil and the warm spring sunlight and the delight of the chickens. And so I am connected to the land, that nourished the grass and the bugs and the chickens. That nourishes my brain and capacity to be aware, and to enjoy the awareness. The land supports my consciousness and thus my physical and spiritual self.
I always thought that spiritual understanding (meaning that we are all connected) was a larger general way of sensing these very real specific biological connections. Understanding of the same phenomenon at different levels. Spirituality and science biology are not separate – one flows into another back and forth, from the level of physical life, where everything is very visceral and vivid, to the more diffuse but more expansive understanding that is the spiritual.
I don’t want store bought food raised with chemicals and without heart – food with which I have no connection. Whenever we take food into our body it becomes part of our very flesh. Given how much food is heartlessly made no wonder so many of us are ill or depressed. What is the energy we are taking into our body? While not all of us have the luxury of local farms and personal chickens, we can see to it that the food we eat was raised with heart and have some sense of where it came from – not impersonal and taken for granted. It is Life we are eating – and if it is honored, whatever its form, from brussel sprouts to cow, we will be healthier in all ways. If I lived in the city and didn’t have direct access to a farm I would read the egg cartons and see which are organically and humanely raised. Sometimes they even say, “Raised with love,” or “From our farm to you.” I might even look up the farm online; call them not just to see if the hens are being treated with kindness and given healthy food, but to make a connection with what I am eating.
Example of eggs from a family farm, with owner’s signature. If not available at a regular store we can ask them to stock eggs from a family farm.
It’s not just a matter of heart, but life force. I enclose a picture of two eggs, one I bought at the grocery store; the other from one of our happy hens. One full of color and vibrancy and nutrition and positive energy – one pale and listless. And I ask you, which one will nourish us better. And support life on Earth in the process?
The simple act of eating an egg can be so rich.
And buying a life-supporting egg is one simple thing we can do.
Story: Eggs Come From Chickens
Dr. Susan Eirich is the Founder and Executive Director of Earthfire Institute Wildlife Sanctuary and Retreat Center. A licensed psychologist, biologist and educator, her goal is to widen the circle of conversation about conservation to include the voices of all living beings.