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C.S. MacCath

C.S. MacCath

C.S. MacCath is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry whose work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, Murky Depths, Witches & Pagans and other publications. Her poetry has been nominated twice for the Rhysling Award, and her fiction has received honorable mention in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection.

Ceallaigh's first collection of fiction and poetry entitled The Ruin of Beltany Ring has been called 'wonderful, thoroughly engaging, always amazing', a book of 'tiny marvels' and 'well-worth reading'. At present, she's working on a science fiction series entitled Petals of the Twenty Thousand Blossom and a second collection of fiction and poetry.
 

I was sitting in a circle discussion on the Sunday morning of a recent Buddhist retreat when the word 'aggression' came up and was decried as a thing that ought to be scoured out of our minds if we want to create an enlightened society. I disagreed and reclaimed the word 'aggression' with a liberal dose of straightforward humor, whereupon it was suggested to me that (1) 'aggression' was the wrong word for what I was describing, and (2) I'd 'get it' eventually if I just kept working on myself. This while one of the men in the circle tittered and exchanged sidelong glances with another man as I spoke. Of course these responses were problematic, especially since much of the conversation was about the aggression, assertiveness and strength of women. But I understood them, coming as they did from basically good people at a Buddhist retreat who were working toward peace. Still, they reminded me of the reasons why I'm not a Buddhist.

Let me stir the pot a bit before I continue. This is a poem I wrote in 2008, which was published by Goblin Fruit and later appeared in The Ruin of Beltany Ring:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Robyn Ryan
    Robyn Ryan says #
    The suppression of women in European culture is so absolute, I suspect it must have pre-euro-Christian roots. The seminal 'the ki
  • C.S. MacCath
    C.S. MacCath says #
    Possibly, though there are accounts of women who had status and myths (especially Celtic) that feature women of power. Still, I th
  • Robyn Ryan
    Robyn Ryan says #
    Logically, if women were the makers of things and life and shelter, they controlled society. I suspect men and semi-domesticated d
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Gee - that's what strong American women tell their men now!
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Once again, Ceallaigh, you have blown me away with the power and utter clarity of your writing. This is the best article on the u

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  • James Taylor
    James Taylor says #
    Thank You C.S. MacCath!!! This is powerful and inspiring information. I look forward to the next Vegan Pagan blog posts. I feel th
  • C.S. MacCath
    C.S. MacCath says #
    Thanks so much for saying so. The next Vegan Pagan blog post will conclude the series, but I am planning to begin work on a monthl
The Vegan Pagan: Climate Change and Food Equity

After a month's hiatus, I'm back with the next installment of The Vegan Pagan series. If you haven't read the previous installments, you can find them here:

The Vegan Pagan: Introduction
The Vegan Pagan: Interstice the First
The Vegan Pagan: Interstice the Second
The Vegan Pagan: Your Health
The Vegan Pagan: The Case Against Animal Sacrifice

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The Vegan Pagan: The Case Against Animal Sacrifice

In light of recent Pagan conversations around the blogosphere on the topic of animal sacrifice, I thought I'd skip ahead in the Vegan Pagan series to offer the animal-centric perspective I had scheduled for January. I'll be back on track next month.

Good Samhain to all!

- Ceallaigh


Modern Paganism has more than a few bloody roots. The early Celts practiced both animal sacrifice and human ritual killing1 and might well have engaged in ritual cannibalism under extreme circumstances, as historical and archaeological evidence attests.2 3 Elaborate human sacrifices were performed at the temple in Uppsala and elsewhere in Northern Europe as late as the 10th century AD, and there are well-documented accounts of animal sacrifice as well.4 5 The early Greeks may have engaged in human sacrifice or human ritual killing and certainly engaged in animal sacrifice.6 These are only a few among many examples, as students of pre-Christian religion well know, and they collectively represent a disquieting piece of theological history. However, while most Pagans will agree that cannibalism, human ritual killing and human sacrifice are better abandoned to history, the practice of animal sacrifice has been reconstructed by a few sects of the Pagan community.

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  • Sage LeFaye
    Sage LeFaye says #
    I'd like to echo James' sentiment with thanks, as well. Your Vegan Pagan posts are so vitally important. Please continue writing a
  • C.S. MacCath
    C.S. MacCath says #
    Thank you so much, Sage! I took the month of December off to meet a couple of writing deadlines, but I'll be back in a few days wi
  • James Taylor
    James Taylor says #
    Thank you so much for writing these Vegan Pagan blog posts Ceallaigh, they are so amazing and well written. I'm very much looking
  • C.S. MacCath
    C.S. MacCath says #
    Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean a great deal to me, and I'm glad the series is resonating with you. As for the b

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The Vegan Pagan: Your Health

Note: If you haven't yet read The Vegan Pagan: Introduction, The Vegan Pagan: Interstice the First and The Vegan Pagan: Interstice the Second, I encourage you to do so before moving on to this entry.

This is the least intersectional and least spiritual of the entries I'll be writing on veganism and Paganism. The reason is simple. If a vegan diet is bad for your body, this conversation is over, and that's the way it should be. Conversely, if a vegan diet is good for your body, any spiritual work you undertake is enhanced by the benefit your diet brings you. I'll also be discussing relationships between the vegan diet and disease and the problem of antibiotic resistance as it relates to animal agriculture, since it also relates to food choices and public health.

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The Vegan Pagan: Interstice the Second

As before, I've been following the Facebook conversations around my vegan blog entries, and this time I've noticed further discussion around the idea of plant sentience. Some of you have argued that plants are no different from animals and so the eating of plants and animals should be considered on equal footing.

How very animistic of you. I would expect no less from my Pagan community.

It's an interesting question and one deserving of its own space, so I've decided to offer a vegan perspective here in advance of my next major blog entry in the series.

For the sake of argument, let's presume that plants possess independent minds and thoughts of sufficient complexity that they can deliberately communicate with the world. From this premise, a plant-based diet would still represent the most ethical choice and the path of least destruction, because every single animal life requires the consumption of many plant lives. There are a number of peer-reviewed studies explaining feed to meat conversion ratios, but here's a handy chart from NPR that shows the amount of grain, forage and grazing land required to produce a quarter-pound hamburger:

Resources required to make a quarter pound hamburger.

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Over the years I've seen numerous such cost claims, but they are usually inaccurate. The price at retail reflects the sum total of
  • C.S. MacCath
    C.S. MacCath says #
    Remember that the US meat, dairy and egg industries are heavily-subsidized by the federal government, so the retail cost of meat v
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    In the 1990's an attendee of one of Swami Satchidananda's yoga workshops pointed out that scientific instruments had detected the

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