In all honesty I, at first, wanted to ask this tongue-in-cheek question as a reaction to the recent religious threads on paleohacks. However, I am quite sincere in wanting to take the same retrospective analysis towards the spiritual traditions we evolved from as we do for our eating habits. As an atheist I want to be able to honor the animals that nourish and sustain me and my family without praying to an imaginary intermediary. Are pagan-inspired rituals even necessary, or will simply caring about the humane treatment of my food sources and doing my part to respect and take care of our environment be enough?
This blog is great and it's written by a pagan paleo http://wildernesschilde.blogspot.com/
You might also be interested in Don't Sleep There Are Snakes, which is about a missionary who goes to help convert a tribe. The tribe is a sort-of rationalist form of paganism and it has a big impression on him, causing him to abandon Christianity.
Another tangential thing, is that I've met a few paleos that do Ayahuasca, which is a practice of jungle shamans. Most of those people are not theists, but apparently the visions they have are very interesting even if they just come from your own mind.
I consider myself Pagan, and it makes me pretty happy to be eating things that actually exist, instead of synthesized and processed "american cheese food" type of garbage. I'd really like to go hunting once, actually, since I've never killed anything in my life, though I happily eat it. I think that would be a good time for a ritual.
It's true that all the pagan stuff we have now is inspired by what's old, not a direct copy. Part of my personal belief is that it's what you're trying to do that's important. Maybe this question could be answered with your family. Do you all want to have some sort of feast ritual? Some giving of thanks to the animals that were killed for you to eat? Building something together as a family can be very powerful, and could include or exclude whatever god/goddesses/energies you like.
Well, I am not orthodox pagan ;) but I believe that respecting nature is respecting ourselves and are all one, not the separateness that our evolved ego or id led us to believe. I'm just sayin....
I'm an eclectic pagan. If you are looking for a ritual for honoring your food's spirits, I suggest you look into belief systems that acknowledge the spirit without holding to a supreme spirit or god. I would start with Buddhism, if your question is in earnest. I would also suggest researching animism since this belief seems to align with the lack of belief in a god while choosing to believe in the spirit of other things. Also, it is speculated that this system is the original belief system of our ancestors, which eventually evolved into the belief in one or more "major spirits" (aka gods). Hope that helps.
I waver between atheism and pantheism.
I read that Einstein was somewhat pantheistic, as this very interesting website explains.
I don't think rituals, as they are used by the Catholic Church, for example, really inspire spiritual growth. At least not in me.
But, nature-based rituals, used to deepen our connection to the land, can be extremely simple, and thus extremely powerful.
I can't remember what I was reading, but the author recommended a gesture of gratitude after making a kill. Or a special place where one could reflect on taking the life of an animal.
The reverence and significance of killing can not be neglected...
I am a Pagan.
To answer your question, what matters as far as respect to animals goes is what you find respectful. If you can do that without any spiritual help whatsoever, there is no problem with that.
I like the idea of doing a simple ritual of thanks, it helps get my mind and heart in the right place. That's a personal ideal, though.
'Nother pagan/shamanic-type here. I don't think you should be worried about trying to find rituals or prayers to perform to help you explore the spiritual nature of living and eating. Adopting practices you don't understand that don't already have meaning for you is not really effective, IMO. If you're interested in exploring the authentic natural spirituality inherent to humans, you should start by focusing on what you already have and doing things that are meaningful to you already. Keep it practical, keep it totally honest, and adjust to whatever your actual experiences are rather than what a tradition or culture tells you to believe. If you do that, you should be more successfully animist/pagan than if you were to arbitrarily pick a system to follow.
Another paleo pagan here. I basically just give thanks to mother earth and to the animals who gave their lives, before my meals.
It's fine to get inspiration from older traditions. And it's also fine to create your own tradition too. Do you believe in a deity? Do you believe the earth is a living organism with a spirit(s)? Do you believe in the sacredness of the earth and its creatures without ascribing anything supernatural about it? Mulling on some of these concepts may help you decide how you want to honor the food that gives you sustenance. There are many ways to do so, just as there are many ways to be pagan.
I'm Eclectic Pagan, and It has felt so right to me to eat things that are real. Not fake sugary carb loaded garbage. I thank the Goddess for every meal and all that she has given me. When I cook I infuse the food with positive energy, so that when we eat it is back inside of us. I've never hunted but I really want to. I want to use a bow though, because I know it is more challenging, and I don't think I should deserve the wonderful food of our mother unless I shoot well.
Lifetime of observation and interest; twenty-plus years of practice. And I don't know at all anymore how to define my "belief" system, which is weirdly agnostic and pragmatic.
Is modern paganism (what other kind could exist in the modern world, eh?) related to paleo eating/living? Shrug. I will say that I've never been drawn to the neolithic, middle-eastern agricultural goddesses, and have always been much more interested in ancestors. And hunting. For whatever that's worth.