Food is holy. In preparing it—in addition to the religious practices we comply with to produce faith-based foods—we say a prayer of thanks to the environment that we take from.
We believe that all living creatures feel and experience subjectively. Whether they be animals like chickens, insects like crickets, or even the plants that we consume—how they are sentient should not be categorized by whether we can hear or see them interact in the same ways we can. Bioneers founder Kenny Ausubel's talk on the sentient qualities of plants (and so many other incredible truth bombs he highlighted) helped us better understand that we must acknowledge all living beings when we consume them as food for nourishment. This understanding fundamentally changed our way of thinking about food and how we must give and take in our relationship with the living environment around us.
Animals and plants not only perceive light, smell, and touch, but they can learn, remember and communicate, as Ausubel says (~12 minutes in). In fact, they can experience many more things that we as humans cannot.
To respect all sentient beings, we create the best environment we can to acknowledge the sacredness of life. We do not promote factory farming nor any form of abuse to an animal (or plant) during their life. It would not be Halal or Kosher (or simply morally right) otherwise. Rather, we harvest in the best conditions we possibly can, exceeding any government or religious certification that we interact with.
Simply put: food is holy and this is why we recognize nature, ask for its blessing when we take, and wish for its continued bounty and harvest. We must acknowledge the power that helps nourish and sustain us.
Whether it be an animal or a plant, we acknowledge its existence and use. We must never forget what any of these living beings are in our own cycle of life. We are bound by each other.
If we give, let us give with our whole hearts. If we take, let us do so with utmost respect and humility to the environment that has provided so much for us.
This is our mindset as we prepare your food.
From the Kitchen,
Founder, Abe's Eats
PS. Please watch Kenny's entire talk. It weights in on many dilemmas we face in governance, culture, environmental degradation and many other matters that are intertwined to our food systems.