Sustainability, paganism, and living within your means

Pagans come from all walks of life.  Although many of us enter the faith as young or dependent worshippers, as we grow and change, we find that we enter “adulthood,” adorned with all of its responsibilities.  I entered “adulthood,” by voting standards, six years ago; but I really began living on my own about two years ago, when I emerged from my undergraduate institution and took a research fellowship.  To give you some stats, I make about 23,000 a year, which is plenty to support myself.  In my first year here, I lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with myself, 2 rats, a cat, and a bearded dragon.  Since then, I have moved to renting a house, and for a time, lived here, alone, with a dog, 2 cats, and a bearded dragon.

Unfortunately, life moves on, and after my break up, I found myself an excellent boyfriend.  Well, perhaps not unfortunately.  But the unfortunate part of the situation is that he had a job, moved in, then lost it.  And was jobless until very recently.

Along with himself, he brought me two very hungry dogs.  And so, I am suddenly supporting 5 free-range animals (3 dogs, 2 cats), the bearded dragon, myself, and my boyfriend.  On the same salary.

Money’s a little tight.  Not so tight that I’ve cancelled monthly services like internet, but tight enough where I’ve considered making lifestyle changes in order to accommodate the new family members I have.

And, so, I present to you, a new section of this blog: Living sustainably as a pagan.  I’ll try to tag these posts with the sustainability tag.

Here’s my tip of the week for living sustainably: What you won’t eat, feed to your animals.

Now, obviously, don’t feed them things that could kill them – like chocolate, or chicken bones.

But I had some ground beef that had a storied past.  It was purchased in the beginning of September, and we went to make burgers with it, using a burger press, freshly purchased from Kitchen Collection Outlet (Thanks, mom!).  The problem was, it was late, we were tired, and the burgers kept sticking to the press.  So we gave up, and I told my mom that we could just put it in the fridge and I’d deal with it later.

About a week later, I still hadn’t done anything with the meat, so I put it in the freezer to deal with later.

And a few days ago, I ran into the same problem: I really, really, REALLY didn’t want to hand-make burgers.  And so it sat in my refrigerator, defrosted, for another three or four days.

Finally, I gave up, and so I googled how to cook hamburger in a crockpot.  Add some water, turn it on high.

I went to play some soccer, and by the time I got back (I SCORED, by the way!), it was late, I was tired.  So I shut off the crockpot, and put the meat in the fridge without draining it.  Bad move, on my part.  The animal fat solidified (which I should’ve known would happen) and it looked gross.  I decided to heat it up today to see if it looked better.

No, no it does not.  And so, I have designated it “dog food” and will mete it out to the puppies this evening for dinner.

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2 responses to “Sustainability, paganism, and living within your means

  1. Wouldn’t meat that old be bad by now? I wouldn’t feed that to my dogs. I would say after a week of it being in the fridge and not eating it, it would be spoiled (I err on the side of caution though). They say that dogs aren’t as susceptible to food-borne illness, but I still would be afraid to give it to them.

  2. I know this is wicked late, but dogs eat all sorts of rancid garbage that would kill, or at least hospitalize, a human. Feeding them some mildly rotten hamburger isn’t going to hurt them in the slightest. Just might give them some gas.

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