Aware that all animals and plants are alive and therefore have souls, Eskimos approach food with great reverence. To eat caribou, deer or seal is to also eat the creature's soul, an action that holds dire consequences if done blindly. Today, we who do not hunt for our food — other than on the shelves of the local supermarket — can easily become blind to who and what we're eating. Wouldn't our consciousness skyrocket if the main course at supper were our pet cat or dog? Of all peoples, we Christians, who dine upon the body and blood of Christ, should be aware of "soul food."

If you have abandoned meal prayers or say them as if on automatic pilot, the next time you come to the table remember the Eskimos. Pause in silence before you eat. Be grateful that the beef or beans have given up their souls, their life, that you may live. As you pause in gratitude to honor the Source of all gifts — as well as the gift of the souls of the potato, fish or pork on the plate before you — dedicate yourself to pouring forth your soul for the life of others. In your willingness to give your life for others, you pray the best of all meal prayers.

Edward Hays in Feathers on the Wind