Through the Fire
I eat both plants and animals. I try to do this in an honorable way. I mostly buy food from local farmers and ranchers. They use sustainable practices both in their farming and in the care of their animals. They pay their workers a living wage. The animals are treated well when alive, and then killed and processed in as humane and clean way as possible. I hardly ever go to restaurants that don’t have the same beliefs. Many of my nearest and dearest loved ones are vegetarian. I don’t eat meat everyday. I absolutely think our current large scale food system is broken and extremely harmful. There is no doubt in my mind that mono crops and huge slaughterhouses are destroying our beautiful planet. I do however believe that it can be done differently. It is being done differently on a small scale around the world, beautifully and successfully. Is it enough ? Not yet, but I have hopes. Our soil is severely depleted of the beautiful minerals plants need to grow. Animals raised in pastures poop. The poop helps create new soil and the earth is replenished. Eventually, we will be also. You might be interested in reading this.
Of course, I am not perfect! There are road trips and snack “emergencies”. There are potlucks and meals with family and friends. You will find cans of coconut milk on my shelf. Pineapples and apples bought out of season. The occasional guilt free bag of cookies.
My Facebook feed is daily filled with news and memes from every angle and side of the nutritional world. Everyone is right. Everyone has facts to back them up. Eating animals is ruining the world and your health! We are made to eat meat! Don’t eat these things! Eat this!
I am often amazed at the fervor people have around food and diet. People who can’t get up the passion to go vote have tons to say about some aspect of nutrition. Ask me a nutritional question and I can get going. My chef friends and I can talk about food and nutrition for hours. I get really amazed at the anger, shaming, and hate that can get stirred up! People who don’t eat animals out of a strong moral sense of loving kindness can get pretty vicious and hateful towards a meat eater. Meat eaters can say some terrible things about vegans. There is bullying from all walks. It’s so good to be able to laugh at ourselves but I see some not very good natured “jokes” and people being shamed.
Let’s call in the world of Eating Psychology. Our focus is on the emotional, psychological, and spiritual nature of nutrition. We want people to eat a good balance of nutrients, eat high quality food and eat it with joy in a slow relaxed way. It doesn’t matter whether people are vegetarians or eat meat. Eat with love, with respect, and with gratitude. A person can eat what they consider to be the most ethical meal in the world but if she is angry, bitter, self righteous, etc., she won’t digest it properly. It won’t end up being to her highest good and over time leads to discomfort and disease.
We can disagree and coexist. We can educate people by example. What we eat is so very personal. I know in my own life, no amount of bullying and shaming helped me lose weight or eat “better”. Certainly, being laughed at didn’t make any pounds disappear, or decide to change my diet.
Let’s just remember that along with protein, carbohydrates, and fat, we also need love and respect. No matter where your food comes from, be grateful you have enough food to eat. Relish it and appreciate it with all your senses. Take some time and help out those who are hungry and thirsty.
I am sharing this blog post with http://www.ethicalomnivore.org, an international group of activists and educators, wanting the world to know who is working hard to change our food system and what is being done. If you are reading this on that site, please come visit me at http://charitydasenbrock.com.