Food Unites, Diets Divide
So, you’re a veganvegetarian/raw/pescatarian/kosher/carnivore/freegan/natural eater. Or, maybe you aren’t doing any diet right now, but you’ve declared one of these labels as “you” in the past. Did you ever hear this:
“But, you’re a [insert label here], so, you can’t have this, right?”
“They’re not a [insert label here]. They ate [whatever] for lunch. They’re faking it.”
Maybe you didn’t hear this one, but thought your friends were saying it behind your back (or maybe you said it behind the backs of others).
Why all the hoop-lah over what goes in your body? Why does everyone seem to care as soon as you, for whatever reason, come to the conclusion that your diet needs to change, and adopt one of these labels as your new dietary regime?
I, for one, believe that what you choose to put into your body is quite important. Food is energy, connecting us to our own bodies, to our communities, and to our sacred home, Earth. I believe that one’s own body is the only entity that can decide what is good and what is not-so-good for one’s body to consume. It is important to cultivate a loving relationship with your body if you wish to be able to listen to your body when it’s trying to tell you something.
I object to the idea that there is one dietary regime that is right for everyone; just like most people object the idea that one government regime should rule the world. I reject the strict rules of say, a vegan diet, that people feel the need to adhere to due to societal pressure. Instead of recognizing food as a basic necessity for all life that connects everything and everyone, we get lost in the labels, arguing with one another. There are entire tumblrs dedicated to hating on vegans, just as there are entire tumblrs dedicated to praising a vegan lifestyle. Just like there are entire armies of people fighting and entire armies to fight against them. We all get lost in all the hoop-lah behind labels.
We need to get out of the regime and start becoming free thinkers and self-aware eaters. No diet can tell you what’s ethical or moral or not. Palm oil is not an animal product, but the demand destroys the habitat of this poor orangutan. Just like how the paper for KFC’s cardboard was destroying tiger territory. We have a duty to educate ourselves and make our own decisions, to listen to the mind as well as the body when it comes to eating.
Just as listening to the mind and body are important, so is tuning into the spirit. My resilient spirit, which never gives up hope on peace and unity, yearns to dig my hands in the soil and reap the fruit of my labor. My spirit searches for purpose and meaning in the current tides of change, remembering another time, a time when pleasure and doing what needed to be done were married as one. A time in no time where and when eating is a joyous act of creation and celebration of nature.
“To the extent that people separate themselves from nature, they spin out further and further from the center. At the same time, a centripetal effect asserts itself and the desire to return to nature arises. But if people merely become caught up in reacting, moving to the left or to the right, depending on conditions, the result is only more activity. The nonmoving point of origin, which lies outside the realm of relativity, is passed over, unnoticed.” (The One Straw Revolution, Masanobu Fukuoka)
Our bodies are a part of nature, trying to achieve equilibrium. When we over acidify ourselves with sugar, meat, and dairy, our bodies have to work hard, trying to restore balance. On the other hand, eating living food helps support the body’s natural systems for health. After all, it’s natural to be healthy. Disease and disorder rates haven’t always been this high—in fact, I’m sure at some point they were nonexistent.
Now that we have achieved abundance as humanity, let us work on cultivating our own health so we can prosper together. To me, this means propagating love and generosity with gardens and farms. Collectively acting to co-create a blossoming future, we can remember how to take care of ourselves, each other, and our home, Earth.