So for almost two years I have been vegetarian, and for about 3 months I have been a “transitioning” vegan. I decided to do this not so much for the animals, but to stop supporting the meat and dairy industry. This industry alone is the cause of many of our environmental and social issues. They are hurting our small scale farmers by demanding land be used to grow corn and soy to feed the animals, they are one of the main contributors to world hunger since the meat industry requires so many resources which take away from the production of food that could actually feed more people, and don’t get me started on the environmental problems. (If you are interested in learning more about this, just go on netflix and start binge watching all of their food documentaries… or just bring it up to me and be ready for an hour long rant.. sorry, but not sorry)
Vegan seems to be the new trend these days. My friends like to say “You know when someone is vegan because they will tell you in the first ten minutes of meeting them”. Yeah, I’m totally guilty of this, and I’m not even a full on vegan, my week days are, but my weekends are filled with cheese pizza and not the soy cheese type. During this transition time, I started to notice myself getting so caught up in this idea of how “trendy” and “cool” it was to be vegan, so much so that I totally lost sight of my reason for doing it. So I have decided to ditch vegan and try a new thing and that is just simply, mindful eating.
Mindful eating is the idea of paying attention to what you are eating. Sounds simple, right? But let me explain something… Every time you eat a chocolate chip cookie, you are not just eating a chocolate chip cookie. You are eating flour (probably overly processed and bleached four), sugar (also probably overly processed), eggs (most likely not chosen from your local farm), milk (also most likely not taken from that local family cow, and most definitely over processed), chocolate (probably harvested using slave labor), oh and then you have all the food dye and preservatives. So now, by just buying and eating that seemingly simple chocolate chip cookie you have supported the exploitation of animals in the diary industry, the processed food industry, and slave labor… When you start to look at what you are eating in that way, you gain a new perspective on your food and start to realize how every buying decision you make really affects the world you are living in. Instead, maybe make your own chocolate chip cookies from scratch with local eggs, farm milk of mylk alternatives, and use maple syrup, ground almond flour, and fair trade chocolate chips. Yes, it may be extra work, but I would say it’s worth it…
It’s time we all start to put our money where our mouth is… If we don’t want GMO crops, don’t buy soy based or corn based foods that are almost always (http://www.fooddialogues.com/foodsource/gmo/what-percentage-of-u.s.-crops-are-gmo) genetically modified. If you want companies to stop using chemical pesticides on produce, buy organic. If you want our food system to be more locally based, start buying locally grown food. If you don’t want companies to use slave labor, buy fair trade. If you don’t want animals to be treated poorly, don’t buy meat or diary products. We all know money talks, so why aren’t we using it? The big corporations are, why can’t we?
Mindful eating could be our answer, it could be our chance to really make a change in our own life and the world around us. Are you in?