I was nervous about publishing my last post regarding the moral dilemma many of us face at sometime in our joyful, food-filled existences: to eat or to not eat meat?
That IS the question.
But your responses were AMAZING! Please, if you have five minutes, I encourage you to go to the comments section and read everyone’s personal stories + views about this very topic. Everyone’s comments were well-thought-out, informative and unique to their own life circumstances, which serves as a reminder of what each of us need to do: find an eating style that works for YOU.
I have to admit there was one comment in particular that really moved me, forcing me to think further about food issues beyond the familiar Western, developed nations most of us live in:
I hope you are well..
I read have read a lot about natural hygeine ,veganism, fruitarianism .. I also live in South Africa, my mom’s from the Eastern Cape where the Xhosa tribe originates.. Xhosas are known to be very enthusiastic meat eaters, slaughtering sheep or chicken in honour of a guest is common practice and is the greatest honour you can bestow on anyone .. My mom grew up raising sheep , naming them and at somestage those sheep would be slaughtered and eaten at celebrations..
My dad’s side of the family are in the northern Limpopo Province , and even venison from gazelles, zebra or elephant is not that uncommon.. so I must be honest that I am having a hard time seeing a moral issue where the happiness of an animal is an issue when it comes to eating an animal reared with appropriate care for that purpose .. the me the issue is more about the morality of the owners of those animals- are they cruel- beating them or starving them? are they careless leaving them in the cold? are they slaughtered with inexpert hands causing unecessary pain and distress? ..
I love dogs, we always have had them, well treated and loved, but eating an animal would never make me feel like I was doing something morally questionable or make me feel that I had betrayed animal-kind (especially beacuse my dogs will often kill other small animals in our yard and not necessarily out of hunger-as they are well fed). However, rewarding a cruel person or supporting inhumane practices would be a moral issue for me. I would feel that those same people are likely to be cruel to other humans and that is what really gets me, and lets face it- it is possible to concern oneself more with the question of moral/humane treatment of other humans because that has implication for less comfortable than the decision of lamb or lentils for lunch…
… it’s an interesting and important debate that unfortunately is not a high priority where food scarcity is a bigger problem than its abundance and abuse (although that is also happening in the wealthier classes- being overweight is desirable and even beautiful in the poorer communities, it’s like wearing all your gold and diamonds on you to show your wealth).
At some point i seperated my egg whites and yolks,chucking the yolks (trying to emulate the clean eating lifestyle) .. that created a bigger conflict in me because everytime I did it I rememebered that there are people who go hungry all around me (I stopped it as an unecessary and extravagant practice) I suppose we each must never violate our consciences especially over the question of food or drink..
That movie Avatar shows a brilliant balance on these issues: “sawubona”..is a Zulu greeting, it means “I see you” and has been used for centuries.. and whilst we don’y call animals brother or sister we see them, their beauty as well as their place in the world..Traditionally, they are valued, as a part of the emotional, spiritual and commercial currency and cared for a s aresult.
Reading these blogs makes me thinlk a lot about the things that I take for granted as well as the things i struggle with.. thanks for making the time to write about your life and your thoughts!
(PS” my 80 year old Great Aunt plays foot ball with other grannies (yes, it’s true!) she lives on a simple diet of corn meal, homegrown vegetables, groundnuts, mopani worms and once in a while some meat if she can afford it..she is stong, not a hint of senility or arthritis or anything… my other gran still hoes the ground, and applies musky dung to her compound floors , on her hands and knees, she is so physically strong and also eats so simply- it’s us townies with “sugar” (diabetes etc..).. so I am slowly going more vegan and loving the process!
Thank you Nguni Girl in Africa for reminding us in the U.S. and other developed nations how lucky we are to have the options we do! I hope you don’t mind me posting this comment .
And I am pretty sure you may have the coolest grandma + great aunt ever.
I couldn’t find an easy transition from that topic.
In other words, I am going to roll with a pretty picture of yesterday’s breakfast…
1/2 cup oats
1 cup water
1 egg (scrambled in)
1/2 cup blueberries
vanilla NuNaturals stevia drops
1/2 banana bread muffin
Justin’s Maple Almond Butter packet
Speaking of banana bread muffins, I’ve been averaging about three of these a day…
Because I leave to hike my heart out in Canada with Susan in four days (!!!), I’ve been eating up my fridge and am determined not to go grocery shopping before I leave.
Hence why I needed to demolish this spinach + artichoke hummus container clean…
Done and done.
I’ve been making my way through my jar of peanut butter, this time pairing it with a sweet potato which I poked with a fork and microwaved for five minutes. The microwave method isn’t as good as an actual baked sweet potato, but it does the job in a pinch.
This morning, it was PB+J toast, berries and a serving of a to-do list for good measure…
I’m not going to get into my hate to love affair with to-do lists, but right now – I NEED MY TO-DO LIST! Without it, I’m not going to get through the rest of this month with my sanity intact.
The month of June is crazy.
Crazy fun, but crazy nonetheless.
This weekend –> Minnesota
1 1/2 days to prep for Banff –> including: finish an approximately 10-hour freelance project, plan a dinner party and celebrate Brett’s birthday
BANFF, CANADA –> hiking + camping with Susan for an entire week (!!!)
Father’s Day Weekend –> go wherever Daddy Everythingtarian is
A couple important work events –> some traveling required
Other upcoming trips –> Chicago, back to Minnesota, Colorado (to move-in my lil’ sister to college!)
Yes, I have not one free weekend until the end of July.
Let’s do it up.
And for the record, I am still listening to this song on repeat.