Thursday, July 14, 2016

Food Fight?

Oh the Veganity! 
Okay after last week's Goodness First water article, you got water (you as in the human race from now until the end of time, or at least until the extinction of intelligent life on Earth).  Next, we gotta get you (same you as above) some food...and not just any old food; you deserve delicious, nutritious, ethical, satisfying, economical, and wholly sustainable food!  Sounds like a tall order, alas the solution is quite simple and quite doable for an entire planet of hungry humans.

Solution Prime: a vegan lifestyle for every person.  Hands down as a whole veganism is the most globally sustainable, economical and ethical option for feeding billions of humans.  Our inherited culture of food will buck this declaration like a steer looking a butcher's knife in the eye.  Nevertheless, the overall ethical, economic, and environmental factors favor veganism by a magnitude.  Deliciousness and nutritiousness is simply a matter of designing plant based foods, and as necessary synthesized nutrients, to meet our needs. With a bit of skillful preparation and aesthetic presentation amazing vegan snacks and meals await you every day!

Argue with me if you like, but I having been a vegan now for more than two years, I am the proof in the plant based pudding! I've never felt healthier in my life.  I've been able to find create diverse, delicious meals. And I feel better for being one seven billionth of the solution to reducing human impact on the environment not to mention reducing overall abuse of thinking creatures of the Earth. And did I mention I run a lower cost food budget too!

Still, there are challenges to be faced if you take on veganism.  There are plenty of vegan recipes out there, plenty of guidance to ensure you are fully healthy in your selection of plant based foods, plenty of mock carnivore foods to satisfy your comfort food addictions and even vegan groups to assist with the social challenge of striving toward being a successful vegan.

The greatest challenge in my experience has been the reception by friends, family and our denialist culture, in general.  Perhaps, relaying some of my struggles can ease your transition.  Foremost, always rest assured the evidence backs veganism as being the most sustainable, ethical, and environmentally friendly food world view out there currently.

Nevertheless, you may struggle internally and externally when all your omnivore friends order a pizza or subs to be social or select a seafood or steakhouse as a celebration venue.  Inside your head you will be chanting "dairy is abuse juice," "oceanic overfishing" and "meat is the flesh of teenage slave animals" but it will do little to help the cause to slam this in your friends' faces.  Their behavior is indoctrinated deeply, as it was for myself from birth and for decades.  They very well may scream bloody murder like a dairy cow having her calves pulled away from her if you even suggest they do without their bacony, eggy and cheesey addictions.  So what is a mindful vegan to do?

Hard as it may be, we must walk the gradual course of perseverance and kindness.  I suggest planning delicious vegan meals and inviting your friends over.  Nothing wins someone over quite like evidence in their mouth. I've had success with meatless sloppy joes, vegan lasagna and plenty of straight forward plant based stir-fries.  Vegan restaurants are popping up everywhere as demand rises, so consider volunteering them as venues for celebrations and gatherings in general.  True foodies will want to explore the growing offerings of these vegan bistros!

Perhaps, most important is being patient. We all are on a journey and shared information can sadly take its time to register in people's minds.  So when you are eating lunch across from an omnivore, keep a kind conversation rolling. When mention of food comes up, there will often be an opportunity to share some of the benefits of vegan food, but also any struggles or tipping points that you had to work through to get closer to becoming vegan.  Planting seeds works much better than planting judgmental landmines.  In the end the path of that person across from you may just benefit from the subtlest of nudges, in time.

Praise FSM! May His Hearts Be Ever Meatless!
Indeed, it will be a long-- I'm talking centuries long-- battle to win over the masses toward vegan value based thinking.  Certainly, eating is in its own right can be a religion, and as the Flying Spaghetti Monster knows, relinquishing ones spiritual traditions, even when they do harm to yourself, others and the planet as a whole, is quite tough. Alas, keep fighting the good fight, knowing deep down that as time goes by your efforts will encourage more and more people to choose the sensible humane path ever moving the world toward a global vegan society.

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