There are times in life when one must put down their ego, and pick up their values.
There are times in life when one must transition from I “should” move towards representing my values with every action I take; and replace it with I “must.” There are times when you catch a quick glimpse of something you don’t want to see; so you look away, only to now see it everywhere.
Times change, things change and our personal practices and procedures need to change accordingly. The aforementioned briefly sums up my decision to transition from having grown up with meat in every meal (and sometimes snacks) to being a vegan. I sometimes wonder, if the meat was the same as when I was a kid (I’m only 30) if I would have ever been blessed by going vegan.
I grew up in the middle of Indiana with meatloaf, corn on the cob and deviled eggs being among my favorite foods. When most people think Indiana, they think farmland. This is a political truth, meaning it’s only true on the surface. You would think that the meatloaf, corn on the cob and deviled eggs that are consumed in the area I grew up in were from Indiana, but most of the time this is not the case.
Although cows, chickens, and corn all do well in Indiana, I can count on one hand the number of people I know that source more than one of those things in-town, or even in-state. Most of the corn is grown for cows, which the cows must be so pleased they no longer have to shuck the corn off the stalks like the good ‘ole days in the wild. Beyond the fact that cows aren’t meant to eat corn, the corn isn’t even natural corn. Almost all of the corn is a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) and is made by the same people that make Round-Up pesticides; foods which have been banned in many countries throughout the world.
Most of the food that people choose to eat is either fast food or chain restaurants.
The problem with these is that there is very low and negligent oversight on the treatment, health and destruction of the animals for consumption. I believe this to be the result of the consumer being too many people away from the source of the food; it allows for too much distribution of blame and lack of accountability on a moral level.
If you eat fast food and/or major chains; you are definitively and provocatively supporting outrageous and gross abuse of animals for your consumption. There is no way around it, it’s not rumor, its public knowledge; but they bank on people either not caring or not looking. Chickens with their beaks cut off while young, packed so tight they can’t move, never seeing light, pumped full of anti-biotics, genetically modified, stomped, thrown, diseased, etc.
These are just some of the horrendous examples of things you are supporting with your dollar when eating at these places. Stop eating there! It sounds simple, but if you spend your dollar based on your values, and not the price value they offer….I assure you they will adjust or people who will surely find a middle ground with price and values.
How do I know this will work?
It’s the way it used to work before our ego got so absorbed into thinking food was a social outing or an inconvenience for our day. I firmly believe many of our “problems” everyone talks about is based on the way we fuel ourselves.
If you find gas on a 99 cent menu, you may question what’s in the gas to make it that cheap; why not ask the same thing about our food? Why are we not demanding our children are being raised on a foundation of quality food made with quality ingredients?
Changing beliefs is where the real change takes place. Your beliefs are what dictate your chosen actions and the actions are what people visibly recognize as change. Since changing beliefs is really the work of change, set your beliefs and then let your dollar and decisions be reflected by your beliefs.
If you trace where your money (decisions) went, would you be proud of the belief system they use to provide you meat?
I would encourage everyone to sit down, especially families, and discuss what the limits are for you morally; and then decide where you are going to draw the line. I am not trying to tell you where to place your values, and I suppose maybe there are some people out there who morally aren’t opposed to any of the tortuous and unhealthy meats they eat; but I think most would certainly draw the line somewhere very encompassing.
It is a great opportunity for a person, or family, to start feeling peace and substance to their belief system as they begin to fully act on personal beliefs and not on whom we wish we were or who we ignore we are. I am not talking about trying to get everyone to go vegan; but, I cannot grasp how someone who claims to “love meat” allows and financially supports such horrible tasting, horribly produced and ethically questionable meat, let alone eats it.
Instead of ignoring the information you have seen and/or wondered about as you continue to feed your growing child this fast food garbage; why not stand up for change and stand up for values, be your child’s hero in a new way and tell them that your family believes all animals and people should be treated certain ways, and that we should only put healthy things into our body. Let them go to school and spread that word, watch and be proud as your child lives out the values you set forth.
We live in a day and age where we seem to look for school, sports, daycares, and society to show our children what’s right and wrong; this one’s for you parents, step up, you pay for the food that child eats, you are responsible for the health of your child and should feel a tug of a moral compass to raise a child with values.
Just remember, as famously quoted, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
Dan Foster is a specialty diet chef and speaker, who incorporates principles of yoga and nutrient cultivation into a vast array of culinary training and experience. He is a certified Le Cordon Bleu chef who completed the predominately wheat-based school gluten free and has taken the gourmet techniques to the raw/vegan stage. His true passions lie in helping others realize, and reach, their full potential through optimal eating habits and awakening the body’s sense of self monitoring. For more information or to connect with Dan, visit his website or find him on Facebook.
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Asst. Editor: Edith Lazenby/Ed: Bryonie Wise