February 22, 2012

What Did Einstein, Gandhi & Benjamin Franklin All Have in Common?

What did Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and Benjamin Franklin all have in common?

A belief in the vegetarian diet.

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet”.  ~Albert Einstein

“The greatness of a nation…can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.  ~Mahatma Gandhi

“My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chided for my singularity, but, with this lighter repast, I made the greater progress, for greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension”.  ~Benjamin Franklin

From my journal last night:

“I’m reading The Kind Diet (by Alicia Silverstone) and now I can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because my homeboy starts his new job tomorrow which will be keeping him away from me for hours and hours a day. Maybe it’s because I turn thirty tomorrow. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been reading about the meat industry for the last 40 minutes and the sleepy sheep that usually count my zzz’s are popping up hormone-laced lamb chops.”

I don’t even want to be a vegetarian. I had never had any interest in giving up meat and always thought that it was so extreme. That is, until my yoga teacher training last year in Bali. Three weeks of a meat-free diet and countless hours of yoga left me feeling freer and lighter in my body than ever before. So I began “flirting” with a vegetarian diet. And over the last ten months I’d say we’ve stepped up our commitment. I go weeks without seeing beef. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a piece of pork on my table, and to be frank, I find animals that fly to be rather boring to the taste buds.  These land-dwellers have not been so hard to cut loose.

However, if it spent its days in the sea, somehow it will find a way to swim onto my plate every couple of days. Salmon Wellington is one of my favs, and I have a serious weakness for tongue and dumplings. That’s right, T-O-N-G-U-E, of the cow variety, stewed all day long in a sour cream sauce, served over white refined flour dumplings. I realize some of you may have just gagged or shot kombucha through your nose, but I can’t help it, I love it — I was brought up on this shit. For years it’s been the sure-fire way to get me and my brothers all over to my parents for dinner.

And I’m okay with that. I’m okay with the fact that I eat some meat. I don’t apologize for eating meat. So what the hell was keeping me up?

Fear. Fear of changing.

“attachment to bloodties and beliefs and desires and comforting habits…they seem to protect, but they imprison…they are your worst enemies, they make you afraid…patience expands your capacity to love and feel peace…be patient with the body’s desires”. ~ Rumi.

Does my body desire a meat free environment? Yes, I think it might.

Am I ready to make a serious shift in the way I eat? Yes, I think I am.

Am I ready to give it all up? I don’t really know.

Do I have any idea how to go about this? No, definitely not.

Will I need lots of help and guidance? Yes, absolutely.

Shawna, you’re thirty, can you believe it?  Ya, I think I can!

“To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana”.  ~Buddha


Editor: Brianna Bemel

Relephant bonus:

The World’s Greatest Geniuses are Vegetarians!

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