Time to Step Up to the Plate: Does Our Food Reflect Our Morals? ~ Dan Foster

Via elephant journal
on May 7, 2013
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Source: carrotsformichaelmas.com via citrusholly on Pinterest

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 FosterDan 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




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6 Responses to “Time to Step Up to the Plate: Does Our Food Reflect Our Morals? ~ Dan Foster”

  1. Kara says:

    Thank you, Dan, for the excellent reminder…

  2. cpregno says:

    Hi Dan,

    I wholeheartedly agree with your opinions about about eating fast food and other poorly or inhumanely raised and grown food. And good for you that you have chosen for yourself to be a vegan and are committed to helping others to feel as good as you do. Sure, people should be more aware and there should be better choices for people who have limited budgets but I am put off by your premise that people who do not act as you do are immoral. In fact, I think far too many yogis (me included) might consider that there are other ways to bring value to the world and other paths that can benefit the planet besides the ones we have chosen.

  3. quincy says:

    A Yogi that is saying that he chooses to continue one immoral act as long as he practices some other moral / compassionate act to cancel out a selfish self centered unnecessary act that he enjoys . LOL ! Reminds me of priests that molest children but think it's Okay because they feed the poor . A true moral leader would know that killing and using a fellow living been when there is no necessity is always immoral . As usual religion being held up as a shield of bogus authority to protect excuses . What a waste of air .

  4. Dan Foster says:

    Thank you for your time, both read and responding. I would simply like to comment that I am not calling anyone immoral, let alone that they are immoral if they act not as I do. I even offered up an open-ended version of "morals" because my whole point was to invoke thought among people, to have them apply their own sense (not mine) of morals to their plate. I even stated "I am not trying to tell you where to place your values," People are welcomed to act as they please, I do not look at those who think differently than me as immoral. Morals have no right or wrong because they are self contained, within each of us. I hope this clarifies my view, and if not, I still thank you for your time and effort. Take care and shine on.

  5. Dan Foster says:

    Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I would like to point out that not eveyone is a yogi who feels the same moral pull as yogis. Also, morals are self-contained, not a right or wrong, but a personally held belief. Allowing yourself to transition to a more healthy lifestyle does not always mean you are acting immorally. for instance…I tried to just stop drinking soy milk because I didnt feel it was the best for me. However, it wasnt until I switched my thoughts to adding more almond milk, that my soy milk consumption decreased. I do not think I was continuing an "immoral" act by continuing to drink that soy milk. Also, yoga is not a religion, nor am I religious. Thank you for your feedback, I hope this cleared it up for you.

  6. Dan Foster says:

    Hi Max, thanks for your time. I read your last statement as saying you think there should be no standards or morals considered when it comes to eating, that there should be no standards on how the animals are killed as long as food is "healthy"…that we shouldnt judge the fact they spray poison on the plants, we should just either eat it or dont eat it and say nothing. I fear that you missed the point of my article, that it was not for me to tell you how to eat. It was for each person to sit down and figure out what their morals are (not the morals I have) and figure out if they are eating accordingly. I never suggested that if you cant find food to meet your morals you should starve to death. However, I think if I was in a 3rd world country where I could hardly feed my family, that my morals would be more formed around providing for my children and doing whatever was necessary to help my kids grow than GMO's and animal treatment, so I would still be eating within my moral code. When I have multiple options to feed my kids and help them grow I can then take on more moral considerations. This is why I wasnt trying to tell people what their morals should be, and even said that specifically, because every person makes their own choices based on their own information. I simply suggested people ask themselves if their morals matched their plate, not if their plate matched anyone else morals. I hope this clears it up for you, and I again thank you for your time.