‘Eat more fruits and veggies’ or ‘you are what you eat’- these are generalized statements that many are starting to take seriously today. Personally, I’m a strict vegetarian, part-time vegan (sorry, but pizza needs cheese). But this post isn’t about what to eat or an argument for herbivores versus carnivores, nor is this about statistics, research, or terminology. The plant-based diet revolution is becoming mainstream, and this post is about getting to the root of such trend. And the root of it is simply this: a plant based diet speaks to humanity’s truth, to my original religion of non-violence, to my state of peace.
The Bottom Line
When I eat cautiously and consciously, with the heart and mind fully engaged, I can take care of what’s on my plate and what I’m about to feed my body and how this might affect my surroundings. I’m aware of how I sustain both myself and my environment. Because at the end of the day, my body and my environment both directly affect me as a soul, as a sentient being on earth.
FYI, my journey to how I eat today didn’t happen overnight. Hence my preference for the term ‘plant-based’ (this allows the consumption of animal products but the emphasis and the majority is based on the sustenance from plants). Seven years ago, I liked the idea of becoming a vegan for health and beauty reasons mostly. But it wasn’t easy. Until finally, when I started a more regular meditation practice and began looking at my food from a more spiritual standpoint, that’s when I was able to implement the changes I wanted to make.
For the Love of Food!
I should also make a disclaimer here, I Love Food. I love to cook and I appreciate all the nuances that good food allows to be enjoyed. So I know firsthand what a good piece of rib-eye, or perfectly crunchy bit of bacon, or buttery lobster can do to the senses. I can also appreciate how an animal laden dish can bring about culture and history to one experience of the palate. I also know what it’s like to go through a pregnancy with no control over my body that was just craving dairy and red meats.
So my standpoint on food is, there aren’t really ‘one should eat like this or that’, rather, let’s examine what resonates with me most, let me try and experiment different ways to nourish myself. It’s actually much easier hygiene wise and cheaper to maintain a vegetarian kitchen. Not to mention, a vegetarian plate has more vibrant colors, aromas, and flavors!
Mother Nature’s Gifts
The reality is, to consume animal products for my sustenance, this means raising them in unnatural, challenging conditions and killing them for their products. Unlike plants which don’t squeal when you separate their young from their mothers, nor experience pain when they go through death. Plants are actually quite hearty and giving. They’re mother nature’s unconditional way of giving. Even top chefs recognize that the best pieces of meat come from animals raised happily, ideally, out in the wild, and killed in the least painful way. So unless I can afford such meats on my plate at every meal, think about what had to happen for the products to arrive on my plate and what kind of experiences went into the food I’m about to consume.
Too Much Information? Or Maybe It’s Time We Act On What We Know.
Now, more than ever, many of us are waking up to the idea that perhaps we have tipped the scales in abusing mother nature’s generosity. Perhaps, the many illnesses that plague the suffering of our bodies is from how I sustain it. Do I nourish my body with products that are aligned with my beliefs and my feelings? There’s a primal reason why slaughterhouses have thick walls and little windows.
Do I respect my body enough to be mindful of every piece of food I take in?
Time For A New Era
Yes, eating is habitual, it’s social, and it’s cultural. Eating is also the only act we can assert a more mindful practice on how to sustain these once in a lifetime gifts we’ve received as our bodies. So with all the information we have available to us today, it seems like this trending plant based diet is showing us that there’s a new way we can nourish ourselves, create different habits, socialize more conscientiously, and start a culture with Mother Nature in mind.
Personally, I find this to be quite an exciting time.