Conscious eating

Rather than ‘going vegan’ we should eat consciously

14th October 2016

I have been consuming a vegan and organic diet for the past two years. I made the decision for ethical reasons due to my concerns with the mistreatment of animals in the meat and dairy industry as well as the strain that animal agriculture and chemicals have on the environment.

Initially this was a relaxed decision, however as the years have gone by I am finding it increasingly difficult to eat meat, dairy or non-organic food.

Eating a vegan diet has an interesting learning curve.  One has to meet all their nutritional requirements without meat or dairy sources.  It’s not impossible but it does take some careful choices and a clear understanding of the nutrients we need and in what foods they are found.  It also requires listening to your body and noticing when things aren’t quite right.

I’ve noticed that I depend on  lots of ‘exotic’ ingredients that aren’t sourced locally.  Things like hemp seeds, chia seeds and Spirulina.  In fact most of my protein sources like chickpeas, kidney beans, quinoa and lentils are not sourced locally.  It has me wondering if I am creating a bigger carbon footprint than if I just ate locally sourced ingredients which might include meat and dairy.

The point is that if it were proven that my carbon footprint was larger than if I ate locally sourced foods I would reconsider my choices.  Which brings me back to the aversion I have eating meat, dairy or non-organic food.  Have I become identified with being vegan?  Does it give me satisfaction to say ‘I’m vegan’?  Do I think I am better than others and judge them because they aren’t vegan?  Being identified with veganism is of little benefit as it means that I have become closed to new information and defensive about my opinions.

That’s why I believe that eating consciously is most important.  It’s not about making judgements or identifications, its about acting for the greatest good.

In every truth the opposite is equally true. That is to say, any truth can only be expressed and put into words when it is one-sided. Everything that can be thought with the mind and said with words is one-sided, it’s all just the half of it, lacking completeness, roundness, or unity.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse