Stick a fork in me. I’m done. I’m done cooking animals for myself. There are 6 reasons. Here they are:
- It feels good to feel good. Consumption of animal protein increases risk of cancer as well as other diseases. Forks Over Knives and the China Study make this clear. While you’re at it, you might as well see Fed Up and get the whole, sad picture of food in this country.
- I love my dog. I was a vegetarian from 13-19 for similar reasons. Today I look in his face and can’t draw the line that allows me to eat other sentient beings without guilt.
- I’m tired of the lies. The USDA and Dairy Association recommendations are driven by short term economics masquerading as health advice. It’s costing us all dearly – physically, environmentally, and in unintended costs of disease management (aka healthcare). Consumers lose while pharmaceutical companies win. The lies about nutrition – protein and calcium especially – are laid bare in research NOT underwritten by meat and dairy producers. See #1.
- No one has to be hungry. Here is Mark Bittman, making sense of hunger and poverty. Whole food, plant-based eating won’t solve poverty, but it will solve the food supply issue.
- I can cook. Every day we have more access to beautiful ingredients locally. Thank you community gardens, farmers markets, and Whole Foods for giving us food and education too. Soon we’ll know enough to level the playing field between healthy food and the garbage our Federal Government subsidizes. Technology gives us access to a plethora of creative global cuisine ideas now also. My mom was flummoxed about what to feed me 30 years ago. Today, it’s relatively easy. Without knowing it, I’ve been training for this moment in the kitchen for years.
- Gorgeous vegans. Does it ever happen to you that many people come into your life, saying the same thing, in many different ways until you can hear it? Thanks to clients, yoga teachers, friends, family, and strangers who have shared their learning along the way, in kind and nonjudgmental ways (e.g., Marni Task, Ana Papakian, Alexis Abramson, Lisa Acho Remorenko, Kristin Kaelber, Kathryn Edelman). It doesn’t hurt the message that they happen to have clear eyes, glowing skin, and toned bodies.
I don’t judge you either. If you want a burger, please enjoy it. If you’re cooking for family, I know that getting them down to 5% animal protein is a challenge. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it. And if you ever cook for me, I’ll gladly accept the gift without dietary constraints.
But, what I do want is for everyone to have access to the truth about nutrition and health. We’ve been in the dark in this country for far too long. Our way of eating is not empathetic – to animals, to future generations, or even to ourselves…we just don’t realize it.
Photo: Tuscan Ribollita; If you’d like the recipe, let me know!
You have not yet convinced me to give up meat. But you have gotten me thinking about what empathy looks like when it comes to food. Thank you for this post. I will do some research and get back to you.
Terrific post Jackie! I would add that, for reasons that you list, we can become more mindful of our meals, too. Preparing our food for ourselves or to share, making nourishing meals that look, smell and taste delectable, and eating slowly and consciously will also support our health and wellbeing.
Absolutely. Thanks for reading and commenting Kevin.