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I think I am an Ethitarian...

2008 was a hard year for me. It was also a year that yielded many, many gifts, some of which required some bravery to accept. Having accepted, I find that further courage is needed to actually live those gifts. And so with 2009 upon us, I am feeling open (a wee bit scared), ready to engage and ready to try new things.

One thing I'm engaging at a deeper level is my food activism. I've talked quite a bit about that work here, so I won't repeat my reasons for switching to vegetarianism (and locavorism when possible) 16 months ago but I will say that it's been a rewarding choice for me. I know it's not a choice that is going to suit everyone and I respect that. Our food choices are very personal and are sacred. They have impact, both inside and outside our bodies, and are equally impacted by countless factors.

I have been thinking about my food choices lately and because I have been spouting off about it for so very long, I have decided to try veganism. I have long wondered if eating vegan would further my food activism goals - and to be honest, I really have no idea. I have a dear friend coming to visit in a week who has recently become vegan. So in solidarity with her and as a grand experiment, I am giving up animal products for at least two weeks.

I have a lot of questions (concerns?) about this. Is this choice sustainable for me given my time and resources? Will I actually end up eating more processed foods or foods with higher carbon-footprints? Will I get enough calcium and iron? Can I be vegan without massively upping my soy intake (which for my body is not a good idea)? Will folks find me to be even more of a pain in the ass to eat with then they do now? And most pressing, can I actually live without half and half? ;>)

In talking about it with my roommate I really think that I am more of an Ethitarian. I want to eat as ethically as is possible and I don't think there is a quick fix for that desire. I also don't believe that vegetarianism, veganism or any other eating lifestyle has all the answers. Who knows what will feel most sustainable to me? Each piece of food is different and has it's own impact and history. I don't think I'll be able to step away from the accountability of learning that history and trying to make balanced choices - even as a vegan.

However, it's fun to think about. It makes grocery shopping that much more time consuming as I stand and pour over labels in even more detail but it's exciting to engage a core value at a new level.

I'll let you know how it goes (all yummy vegan recipes welcome here!)

May 2009 kiss your life with passionate joy...


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
Much passionate joy and kissing life, indeed (and yes, I do intend to give life tongue, and get it, too)

I do so admire your passion and commitment to your ethics, as well as your ongoing questioning and re-examination of same. Dogma in any area leads to bad outcomes, I've noted, and balance is always an ongoing moving work in progress.

I was eating some roasted peanuts in the shell today, and a little voice inside my head said, "every one of those nuts is a seed that didn't get to sprout." Which is true. Also true is that the peanuts were quite delicious, and nutritious, and I choose to survive, which is inevitably to consume other life and transform that life into some other form. I might as well say that every molecule of oxygen I breathe and exhale as CO2 deprives some other being of that precious breath, which in one sense is perhaps true, but in a wider sense it all fits into the system of change and transformation. And so I love the label of Ethitarian -- the most important thing, it seems to me, is to examine the systems of which we are a part, and be intentional about our choices. And I love that you are doing that.
Jan. 2nd, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you darlin'...I applaud your choice to french life and welcome its response - as should we all.

I have to give credit where credit is due...my roommate tarirocks handed me the label "ethitarian" last night (though it certainly may be being used elsewhere, I had not heard it). I kept using "ethivore" and she thought ethitarian was catchier.

Please tell me those peanuts weren't all you had for lunch today. *looks stern...no I mean really stern - like ominously stern!!!!*
Jan. 2nd, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Do you know trevia? She is often posting yummy looking vegan recipes.
Jan. 2nd, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm not sure I do know trevia but the name sounds familiar for some reason. Was she at Feri camp last June?
Jan. 5th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
What an exciting leap for you -- I wish you good luck and good health as you set out on your vegan excursion!
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks! You're vegetarian month was part of what inspired me to finally give it a try.

So far it's okay. I don't love it. And I miss my half and half. In fact, I am finding it hard to enjoy coffee at all and I've tried almond, soy, and rice milk.

I'm going to try to give it a full month to see if my body really likes it - and I need to sit down and evaluate if I'm really having an impact or just suffering for nothing. :)
Jan. 5th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
I admire your choice and your commitment to the trial, Jen. Good Work =)

You did say that you thought veganism might be the key to giving up coffee; are you willing to go there all at once? I do enjoy black coffee -- but only when I can't have cream! I would choose tea a lot more often if it weren't for the cows. Would your craving for luscious wonderment be satisfied by some truly amazing tea?

*raising a glass to you*
(water, in fact...)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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