Food choices

 

But before we cede the entire moral penthouse to “committed vegetarians” and “strong ethical vegans,” we might consider that plants no more aspire to being stir-fried in a wok than a hog aspires to being peppercorn-studded in my Christmas clay pot. This is not meant as a trite argument or a chuckled aside. Plants are lively and seek to keep it that way. The more that scientists learn about the complexity of plants — their keen sensitivity to the environment, the speed with which they react to changes in the environment, and the extraordinary number of tricks that plants will rally to fight off attackers and solicit help from afar — the more impressed researchers become, and the less easily we can dismiss plants as so much fiberfill backdrop, passive sunlight collectors on which deer, antelope and vegans can conveniently graze. It’s time for a green revolution, a reseeding of our stubborn animal minds.
– from Sorry, Vegans: Brussels Sprouts Like to Live, Too by Natalie Angier, New York Times

Albert Schweitzer had a good take on this: No matter what we eat, someone or something dies, so we are in debt to life. The question is, how do we pay this by back? How do we serve life?

When I make my own food, I try to eat local, organic and lower on the food chain. Although I do eat meat at times, and I will eat anything I am served by others. For me, it is more about quantities than absolutes. And I have tried to pay back through several years of work in sustainability (local, solution focused, partnership oriented, using guidelines such as the ecological footprint and The Natural Step). And now, more through offering free Breema bodywork and low-cost classes.

There is no need for us to try to justify our food choices, because no matter what we eat, we take life. But there is a need an invitation for us to make the kindest and wisest food choices possible, individually and as a society. What serves life best? What is delicious, nutritious, good for the local economy, good for ecosystems, good for future generations, reduces suffering as much as possible, and practical? How can we organize ourselves so these choices are also the easy, fun, and attractive choices? Many people work on this, and there are many good examples out there (such as CSA farms), so I won’t go into details here.

It is also good to keep in mind the larger picture:

Life eats life. Nutrients cycle from one organism to another, as part of the metabolism of the larger system – of ecosystems and the Earth. And we eat and consume in many other ways as well, as individuals and society, including energy, materials, information and more. It is all part of the metabolism of the Earth.

So the question then is how we do it. How can we consume in ways that benefits ourselves and the larger whole? In the short and long term? And this and future generations?

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– life eats life
— nutrients cycle from one organism to another, part of the metabolism of the larger system – of ecosystems and the earth
– no need to try to justify our actions, no need to feel especially proud about our particular food habits
– also, try to make the kindest, wisest choices (eat lower on the food chain, local, organic etc.)
– we are in debt to life, so can aim at giving back (Schweizer)
– in my case, eat very little meat when make my own food, but will eat anything served me (eating local + low on food chain, less ef + less suffering for animals)
— also, eat/consume in many other ways, food is just one (energy, materials, information etc.) – the same questions there, not very different from what we usually call food

…………..

Life eats life. Nutrients cycle from one organism to another, as part of the metabolism of the larger system – of ecosystems and the Earth. And we eat and consume in many other ways as well, as individuals and society, including energy, materials, information and more. It is all part of the metabolism of the Earth.

And yet, there is the question of how we do it. How can we consume in ways that benefits ourselves and the larger whole? In the short and long term? And this and future generations?

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