Tips For Mindful Choices on a Spiritual Path
(Original version of this article was published in The Edge Magazine)
PREFACE: This is not a blog post about vegan/vegetarianism but I do touch the subject. Whether you are currently a vegetarian or vegan, considering it or on a spiritual journey, it is important to recognize the power of our choice in what we consume. Conscious consumerism is a topic I teach and I am sure I will be blogging more about the other aspects of conscious consumerism but to keep this article short…lets focus a bit on food. If you do eat meat, keep reading! I give some tips on how to do so in a more mindful and loving way.
Have you ever walked up and down the meat aisle at a large chain grocery store and asked yourself “where do they keep all these chicken, cows, turkeys and pigs?” Here’s a staggering number for you. The largest chicken company in the U.S. processes 40,000,000 chickens a week. That is hardly a believable number, and those chicken most certainly live in small cages and are fed unnatural food and antibiotics to get them up to the optimal slaughter weight as fast as possible, so that the next week they can slaughter 40,000,000 more.
There is an incredible amount of evidence for the support of a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. We could go into living a life free of animal cruelty, the health aspect, or the humanitarian route. We could also spend time going over how vegetarian/vegan lifestyles are far more sustainable for our earth, and how we could feed more starving people considering over 70% of the worlds grain goes toward food for animals that are pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals. I will be scraping the surface of some of these topics, but the focus of this article will be on “conscious consumerism”, whether you are raw vegan or eat meat at every meal.
We should all know by now that the collective dollar holds an enormous amount of power. If everyone stopped going to Walmart for the reason of corporate ethics, the company would have to change how it does business or close its doors. There is power in our consumption.
But there is also a spiritual and karmatic power in our consumerism. To buy and eat meat from factory farms is telling the world that we are OK with consuming chemicals. We are OK with the cruel treatment of the animals. We are OK with the effects on the environment. We all support these things so long as we keep consuming meat and other factory foods,even the produce, for the cheapest price possible. The cheap prices come with a higher price tag then we realize.
As we continue to awaken and shift our consciousness as a society this will become more apparent as we can no longer claim ignorance to how and where our products come from. It is now a conscious choice to choose cruelty, chemicals, and death over life, light, and love. It’s time to be the change you want to see. It starts with you and your choices. It starts locally, it starts at home and in your own back yard.
This is a lifestyle choice. When I met my husband, I was heading down the road of raw veganism, studying it, practicing it, working in a raw-vegan kitchen and seeing it being how I lived my future. Meeting my Chef husband changed that as his cooking is often incredibly meat focused. I come from a traditional cooking background as a former chef, and my family eats like traditional Midwesterners, meat n’ potatoes. I understand the challenges with living this lifestyle in the Midwest. It’s not about perfection, it’s about making conscious choices out of love. As my goal is to get back to raw-veganism someday, I make choices one meal at a time. I limit the animal product I consume and purchase meat consciously.
Here are some tips that are easy and realistic for changing how you eat:
- Buy locally and buy seasonal foods. Shop at farmers markets, local farms, and places that purchase from local small, sustainable businesses, such as co-ops. Many farmers cannot afford to have the “organic” label, but still practice organic methods. Some of these farms will even deliver to your front door.