Monday, September 12, 2011
Eat your heart out: My journey towards more thoughtful eating
About two years ago, while interning at local lifestyle magazine I.M., I was asked to write an article for an environmental column on a topic of my choice. I did some research and discovered, with quite a bit of surprise, that the biggest industry contributing to carbon emissions (the standard for measuring environmental impact) is not industrial manufacturing, power generation, air travel, or any of those that might commonly come to mind. It is actually meat production.
That discovery sparked a journey which, two years on, has completely changed my mindset and attitudes towards the food we eat. Not just in terms of meat and dairy, but in terms of the industrialized, commercial, and often deceptive nature of the production of most of the food we consume today.
With the light that has been shed on (the often disturbing truths about) where my food comes from, I’ve since struggled with how to eat more mindfully and ethically.
I have been considering for some time and experimenting with eating less meat – but living in a society that loves its food, and especially meat – and being an ardent foodie surrounded by more ardent foodies, this attempt has flopped many times.
Then, three weeks ago, I adopted a stray kitten and it challenged me with many things, including not just my patience but also my motives and choices.
This has made me look again at adopting a more thoughtful diet. I don’t expect to make big changes or have answers overnight, but I do know that with the knowledge I have, my conscience will not let me rest unless I start making some changes and searching for some answers.
I will be documenting my journey towards eating more carefully – not just for the protection of the environment and its resources (animal and otherwise) that we waste and abuse, but also for the protection of my own health, well-being, and conscience. I hope you’ll join me in this journey and chip in your own thoughts as well on any of the issues it raises!