In my neck of the woods, I have been trying my hand at gardening. My efforts have been noticed by my neighbors and they sweetly donated zucchini, their garden was booming and mine struggled valiantly producing one squash. To return the neighborly niceness, I made zucchini bread to share. During my bread making I ran out of eggs, hark! Quickly I pulled up some egg substitutes and found I could use apple sauce and a mashed banana. Sweet. One mashed banana solved my problem and actually made a way better zucchini bread. I shared my mini loaves and did not mention they were vegan because I wanted my friends to actually eat them. I was cognizant of this choice. And it got me thinking.
The world is in need of an overhaul on our consumption. We all know this. We all acknowledge it on some level, I hope. I have my days of darkness with the amount of waste we as a species produce. Panic sets in that there may be no way for our continued survival on our planet. Never did I feel this so acutely as when held my newborn son within the first week of his life. Our mortality hit me extremely hard. We will use more than our share, leave more waste than we can imagine, and swim in our trash (already do in many places).
In the science community there is a term, carrying capacity, represented by K.
K is the exponential growth of a species. That dashed line is the amount of carrying capacity of the environment. Think resources, water, food and space. The growth of the red line gets a little crazy and overshoots the dashed line then there is a die off of the species as it returns to a level that the environment can support.
I am not sure if you have seen graphs of human population growth. Or if you have felt the dashed line. I feel the dashed line. When I hear of another mass shooting, I think of the lack of connection the shooter felt towards fellow humans and I also think this may be evidence of our species not having enough space or resources. Other atrocities remind me of the K and I bet you can find evidence of place being too crowded or there not being enough for everyone as soon as you try. Homelessness is a flashing neon light. Drought worldwide. Food insecurity and extreme food waste. Plastics, man-made chemicals, trash, polluting our space to a point beyond livability.
The peaceful warrior in me stands and speaks of our human spirit and all that we are capable of. Can our spiritual evolution really help us with our incredible leap above the dashed line? If we were to work towards and embrace our enlightenment, can we alter our inevitable course?
What is there to do? Put on the blinders of false ignorance denying our own feebleness and our utter insignificance? Ignore, deny, misinterpret the truth? Or do your best and make an effort? Can it be that simple? Acknowledge and change or deny and die sooner.
The fitness of our species depends on our adaptability. And we all know we are extremely adaptable. If we are willing.
One way of the best ways humans can attempt to modify and cope is how we eat. Our most basic of human needs. At this point I cringe to write VEGAN. I have seen the looks and the shade people throw when they hear that word. The metaphorical cotton gets shoved in ears. The judgement of crazy/weird/foolish is handed down. And any further conversation is strained. The weird eater can’t explain or educate beyond this point. This may be a good chance to attempt adaptation. Maybe if we were to listen to those vegans we might learn something.
I went vegan once for about nine months. I felt great. I missed cheese, could be the casein. Thinking of vegan things to eat on the run became daunting and eventually I dropped the vegan, remaining a vegetarian. Not a fish-eating vegetarian either, we all know about overfishing, etc, etc. I have respect for people who live a vegan lifestyle. And even though there are funny memes and a hilarious J.P Sears video, it is a stance. People are eating in alignment with what they believe in. And that is admirable. Knowing from experience, it can be a cumbersome life choice. But adapting is not an easy process. Adaptation is cumbersome.
Have you seen Forks over Knives? You should. There is a great cookbook that came out after the documentary and it has some pretty good recipes. Side note: A firehouse takes on a plant-based lifestyle and the firemen become healthier by lowering their cholesterol and body weight. Food can be a creative outlet. Adapting can have moments of fun. Oh She Glows and Cookie and Kate are two of my favorite plant based blogs.
PROTEIN! That is almost a dirty word synonymous with meat but that is an incorrect assumption. Similar to: we can only get calcium from milk (a dairy industry falsehood). There are many plant combinations that supply protein to our bodies. We do not have to eat meat for our protein. And if we were to think about the life of the animal before we eat it or the type of death it experienced, would we think those cells would provide our bodies with optimal nutrients. Or the level of antibiotics and hormones in the meat we eat as something that would be remotely good for our bodies.
One of my personal mottos is: Vote with your Money. It is one our most powerful tools to make people/corporations take notice and potentially change. Think organic food production, BPA use, lead in the water. I wish I could vote away Monsanto and vote in food sovereignty, all with time right. Who controls our food? The seeds, the dirt, the crops. Who runs the factory farms? At this point we should know that it’s not really in the control of the farmers. Farmers are being crushed regularly for saving seeds or if their crops have a trace of Monsanto genes. We have so many choices to make with our money. And we have so many chances to choose, so many chances for change.
Daily we make thousands of choices. The choices run the range of thoughtless to heavy, but we still need to make them. I think that our adaptability is in our choices because we are thinking, creative animals. As we think and learn more about the choices that face us we know more. The more we know, the better our chances to grow. Another motto in my life: Once we know better we do better.