3 years ago
Essay excerpt: Are dietary choices really “personal”?

From an essay in the Washington Post by James E. McWilliams, an associate professor of history at Texas State University at San Marcos.

I gave a talk in South Texas recently on the environmental virtues of a vegetarian diet. As you might imagine, the reception was chilly. In fact, the only applause came during the Q&A period when a member of the audience said that my lecture made him want to go out and eat even more meat. “Plus,” he added, “what I eat is my business — it’s personal.”

I’ve been writing about food and agriculture for more than a decade. Until that evening, however, I’d never actively thought about this most basic culinary question: Is eating personal?

We know more than we’ve ever known about the innards of the global food system. We understand that food can both nourish and kill. We know that its production can both destroy and enhance our environment. We know that farming touches every aspect of our lives — the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil we need.

So it’s hard to avoid concluding that eating cannot be personal. What I eat influences you. What you eat influences me. Our diets are deeply, intimately and necessarily political.

This realization changes everything for those who avoid meat. As a vegetarian I’ve always felt the perverse need to apologize for my dietary choice. It inconveniences people. It smacks of self-righteousness. It makes us pariahs at dinner parties. But the more I learn about the negative impact of meat production, the more I feel that it’s the consumers of meat who should be making apologies.

I think I probably disagree with McWilliams on a number of issues (according to the reviews on his Amazon page, he doesn’t believe in organic farming and thinks GMO is just fine), but on this I think he’s right. Sometimes the personal really is political.

(Source: Washington Post)

Comments

 

4 years ago
A paradigm essentially lets us close our mind to new information. Especially if we’ve had that paradigm since birth…it is indeed “water to the fish”—it’s always been there and we can’t imagine the world any differently. As we are exploring our dietary paths, it is good to keep an open mind and to keep questioning. New information is always coming in and we want to have it available to us. Cite Arrow RawVeganMichele: Paradigms
Comments

 

4 years ago
I realized that keeping on the raw food path is like driving over potholes… Sometimes you can see them far in the distance. Other times you don’t see the pothole until it’s too late. Sometimes you can avoid these bumps in the road. Sometimes there’s no where else you can go. What are you going to do? Are you going to swerve over into the other lane… Or are you just going to make the best of it, try to drive around the pothole, or perhaps just drive on the edge of it in order to lessen the impact.… When a pothole is ahead of you, you can freak out and cause an accident with others, or you can keep driving. Just strive to do your best, and don’t stress out about the potholes. Cite Arrow Raw Food Analogy: How Eating Raw Food Is Like Driving Around Potholes - Wellsphere
Comments

 


Based on Random Daze theme by Polaraul