Sunday, February 3, 2013

An old Colorado memory just surfaced....a guy came to Denver to speak to the Vegetarian Society of Colorado, which at the time I belonged to....his diet advocacy was just as militant as any born again Raw Foodie or vegan I've ever met, was just as judgmental and unyielding, and was perhaps the most unusual way of eating I've ever heard ONLY from trees, mostly nuts, some fruit, and one CAN NEVER PICK THEM else you are assaulting and robbing the tree. You MUST wait until they have dropped to the ground. I forget what he called this diet, but he was very harsh about ANY other way of eating, in particular grains and annual crops. For him, eating a carrot and thus killing it is on par with killing a calf from a veal crate. He was speaking to a LARGE group of adamant vegans and vegetarians, many of whom who were gardeners, and yet lambasted our growing and eating crops in a garden as unnatural and bad. His certainty and dismissal of other diets was on par with a condescending Jehovah's Witness who "knows" that ALL other Christians are "deceived by Satan". Of course he "knew" that the human digestive tract "can't" properly digest leafy crops, legumes, grains, root crops etc, ONLY fallen nuts and fruits. Oddly, he was hardly the image of health.....pale as a ghost, no muscle tone, way too thin, yet lecturing US on how to eat. When someone tells me that they are healthiest eating a certain way (vegan, vegetarian, omnivore) I believe them and am glad that they found that balance. But I've had a few militant Raw Foodies and militant vegans utterly dismiss my sharing that I am healthy only as a light omnivore, in essence saying "I know your life history and health experiences better than you do". To me this is as arrogant and pushy as my telling friends who are deathly allergic to crustaceans or peanuts or mangos "NO YOU'RE NOT!!!!" At a recent gardening gathering I had a wide ranging conversation with a lovely, RADIANTLY healthy long term vegan who arrived there in stages a long time ago. She said that over the years she's seen a few vegans get all militant....her theory is that they found something that works for THEM and decide that it must be true for others, like an in-your-face recently "Born Again" Christian trying to convince themselves that they have found THE TRUTH. I agreed with her on a few dismiss and condemn how others choose to eat is disrespectful to them, that their militancy actually hurts the cause by turning people off, and that in time they usually end up chilling out and being willing to just eat how they wish to and live and let live. I don't know what the "food from only trees and only on the ground" guy thought he'd accomplish by in essence condemning the diets of an very large group of vegetarians and vegans, but not one of us started eating and living his way (just try that in Colorado's harsh climate and geography!). When I was passionately vegan I did not try to "convert" people, I just ate and lived that leather, wool, honey, eggs, tried not to step on bugs, etc. But I did not try to force it on others, just as my Christian friends, thankfully, never try to make me find and accept Jesus.

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