“A glass half-full” describes my approach to life, especially for all things bad. Being “for” a thing rather than “against” its opposite may seem trite, but it works for me, focusing energy and activity in a positive fashion to achieve an otherwise difficult outcome. Whatever the venue, and however slowly the process may be, calm persistence yields better, more solid results than angry resistance.
I’m a veggie-eater. Until now, I’d rarely refer to myself as vegetarian or vegan, but let’s call a spade a spade. Eating food directly from the earth – rather than through a middle man on the food chain – is inexpensive and plentiful, immediate rewards being excellent health, boundless energy, and we’ve gained an advantage in the last century of knowing more about how nutrition – good and bad – affects us. Eliminating factory-raised meat was a choice made months ago, based on my own compassion for living things, and the wish to show by example (not by words and wishes) that change in an otherwise entrenched system can happen with positive, small and deliberate steps.
The things I do can be done by anyone. I am not a genius; I don’t have a college degree. I’ve never written a book. But I have learned a lot about many things, and knowledge is power. Being one person doing what works again and again, tweaking here and there, has made me adept at many things, and I exist in a perpetual state of learning and improvement.
Occasionally I discover something that just plain “feels wrong,” like the pain and fear inflicted upon billions of living beings just for sake of satisfying our taste buds – and not even necessarily for nourishment. Emotion brings me to action, though work always starts with myself first. One small step in the desired direction, leads to another, and yet another. The rest is easy, flowing I’d say.
Here are just some of the things that makes Greens for Good an easy platform for me.
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The Sun in Edible Form.
The leaves of edible plants (I call them Greens) contain all the stuff that is easily absorbed for cellular development and health of the living organism that digests it. Humans are no different. Macro-nutrients – fats, proteins, and carbohydrates – as well as the full spectrum of minerals, vitamins, and essential amino acids can be found in a variety of plant parts (leaf, stem, fruit, root, stamen). They grow without our help, abundantly on healthy soil, ripe for the picking and the eating. Born from the sun and soil, greens rely only on the water, atmosphere, and microorganisms under the surface for their success. They sustain all life above the soil, yet they don’t even contain a central nervous system – they do not feel fear or pain. Greens are responsible for the oxygen we breathe and for removing the CO2 that would otherwise kill us.
Eating plants is easy. Eating plants is tasty. Eating plants satisfies hunger and energy requirements. Eating plants (usually) does not require energy put in before consumption (heat or cooking). At the cellular level, eating plants helps build muscle tissue, brain tissue, repairs cells, prevents disease, activates our immune system, and generally keeps us healthy. Most plants hold their full nutritional value days or even weeks after they’ve been “picked.” Some plants require no refrigeration for long-term (or even short-term) storage.
Pound-for-pound, the cost of store-bought vegetables is far less than the cost of meats – even the “cheap” ones we currently enjoy. Plants require fewer inputs of water and nutrients – the sun and carbon dioxide are their main foods – and plant waste is readily and easily re-absorbed by the atmosphere and the soil, promoting the process to continue over and over. It’s a perfect, closed-loop system, developed over hundreds of millions of years. The system will continue to sustain trillions if not ka-trillions of earth beings on the planet – it already does, every day – until the sun dies. The energy saved in not having to cook this food saves even more. As with any “middle man” situation, growing your own is the ultimate in cost savings.
.Seeds — Earth’s Food Packaging.
Plants require three things to grow: sunshine, water, and healthy soil. They are grown in many ways: 1) “wild” for foraging, 2) in a planned, well-kept garden, 3) at a large-scale farming operation, or 4) in containers inside at a sunny window or outside on a balcony. There is a plant that be grown successfully at any time of the year. Anyone – brown and green thumbs alike – anywhere, any place can grow plants. (Okay, maybe not in Antarctica, but who wants to live there?)
The Simplest Form of Protest.
The simple act of eating a more plant-based diet goes a long way toward improving the environment and the lives of factory-farmed animals. The industry has developed only recently in human history at our continual request for fast, cheap food that tastes good, but doesn’t necessarily carry any health benefits. The scale of land and water wastes from this industry alone are astounding. The last few decades have improved on the process of satisfying the human appetite for flesh, though any consideration for the well-being of these animals (they do feel terror and pain) seems almost an after-thought – if considered at all. All factory-farm animal abuse or neglect is entirely unnecessary. In the words of Jenny Brown:
If we can live happy, healthy lives without causing harm to others, why wouldn’t we?
A Green Diet Sustains.
Humans are incredibly versatile beings. In our history, we have enjoyed a host of locally-dictated diets ranging from vegetarian to carnivorous, insects to fish, eggs and milk to grains. All diets (even a vegan one) have their upsides and their downsides but were mostly practiced out of necessity – where and how the human lived. A predominately plant-based diet is generally agreed as acceptable, if not optimum, for human health, growth, and longevity. Many plants are notorious for preventing disease and degeneration in humans.
Reconnect With Home.
Knowing first hand what it’s like to grow, pick, and eat a fruit from a plant connects me with the soil in ways that simply digging in it cannot. Civilized society has systematically disconnected us from the animals we know simply as “food,” from the environment that sustains us (air, water, soil), and from our split-second of time in the earth’s history. The time has come to reconnect with our world. Animals are here with us, not for us.
Big changes happen when small changes are made by many, thoughtful individuals, many times over.
~ Shannon @ Greens For Good
August 7, 2012