Among the many things that add to my humble good fortune in life, I can claim to live just eight miles or so from Joel Salatin’s world famous Polyface Farms. That means delicious local meats and eggs raised bio-dynamically and with a great respect for the earth and ecology.
As the Polyface website says, “We are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture.” When I buy Polyface foods, I get a kind of triple-bottom line reward: supporting local business, having my food travel a short distance (low carbon footprint), and eating meats and eggs with a distinctly higher quality taste than their factory-produced counterparts.
So it may be surprising to learn that as of yesterday I joined folks from around the world to participate in World Go Vegan Week.
Its not that I want to give up meat, and frankly, I won’t. Its just that I want a lower carbon footprint lifestyle in as many ways as possible. And given that the American diet is sooooo darn rich in meats and fats, giving up just a little bit of it, either for a week or for some part of every week, couldn’t possibly be that hard. Seriously.
Like so many things that have to do with cutting something out, you can look at it from the perspective of what you lose—in this case, meat, eggs, and cheese (and maybe a few pounds). Or, you can see what you gain, such as a cornucopia of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains prepared in delightful and satisfying ways (and a better figure).
I just had a lunch of celery with peanut butter, crackers with vegan cream cheese, apple slices, and carrots. For dinner, I’m making borscht (garnished with vegan sour cream) with fried green tomatoes on the side. Lunch was great and dinner will be too. By the standards of most of human history, and compared to more than half of the planet right now, at both meals I will have eaten like a queen.
Living simply isn’t necessarily about living with less. Its about living with the right view of gratitude for an abundant world in which our blessings overflow when we see them that way. It is meet and right so to do.