Tuesday, 21 August 2007

herbivore, omnivore, carnivore ... vegan

herbivore, omnivore, carnivore ... vegan

recently, my life path has led me to meet, interact with and learn to love, those of the vegetarian and vegan persuasion. in my personal belief system, i strongly believe that very little in this life is left to chance. i feel that those i meet along my road impart value to my journey. they are my teachers and my guides.

i am neither a vegetarian nor a vegan. i believe that all things living, are in some way, part of the food chain of our beautiful planet. i do not even feel that sentience makes for superiority. i mean, damn ... who are we to decide which is more important ... the soil which feeds the plants, which feeds the herbivore, which feeds the omnivore and the carnivore. the caterpillar or the cabbage....

i am human, i am sentient, i am part of the food chain. certainly near the top. fortunately not an over popular part of most creatures diet! for thousands of years, my species has been busy ridding our world of animals which pose a threat to us.these creatures are now few and far between and when they survive it is most often in a protected park or wilderness. when i step into their world , i am at risk. if they feel threatened they may kill me, if they are hungry ... they may eat me. they have every right to do so, a human is merely a wiley, well protected part of the food chain.

the 21st century, homo sapiens straddle the dizzy heights of the food chain. our ambition and intelligence has driven us out of our caves and huts and into villages, towns, cities. once forced to hunt and forage endlessly to maintain our bodies, we now pop down to the nearest supermarket for supplies. we have domesticated quite a few species of animals, we breed and feed them as a protein food source. we dose them with anti biotics and hormones to encourage health and growth.we breed, grow and kill in an endless chain to supply the first world with more than it needs. we plough up acres of virgin soil, smother it in weed killers,we fertilize the soil with chemicals, forcing weary soil in need of rest to produce ... more. we plant, we grow, we spray our crops with toxic insecticides. scientists labour in the field of genetics and dna to alter and improve our crops. we have forgotten how to respect our food source, many of us take more than our fair share, we grow fat, idle and ill.

organic foods ... give me a break, i was brought up on organic foods. the veggies in the extra expensive section of the supermarket green grocers, do they remind me of the family meals i enjoyed as a youngster. no, not really ... perfect lettuce leaves...no sign of sharing with nature here.the slugs and snails which so enjoy sharing most things grown in my garden ...how do these organic farmers keep the little critters at bay? i often wonder if organic cauliflower comes with the added advantage of additional protein as it did in my youth, one was almost guaranteed to find a worm or caterpillar whilst preparing cauliflower! i remember the last time i found a living creature in the delightfully pre washed and neatly sealed...ready salad section. south africa ... must have been either the late eighties or early nineties ... emptied one of those prepacked, prewashed salads into a salad bowl, about to add salad dressing, i found in my rather expensive salad, from a rather decent shop ... a tiny little frog...alive! i was totally impressed, how fresh that salad must have been, my little optional extra had survived, washing, packing and the cold chain. amazing!

so ... where am i going with all this flummery, am i attempting to make a point, indeed, is there a point? homo sapiens of the first world grow greedy, we are no longer satisfied to take only that which we need.to sustain us. we import delicacies from around the world, these delights are trucked and railed and flown to a store on our doorstep. we pollute our world with our outrageous desires, with plastic packaging. we have become the wastrels of mother earth. we grow and mature, insulated in our cities, far from the world of nature and basic necessities.

our position at the very tip of the food chain, involves a delicate balance. in our arrogant belief in our iown ntelligence, we tend to forget ourselves. we imagine we are inviolate, in control of our world.we need to relearn respect for the soil, the green, our fellow creatures...the living earth which sustains us.

i am an unashamed omnivore, i probably always will be. but i thank my vegan friend for the inspiration her thoughts and words offer me. i am grateful for the doors she has opened in my mind, for the light of new knowledge which shines through those open doors.

1 comment:

Jon Hayhoe said...

Thank you, it's not too often I am able to listen to a real person with real opinions. Your article isn't about vegans or omnivores, it's about reality, something that we've all missed because we're too busy arguing about killing animals/animal rights.