Decolonize Your Diet

The first thing — It’s easy!  It’s the easiest thing in the world that you’ll ever do: it’s the easiest bad habit you’ll ever break.  You probably think it might be so difficult.  No, no, not at all.  It’s far simpler than the standard American diet.  Far less expensive.  Far more ancient, more natural.

There is a long history of questioning our relationship to animals, whether among Buddhists, Hindus, the prophet Daniel in Babylon, medieval Islam, Rastafarianism, or the ancient Greeks — or PETA, The Sexual Politics of Meat, and Peter Singer today.

According to Lawrence Cunningham’s Ancient Chamorro Society, the ancient Chamorros would have had a mainly vegan diet, full of local fruits and vegetables, with some seafood (from, of course, a far cleaner ocean).  No pork, no beef, no chicken, no eggs, no milk!  Do you understand what it means that the great Chamorro warriors of the past, the manmaga’låhi, the manmaga’håga, would have been mostly vegan and raw dieters, part pescetarian?

There is no weakness, no shame, in a vegan diet.  It is a warrior path, an ascetic path.  It is not a fad, a fashion.  It is an ethical and moral choice.  It is the only environmentally sustainable choice for the future of this planet.

The American Dietetic Association (not at all a particularly radical group) has determined that a vegetarian or vegan diet can fully meet a person’s nutritional needs — including those of a child.  How tired I am of hearing that babble that growing children “need” milk or meat for their bones, or their muscles, or their strength.  Or they need to eat more of this to fatten up, or they need to eat less or drink less or enjoy less to go down to an “acceptable” weight (two sides of the same ugly coin).  No.  You know who “needs” milk?  Calves.  Those babies need their mothers’ milk.  Just as human babies need their own mothers’.

Veganism has freed me, in large part, from worrying about my relationship with food.  I look back and I can see that, when I gave up meat, and especially when I gave up milk and cheese, I gave up constipation, acne, menstrual cramps, indigestion, bloat.  I don’t struggle with my weight.  And it’s not about dieting, or not eating whatever I feel like eating.  It’s quite simply that plant-based foods, especially if you avoid processed ones as much as possible, won’t burden your body in the way that meat and milk will.

The World Health Organization just came out with a report that processed meats (like bacon) and red meat are significant carcinogens (partly as a result of being cooked at high temperatures, partly because of processing, and partly, of course, because processed foods and red meat are just completely bad for you).

The future is free.  Go vegan!


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