For a little over a year now, I’ve been working a full-time job. This may not sound like a big deal to many of you, but for anyone who’s new here: I had been working part-time since my oldest was born about 11 years ago. Now I’m required to focus on a task for 8 hours every day.
I love my job, but putting in a 40 hour work-week really threw me for a loop – despite the fact that I have the luxury of working from home (mostly). Blogging and my photography hobby have really taken a back seat. More’s the pity. But I feel like I finally have a routine down and have really settled in, so my goal is to get back into some regular writing here and start snapping some new pics to share too.
Another area of my life that has seen some big changes are my food choices. Over the last few years, I started reading a lot of healthy living blogs and began to lean in the direction of vegetarian choices. I saw Food Inc, I read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. But then... then I watched Earthlings. I’m not even sure how I discovered this web-based documentary, but I did and I sat with a box of tissues and cried my way through it.
That movie was my tipping point – at least as far as my food shopping habits. I haven’t bought meat in a regular supermarket since. And I’ve eaten less meat altogether.
My perspective has changed but I’m in the midst of reframing my entire viewpoint and practices. For me, this is a work in progress and not a “cold turkey” approach to vegetarianism. I still eat meat occasionally, but I would definitely call myself (officially) a flexitarian now. My position on the scale has shifted: instead of being an omnivore who chooses a vegetarian meal sometimes, I can honestly say I choose vegetarian meals most of the time, but still have the sporadic serving of meat.
I do not want to support factory farms and I’m fairly disgusted by the way food is regarded in our country. We’ve lost the ability to see the forest through the trees – or, more specifically: the food through the nutrients.
I’m not saying nutrition isn’t important, but as Pollan illustrates very clearly in In Defense of Food, the focus on the macro and micro nutrients of various foods – as well as the fact that food has become a big business – has led to our eating a lot of imitation foods and food-like substances and becoming more unhealthy than ever.
|Factory-farmed animals frequently spend |
their ENTIRE lives like this.
If you kept your pet in these conditions,
you'd be arrested.
I won’t even get into how animals are treated on factory farms. I don’t want to be preachy. And I’m not even saying we should never eat animal products again. But if our eating habits change, maybe farming practices will change. I know they’re “only” animals, but they’re still sentient beings who think and feel pain. The conditions in factory farms are abhorrent and horrifying. Some people question the necessity of films like Earthlings, but the fact is, unless people become aware of how the food industry works in this country (and around the world), things won’t change. As I said, I had already entered the healthy living world, but until I watched that movie, I didn’t make permanent changes in my buying and eating habits.
Now, let it also be said that all of this doesn’t mean that I’ve become a paragon of healthy eating. I am still too frequently lured by the siren call of ice cream and potato chips. But I am finding that the more healthy foods I eat, the less I’m craving the devoid-of-nutrient foods.
Now, if only I could read or watch something that would tip me permanently into daily exercise...