I frequently get asked a lot of questions about food. Whether it’s restaurant recommendations, recipe ideas or healthy eating suggestions, my constant babbling about it often leads to long chats on the subject with just about everyone I know or meet. But regardless of how the conversation starts, it inevitably leads to more questions about my own dietary choices.
Much like sharing my faith, sharing my personal dietary choices can be super awkward and uncomfortable. I fear people will think I’m judging them for not making the same choices (I don’t). I fear people will think I’m trying to convert them (I’m not). And I fear people will think I’m just some yuppie, trust-fund hipster with endless money and no concept of reality (I wish).
But here’s the real scoop: I changed the way I eat, buy and live because of a gut feeling (also known as God).
Ok, before you write me off as some freak show, hear me out. Back in 2008 or so, I was reading health and fitness books, as I often do, and started reading Skinny Bitch (not-so-Godly, I might add). I completely disagreed with the book for a number of reasons, however, the images it produced in my mind as I read line after line about animal abuse in our food system including overcrowding, caging, electric prodding, beating and maiming stuck with me. Unable to shake the sick-to-my-stomach feeling for days, I started to research the subject.
At about the same time, my husband was listening to sermons from one of our favorite pastors and authors, Greg Boyd. Coincidentally, Pastor Boyd was preaching about human dominion over animals and the earth, and that God’s intent for how this should look differed dramatically from the cruel and brutal practices we currently use in our food system, among other things.
The sermon led to a video Pastor Boyd was featured in called Eating Mercifully. Here’s a brief, non-graphic clip:
As my husband and I watched the documentary together, tears rolled down my cheeks with shame for my ignorance and for the pain I felt watching animals suffer at the hands of people who were producing the very food I ate. The food all of us eat.
Watching the documentary was the last straw in several weeks of reading, researching, listening and praying that convinced me we needed to do something. In that moment, no amount of money, no ease of convenience, no craving for sustenance could justify not making a change in our lives. A switch was flipped. Now we just had to figure out what to do.
Stay tuned for Part 2: How We Made the Switch to learn about the first steps we made and the resources we used to start our journey as contemplative carnivores.
To get a free copy of the full-length documentary, Eating Mercifully, visit: http://www.humanesociety.org/forms/eating_mercifully_dvd_request_best_friends.html
For more on Greg Boyd's teachings on animals, watch:
For the not-so-squeamish, rent Food Inc. Here's a synopsis and trailer: