Every meal makes a difference

By Midge Raymond on

Midge Raymond

Ashland Creek Press co-founder Midge Raymond is the author of the award-winning short story collection FORGETTING ENGLISH and a novel, MY LAST CONTINENT. Learn more at MidgeRaymond.com.

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Here at Ashland Creek Press, we’re delighted to participate in today’s virtual Meatout event, along with so many others who are passionate about their health, the environment, and the well-being of animals. For those unfamiliar with Meatout: It has become the world’s largest annual grassroots diet education campaign, encouraging people to explore a wholesome, nonviolent diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s a fantastic campaign — for so many reasons — and it’s wonderful to see such a great list of participating bloggers offering news, recipes, and inspiration about compassionate choices.

Diet is such a personal choice, and John and I get a lot of questions — some curious, some polite, some defensive — about the way we choose to eat and live. But what’s been especially interesting for us, as writers and editors, is to see the reactions to John’s novel, The Tourist Trail. As soon as it was published, it was clear that the book was having a strong emotional effect on readers — which, of course, is the whole idea of publishing a novel.

We heard from people in the animal-rights community who were glad to have a book that reflected vegans and activists as regular people (rather than hippies or terrorists, which is so often the case).  We also heard from readers who said the book has opened their eyes to the plights of the world’s oceans and its creatures, that it put into human terms a problem that before had been purely theoretical to them — and this was hugely inspiring, to know that the book taught as well as entertained.

Yet still other readers had a different response: They were bothered by the truths that the book revealed: the fact that our oceans are in peril, that innocent animals are being illegally hunted and slaughtered, that our governments still have a long way to go when it comes to animal protection. And this was tough for both of us to hear — and especially to know that people would prefer not to finish the book than to face up to the very real challenges that are facing our planet.

And at the same time, it’s understandable — life can be overwhelming enough without having to worry about the future of the planet — and this is one reason we love Meatout. By simply rethinking one’s diet, a person can have an enormous positive impact on the natural world. For example, every person who gives up meat saves the lives of more than 100 animals a year. And even the little changes count: If every American were to replace just one chicken meal each week with a vegetarian or vegan meal, this would be  the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars off the road.

So we say, give it a try. A few smart and compassionate people you know agree: Albert Einstein once said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” And Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Check out Meatout Monday for a great way to start.

 

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  Comments: 6

  1. Elizabeth Hill


    I love the passion that you and John express over this issue. You just can’t please everyone and that is just the way it is. It is difficult for people to hear the truth sometimes and they would rather stick their head in the sand. But more and more people are waking up to what is happening to planet and the animals etc. And more people are beginning to understand that we are all interconnected and that every being on the earth and in the cosmos is connected to one another. This will help the changes that are needed to occur.

    I was told as part of my “Interview with the Universe” experience that as we move into higher consciousness more and more people will be unable to ingest meat because it will no longer resonate with their bodies. I did learn that there are some people who still need the amino acids in meat that are not available in plant form as of yet. However, it will become imperative that the animals be honored and respected to the highest degree and treated humanely in every possibly way otherwise the meat will not be edible even for people who still choose to eat meat.

    Elizabeth Anne Hill, Bristol, TN.


  2. Thanks for your comment, Elizabeth! It really is nice to see an increasing awareness of and compassion for the animals and the planet … of course, each person has his or her own path, and it’s always so great when that path includes compassionate choices!


  3. Thank you for your post, Midge. I agree, diet is such a personal issue and so difficult for many to discuss. With posts like yours and books like yours – hopefully more people will be able to open up to new perspectives and honestly examine their choices. Our diet – so intimate – the only thing we actually take into our bodies that becomes part of us (except oxygen, I guess). Which is just one reason why I personally could never again take in another being’s fear and suffering. I’m encouraged by all the growing awareness and my hope soars with every post like yours that I read. Cheers for the animals and thanks so much for your MANY contributions! ~ Cindi


  4. Thanks so much, Cindi! I’ve loved seeing all the other participants’ blogs today — what a wonderful way to get everyone together to celebrate the good that people can do. I love all this positive energy. 🙂


  5. I think you just added another book to my reading list for when my crazy semester of teaching is over. 🙂


    • Hi Jill,

      Thanks for the note. I hope you like the book (when you get a break from teaching).

      I enjoyed your Meatout post today…

      JY