Blog Action Day on Food

I love food!  Growing it, cooking it, eating it.  Some of my happiest memories are centred around food, so celebrating it with Blog Action Day gives me a chance to talk about one of my favourite topics.   I've put together a slideshow of some of my best-loved food images - just click on the caption to view.
Web gallery of my favourite food images

I am a longtime vegetarian, but don't usually stand on a soapbox about it as some tend to roll their eyes when they hear the word vegetarian.   Sometimes people can't imagine what we lettuce-eaters find that's at all tasty to put on our plates.  Other times people feel threatened and so feel they have to justify being a carnivore by going on the offensive.

There are many reasons why I choose not to eat flesh - the environment, animal cruelty, healthy lifestyle to name a few.  I try not to be sentimental about animals (though I'm totally in love with our two kittens - life is full of contradictions), respecting their right to basic freedoms in the natural order of the world.  I'm not against a lion killing its prey, but we humans are quite unique in that we're capable of rational thought, so as there are many alternatives, I choose not to eat meat, fish or fowl.  

It's often thrown at me that being a lacto-vegetarian is a bit of a cop-out anyway.  The dairy industry pumps antibiotics and hormones into cows, the bull calves are sent off for meat (then there's the veal, don't get me started on that) and the whole operation takes up much land which could be used for growing vegetables.  Of course that's true, but it's my opinion that people make their own decisions in life depending on their circumstances and all you can do is your best.

I buy organically grown, local food whenever I can.   A vegan for five years, I ultimately reverted to lacto life as it became increasingly difficult socially.  Even so I'm constantly aware of this and make a conscious effort to cook vegan food at least half the time at home.  I'm often told I must be under-occupied to actually cook a meal in the evening.  Let me tell you that it takes no time at all and cooking with fresh cruelty-free produce is a joy and a relaxation after a heavy day of number-crunching writing patterns in front of a computer.  I can just turn the music up and wind down!

Beef cattle are significant players in deforestation, soil erosion, water scarcity, global warming, depletion of fossil fuels, and loss of biodiversity.  Of course you can't blame the animals for this, the finger has to be pointed at the people who eat them.  Every time a steak is consumed, natural resources are being used twice over, once to feed the cow, then again when the cow itself is eaten.   You don't need to be a genius to see that using the same land for food crops which go straight to the table is a much better way.

There's so much obesity and ill-health in the Western world.  Many people don't consider where their pre-packed meat actually comes from.  Surely it's worth giving vegetarianism a chance to prove it's a better way of life for health, the environment and of course, for the animals.  Help feed the whole world instead of just the West.  So come on, try it for a day, a month, or whatever you feel you can do and let's see if  we can leave the world a better place for our kids.


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