Recently, I made a poster for a National Animal Rights Day event which got me thinking about food habits we follow and how our lifestyle revolves around our appetite.
The popular adage –
” Eat to live, don’t live to eat” has lost it’s meaning over the years with the surge in people’s curiosity in gastronomic delights. A meal essentially should be a result of reflection and study, prepared with love and meant to satisfy your hunger to a certain limit.
According to WHO, In 2014, over 39% of adults aged 18 and over were classified as overweight. The number of children suffering from obesity rose to over 40 million in the same year.
In recent years, people have become very sensitive towards their food choices. Non vegetarians, vegetarians, vegans; all argue to prove why their lifestyle choice is best suited for us and while this discussion has transcended different mediums over the years, it hasn’t reached a conclusion.
I’m a vegetarian by choice. The idea of killing an animal to fill my stomach for a single meal is one that always seemed particularly cruel to me. I have survived without meat all my life just fine and if that’s an option, it’s the one I choose.
A couple of years back I was camping on the outskirts of the city in an area dominated by North Eastern communities. They rear animals in their community spaces to sustain their food needs. Naturally, they kill for their own meat. I remember watching a middle aged man gutting three pigs after sawing their heads off. He’d slit their throats and let the pigs bleed out and then went about his daily routine of emptying their insides.
My fellow campers couldn’t even stand looking at the sight and would scurry back to their tents away from the carcass of the pigs. They were the same people who enjoyed the meat later that night.
Centuries ago, when we lived in tribes, we hunted our own meat too. Tribals would respect every single part of the animal by using every single part of the animal for food, shelter and also their clothing. They also prayed to the animals they hunted.
Now we get meat over the counter in frozen containers. We don’t even know how it ended up there and most of us don’t care. Vegans have the same argument about dairy. We don’t know anything about the process of obtaining the milk and yet we consume it in different forms everyday. The news of genetically modified cows injected with hormones to produce more milk never reaches our news feed.
So what’s the best diet you should be following?
I don’t know which lifestyle’s best suited for you. Only you can find out the answer to that question by practicing mindful eating.
Be conscious of what you put in your body and know how it landed on your plate and how your body reacts to it.
” The space between hunger and eating,
where you make the choice you want to make isn’t empty,
it’s filled with awareness.”
– Deepak Chopra
What are you hungry for?