Shopping is Important

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Do people change their minds because they hear some facts? Or do they change their minds because they hear something that touches their hearts? Last week, our guest minister spoke from her heart about feeling our connection to the interdependent web of existence. To have an intellectual understanding of interdependence, just look at the facts. From the Blossoming Lotus cookbook:

"In order to support cattle grazing, South and Central America are destroying their rainforests. These rainforests contain close to half of all the species on Earth and many medicinal plants. Over a thousand species a year are becoming extinct and most of these are from rain forest and tropical settings. This practice also causes the displacement of indigenous peoples who have been living in these environments."

As someone who eats meat and even steak now and then, I need to understand the facts and recognize the impact of my choices on the planet and on the people who live on the planet. If you think all of your beef comes from the US, think again. Also from the Blossoming Lotus:

"Developing nations use land to raise beef for wealthier nations instead of ustilizing that land for sustainable practices."

Last quote from the same book, about something closer to home:

"Half of the water used in the US goes to irrigate land growing feed and fodder for livestock. It takes approximately 2500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of meat. Similarly, it takes approximately 4000 gallons of water to provide a day's worth of food per person for a meat-centered diet, 1200 gallons for a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, and 300 gallons for a Vegan diet."

Facts are helpful, but do they change minds and behavior? Our guest minister proposed that we can deepen our connection to the interdependent web through our relationships with animals. That if we really feel connected to the animals in our lives, we can't help feeling connected to all animals. We'll know in a deeper way that our living spirits come from the same source. In other words, my love for my kitty can extend to all animals (including humans), and my feeling of connectedness and love for the animal world will help me make different choices at the market.

I like the idea of touching hearts to change minds and behavior. The tricky thing is figuring out what affects people in an emotional way. For some, it's connecting to the animals; for others, it's imagining a better world for children and grandchildren. There might be no way to touch the hearts of people who just think about the convenience of today; for those people, we've got to make vegetarian and vegan food easy and delicious. I don't think I'll ever eat a totally vegetarian diet, but I can make more vegetarian choices. It's good for me, good for the animals, and good for the Earth. Spread the word: shopping is important.

2 Comments:

  • What the shop is up? What about back to school and early Christmas shopping? New car shopping? Shopping on vacation? Shopping for vacation? Inquiring minds wanna know what's up!

    By Blogger Natalie, at 11:03 AM  

  • What the shop is up? What about back to school and early Christmas shopping? New car shopping? Shopping on vacation? Shopping for vacation? Inquiring minds wanna know what's up!

    By Blogger Natalie, at 11:03 AM  

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