For the past week I have been enjoying a seminar sponsored by Food Matters TV. It is called "The Total Wellness Summit," and runs through March 31. Experts from all over the world, in all areas of health and wellness, plus personal stories of miraculous transformations, have not only kept me glued to the screen, but has opened up some new questions that I have decided need answering not only for my own health, but for the health of our planet.
I became a vegan about 6 years ago. It started out with my decision to cut out red meat and eat only chicken and fish as advised by the medical profession at the time. I followed that up with dairy products for two reasons. First, I found that I could tolerate plant-based dairy alternatives better than regular dairy products, and, second, I remembered what I discovered some years ago when I was doing a story for a regional newspaper about the debate regarding injecting cows with hormones to produce more milk. One of the arguments against it at that time was the claim by the dairy farmers that forcing the cows to produce more milk left them open to more infections from mastitis, which in turn required more doses of antibiotics, etc, etc. It was a vicious circle that all ended up in the milk that we drink. It is any wonder that there are more and more cases where antibiotics that used to work no longer do because we have become immune to them? Anyway, my journey to veganism was fully realized when I took a whole month to do my research (once a reporter, always a reporter), and looked into what was going into the food we eat, from plants to processed foods and everything in between. It came to a head when I started watching the documentaries about factory farms that produced the meat that we eat. To say that I was wounded to the core is an understatement. I decided then and there that no living thing should have to withstand torture and a most gruesome murder just so I can have a burger and a shake.
Watching the summit this week has again gotten me thinking about what kind of a world we are going to leave for our children and grandchildren when what comes out of the ground is filled with poisons and chemicals, and that the ground itself is slowly but surely being depleted to the point where nothing healthy can grow. Add to that the pollution of air and water, and the continued extinction of so many species of animals that the kids of the future will never see, and it has renewed my commitment to doing what I can, where I can, with whatever tools and gifts I have, to see that we all don't end up becoming extinct as Deepak Chopra suggested at a recent conference where he stated quite bluntly that humankind is in danger of evolving themselves right out of existence just like the dinosaurs if we don't make a stand now.
Somehow I think seeing this summit as spring is beginning to wake up the earth is the perfect time for all of us to ask ourselves whether we are willing to just let things go as they have because we believe we are powerless against big business, or whether we truly believe we owe it to ourselves, the future generations, and Mother Earth herself, to do what we can, where we can, with whatever tools and gifts we have, to take a stand. If not now, then when? If not us, then who?
And so it is.