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Monday, July 7, 2008

Gluttony

Peace. People are always amazedt at the amount of food that I eat. It ain't alot and for some reason they think that coupled with my plant centric diet I am going to die soon. I actually become very tired pointing out the obvious. Why do I always have more energy then everybody, even those half my age. Why do I not need stimulants (coffee, red bull, etc) to get through a normal day. My body tells me when it needs to re-up. I ain't becoming a stick boy and on the other end I maintain this 185lb weight pretty consistently. My man Dan Tres put it in a larger socio-economic sphere so I'll let him tell it.

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Consumption: Filling our bellies until we die...

One of the problems I have with the mainstream media and the general public (there is a legal definition for that term: that vast multitude, which includes the ignorant, the unthinking, and the credulous, who, in making a purchase, do not stop to analyze, but are governed bu general appearance and general impression; JW Collins v. F.M. Paist Co., DC Pa, 14 F2d 614) is the reaction to a major crisis. The best example is the issue of the deterioration of the environment. The mainstream media provides these crazy apocalyptic scenarios, people start to panic and believe everything that is thrown at them while a small minority cashes in on the all the misery and fear. Of course, no one in the mainstream media (or their “expert” drones) offer any real solutions. Those that do offer them are marginalized or shut out. Even if those that approach a crisis pro actively do find a way to spread the message, the masses who we eloquently entitle the 85ers, would ignore the message altogether.

It amuses me to see members of congress and presidential candidates begging automobile manufacturers to make cars that burn 30 miles to the gallon. It scares me to hear consumers claim that they still want big cars. Folks still want huge SUVs that can't fit in regular parking spaces just to look good. Of course, the issue is not only that the demand for oil has increased. The issue is our consumption levels across the board.

Let's face it, we Americans are some big mofo's who want everything extra large, super sized, huge, or jumbo. We want it big whether it's our lunch, our cars, our clothes, our jewelry, or our houses. Once we get what we want, we want something bigger. We have become addicted to our consumption. We are the only country in the planet that has buffets. Travel to any other country and one will see that people eat differently. They normally eat in smaller portions. They drive smaller cars and live in smaller apartments and homes. It is so bad that when people go on vacation, they stay at these huge resorts that just import everything American. When people tell me they go to Jamaica, I ask them if they stayed in a resort. If they say yes I respond, “then you weren't in Jamaica then.”

When I first became a vegetarian I had to learn this valuable lesson. I remember visiting my mother in the Bronx when I first started rocking the vegetarian lifestyle. My beautiful and wonderful mother made her usual 7 course Dominican meal. She placed a heaping mountain of rice and beans and avocado for me. She even threw in an extra plate of sweet plantains on the side. I looked at my mother and she explained that since I don't eat meat, I would need to substitute it with extra vegetables. That is when it hit me.

If we really want to save the environment, we have to have an ill paradigm shift in the way we consume. We should eat until we are full not until we are stuffed and can't move around. Instead of getting fast food, we should bring lunch to work. Our dinners should be light. We should save sweets for a nice weekend treat instead of after every meal. We should not gorge. We should not over indulge. In other words, everything should be in moderation. This is how it should be across the board.

There was a time when people laughed at Elijah Muhammed's insistence that we should eat only one meal a day. In this day and age of rising food prices, it's not a bad idea. What I have learned in my travels and research is that we place too much emphasis on calories. Our daily average is just too much. We don't need that especially since most of us do not work out in the fields or work 8 hours in a factory sweating calories off.

Many will argue that developing nations like China and India will not roll this way. I highly doubt that since they have been practicing that for centuries. Don't let their Americanized restaurants in our borders fool you. And if even if they don't do it, doesn't mean it's right.

We have to really re-wire our thinking when it comes to the items we purchase. We should avoid the big screen TVs and the huge entertainment systems. They condition us to sit at home and watch TV instead of going out to exercise. We should eat in smaller portions. Avoid doing big giant trips to the movies, amusement parks, or other weekend getaway sprees. Instead, take walks to the park as a family. Buy a bike at a pawn shop or a thrift store and go nuts!

For many of us, these ideas would be hard to swallow. It's a paradigm shift not a born again moment, folks. We can either do that or fill our bellies until we die. Lately however, that may not even be possible anymore.
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2 comments:

ABC Gang said...

First off, I enjoy reading your blogs and I get a lot of inspiration and knowledge from them.I am a just beginning my path to veganism and wanted to know if you knew a low cost strategy to detour young brothers from the fast food dollar menu.Oh yeah great points on the "gluttony" topic.Peace!!

C'BS ALife Allah said...

Funny that you mention that. My alike Sha-King and myself are actually writing a book that addresses health in the hood. The overall key is for brothers to learn how to cook some so that they can buy in bulk and prepare stuff at home. Add to this learning to recognize the difference between feeling 'full' (really just stuffed on carbohydrates) and feeling 'fueled'.