Foodbyte #6: Even eating less meat is a miracle, so become a Lessmeatarian

The recommended 5.5 oz of meat a day represents a 30% reduction from the average 8 oz American's currently eat

The recommended 5.5 oz of meat a day represents a 30% reduction from the average 8 oz American's currently eat

“Even eating less meat is a miracle.” I love that quote by Thich Nhat Hanh (see his Diet for a Mindful Society). In keeping with Buddhism’s Middle Way, it acknowledges that being responsible for our planet and our fellow creatures does not have to be an act of extremism. While I’m sure most animal rights groups would disagree with that statement, I’d like to look at this logically.

Let’s look at three facts about meat consumption:

  1. Meat consumption at current levels (about 200 lbs a year per capita in developed nations) is a tremendous strain on our environmental resources.
  2. Meat consumption at its current levels forces the market to meet the supply by growing meat in extremely inhumane conditions.
  3. Meat consumption at its current levels is bad for our health

Now, three facts about people:

  1. The vast majority of people eat omnivorously.
  2. The vast majority of people value their meat-eating experiences. To them there is nothing wrong with eating meat. Plus, meat-eating is a very pleasurable experience, gastronomically, emotionally, and socially.
  3. It takes a lot of conviction and self-denial to become vegetarian or vegan. Many people go in and out of vegetarianism. I know a lot of animal-loving, nature-loving people who tried to be vegan or vegetarian, and found it difficult to sustain.

To me, I think it’s a LOT more realistic to motivate people to eat less meat rather than cut it out completely. Not only more realistic, but perhaps accepting collateral damage in the animal world by asking our meat-eating friends to simply eat less meat instead of no meat would overall save animal lives, save water, save land, save our health.

Think about two scenarios: One in which 20% of the US becomes vegetarian vs. another in which the entire population of the country is motivated to eat 30% less meat.

Scenario 1: At the rate of 200 lbs of meat eaten a year, if 20% of 300 million people became vegetarian, that would save 12,000,000,000 lbs of meat or about 30 million cows (assuming all that meat eaten was beef and that each cow yields 400 lbs of meat.)

Scenario 2: Getting the same 300,000,000 people to cut down on their meat-eating 30% (for example, say you reduced your meat-eating by one meal, or about 2.5 oz of meat daily) you save 45 million cows.

But, which scenario is more likely? According to a Harris Interactive poll in 2003, only 2.8% of people polled in the US said that they NEVER eat meat, poultry, or fish–which is the basic definition of a vegetarian (recognizing that there are lots of different kinds vegetarians, according to how strict you are).

To get that 2.8% up to 20% would be a tremendous challenge, because of ingrained attitudes about meat that I mentioned above.    If you are vegetarian, you might feel encouraged by a rise in vegetarian restaurants in midtown Manhattan, but just travel to Kansas City and talk to people about taking their meat away from them.

Maybe you could convince those same people, however, to try eating meat at only one meal a day instead of two, or two meals a day instead of three. So, you skip the bacon at breakfast one day. Or the cold cuts at lunch on another. You could educate them into realizing that that small gesture can make a world of difference in terms of their own health, and the health of the planet.

Mark Bittman, the food columnist for the New York Times offers a challenge on his website.  The Food Matters Challenge (named after his book, Food Matters), asks people to pledge to become Lessmeatarian–and to make a commitment  (and sign up on the website, if a formal commitment will help you) to reduce  consumption of meat, dairy, over-processed carbohydrates, and junk food.    As a motivator, you might want to read a great article of his, published in the Times on January 27, 2008 called “The World–Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler.”

He is not a vegetarian.  Nor is Michael Pollan, who explored that option in The Omnivore’s Dilemma.   They both recognize that moderation and prudence are good things when it comes to taking responsibility for ourselves, our planet and our fellow creatures. 

Some of us may eventually evolve to eating less and less meat.  I did–in 1998 I determined to eat meat at only one meal a day.  Then I said that if I had the option, I would always choose the non-meat option.  Then I cut out meat and poultry entirely.  I do eat fish occasionally, and I do eat dairy.  On Thanksgiving I eat a turkey raised at a local poultry farm.  On St. Patrick’s Day, I eat corned beef and cabbage.

We all have our own paths to take and the path can meander.  God bless those who are dedicated to living out their convictions on a straighter, narrower path in terms of compassion for animals or concern for the planet.  But for most of us, maybe our commitment is to just cut down, and that’s enough.  That’s doable.

Doable–and a miracle in itself.

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Foodbyte #5: Eureka! Wild rice is as easy to make as Rice-A-Roni (and it tastes better, too!)

images-2One thing that happens when you start to simplify your eating habits and explore your extended neighborhood for locally-grown produce is you wind up trying new things.    Dropping processed foods creates a void–and it’s a fun adventure to see what winds up filling it.

Last year when I was beginning the journey of exploration of my local food resources in Central New Jersey, I went to the Griggstown Farm Market and made an impulse buy of a bag of wild rice.  It was $7.00, which to me was a real guilty pleasure, considering you can buy those little tubes of Goya rice for less than $1.

It sat there on the middle shelf in my cabinet for months, and then got moved to the upper shelf.  I really didn’t know what to do with this stuff that  looked like the Marlboro Man of rice–rugged and swarthy compared to the Harvey Milquetoast of plain old white rice.

My vegan daughter came for dinner last weekend, and when she foraged in my cabinet she came across the rice.  “Let’s make this, Mom!”  So we invested the 45 minutes it takes to cook wild rice, and used it as an accompaniment to our grilled, skewered veggie-kabobs.

It was great–a bit nutty tasting with a lot of texture.   I was so intrigued by how different it was compared to the standard white rice, rice pilaf, yellow rice, and even brown rice, I looked it up.    According to Wikipedia:

Wild rice is any of the four species of plants that make up the genus Zizania (common names:Canada riceIndian rice, and water oats), a group ograsses that grow in shallow water in smalllakes and slow-flowing streams; often, only the flowering head of wild rice rises above the water. The genus is closely related to true rice, genus Oryza, which is also a grass, and shares the tribe Oryzeae. Three species of wild rice are native to North America:

The other great thing about wild rice is its nutritional content–apparently it compares favorably against even brown rice in terms of the amount of protein, Vitamin E and folate one serving of wild rice has vs. brown.  Here’s a cool site where I looked at the nutritional facts of wild rice.

The barrier that caused this nutritional gem to be relegated to the top shelf of my cabinet for almost a year was because I had the idea wild rice is harder to make than other rice.  That’s not true.  I have a small stockpot, and I used it to sweat some onion, throw in the rice, add water, and then put the whole pot (you can use a casserole dish as well) into a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  That’s it!  If you’re in a hurry, maybe Rice-a-Roni is better, but for an extra 20 minutes, you have something really special.

I guess the point is, sometimes it’s worth it to make the effort to try something new, gastronomically speaking.  It’s usually easier than you think.  If you are interested in eating healthier and more sustainably, pick up something you never had before the next time you go to your favorite local or natural foods market.   An hour of time or less invested in learning something new and overcoming barriers of unfamiliarity with a new food may pay off in a great way to fill in a void normally filled in your diet by something processed and packaged.

Foodbyte #4: Feed your body, feed the earth

cater-to-the-earthIn today’s culture, the story of food has grown into an epic, with vast armies of processers, packagers, and people to cart waste away. The whole show appears so well-choreographed that it seems like it could go on forever…but it can’t. When we speak of “sustainable” foods, we mean foods that are grown in a way that maintains the earth’s ability to keep on growing, rather than farming like there’s no tomorrow. This is a whole new way of looking at food, with the earth as a character instead of just a backdrop. This is Catering to the Earth.–From the New American Dream website

New American Dream‘s website recently announced a new section of the site:  Cater to the Earth.   It was designed to inform its readers about the impact their food choices have on the earth.  It’s a really well-designed site with tons of easy-to-read, easy-to-navigate information.  

In it you will find the environmental, social, and health impact of foods such as beef and seafood, a food blog, and a glossary of terms to guide you through the complexity of language that surrounds the simple act of eating sustainably.

In keeping with the miracle of the ways of life and nature, what’s good for us is good for the earth.   When we compromise our health by eating “dead” food as well as food that’s been processed away from its natural state, the earth suffers, too.  

So, if you’re not going to eat healthier for yourself, think about your Mother–Mother Earth.  Do it for her.  It’ll come right back atcha.

P.S.  I’m keeping the poll open, so please take it and let me know the main reasons you don’t eat more healthily.

What does Tax Day have to do with Voluntary Simplicity?

successful-manI missed posting yesterday because of two converging deadlines–one at work and one imposed on me by Uncle Sam.  True to form as a world-class procrastinator, although I had diligently prepared my taxes on QuickBooks and had begun the filling out of TurboTax screens, I still had a couple of hours of work ahead of me yesterday.  I finally pushed the button at 10:37 p.m.–fulfilling my annual requirement as a citizen in the nick of time.

Unfortunately I owed money this year–I started a consultant business in May but didn’t set enough aside along the way to cover my tax liability. 

Thinking about how nice it would be to not have to write out that check, I started thinking about the many people ahead of me who opted out of paying taxes as an act of Civil Disobedience, such as Thoreau.

Other more contemporary folks have conscientiously (and legally) opted out of paying taxes to make a statement about intolerable social conditions, such as homesteaders Helen and Scott Nearing and the environmentalist Jim Merkel.   They did it by choosing a life of voluntary simplicity.  So voluntary simplicity can be many things:  a way of life, a political statement, a spiritual journey, an antiwar protest, an act of solidarity among our poorer brothers and sisters, or a pact with the earth to protect and defend it.

The term “voluntary simplicity” is attributed to Richard Gregg, a Quaker who wrote a little pamphlet called “The Value of Voluntary Simplicity” in 1936.   The pamphlet is published by Pendle Hill and can be downloaded for free here.   In it, Gregg describes what it is:

Voluntary simplicity involves both inner and outer condition. It means singleness of purpose, sincerity and honesty within, as well as avoidance of exterior clutter, of many possessions irrelevant to the chief purpose of life. It means an ordering and guiding of our energy and our desires, a partial restraint in some directions in order to secure greater abundance of life in other directions. It involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose. For example, the men who tried to climb Mount Everest concentrated their thoughts and energies on the planning of that expedition for several years, and in the actual attempt discarded every ounce of equipment not surely needed for that one purpose.

Not surprisingly, his description ties in perfectly with the path to simplicity outlined half a century later by his fellow Quaker, Richard Foster the book Celebration of Discipline.

In addition to Richard Foster’s classic, another classic was born in the 80s–the book Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin. Although he was inspired by Gregg’s writings, Elgin’s orientation to his own book on the topic is little more focused on the cultural and the collective vs. the more individual approach, while at the same time challenging us to accept our personal responsibility for the state of the world.   This book became THE definitive work for the volunatary simplicity movement of the post-Vietnam era.

I met Duane Elgin last year when he spoke at The Open Center in New York City.  The topic was “The World at the Tipping Point:  A Big Picture View of Our Future”–a program that he takes on the road.  It was quite positive and optimistic, and I was thrilled to get a chance to be a part of this pretty interactive discussion.    It was inspiring to hear his take on the future, which is filled with hope for the human race.  While he stresses that it is the individual choices we make which will prod the world into a transitional, transformative epoch, these choices have to start from a place that we may not even know exists for us:

To act voluntarily requires not only that we be conscious of the choices before us (the outer world) but also that we be conscious of ourselves as we select among those choices (the inner world).  We must be conscious of both choices and chooser if we are to act voluntarily.  Put differently, to act voluntarily is to act in a self-determining manner.  But who is the “self” making the determinations of behavior? … The point is that the more precise and sustained is our conscious knowing of ourselves, the more voluntary or choiceful can be our participation in life… The more conscious we are of our passage through life, the more skillfully we can act, and the more harmonious can be the relationship between our inner experience and our outer expression.

So, if you are really looking for a way to legally reduce your tax liability to the Federal Government next year, one way to do it is to adopt a life of voluntary simplicity–deliberately choosing what will feed your purpose in life, and discarding all the rest.  That may be the best tax shelter there is.

Foodbyte #2: You want to eat healthily: Poll: What’s keeping you?

One of the reasons I’m interested in highlighting information that has been written by many outstanding researchers and writers in the field of food (among other fields) is that there are many books that go unread because we’re so busy.  Like the title of the classic personal development book, Acres of Diamonds, we are sitting on gems of knowledge and insight, but we don’t have time to mine them!  So when you read a book that actually has the power to change your life, you want to share it.  You tell your friends, “You should read this book,” and they say, “Yeah, I’ll pick it up sometime.”  But they won’t because they’re too busy.  And the fact of the matter is, one of the reasons we are in the dietary fix we’re in is because of exactly that–we don’t have time to pay attention.  We don’t have time to cook, or plan menus.   We take the path of least resistance, not because we want to, but because we have to.    

But if we’re motivated, we’ll try a little harder to change the things we can to improve our health and habits.  And if you can take a couple of minutes to read this post and others like it, you may eventually be motivated to make small changes.   So, I’d like to try to unearth some of the diamonds out there about food and present the information in a way that might be helpful and maybe even motivating.  

In my mind, there are a few main reasons people want to eat better but they can’t:

  • No time to prepare food.
  • No time to plan.
  • Packaged, processed foods are convenient.
  • We all know that processed foods aren’t that great, but they taste good.
  • The things we love to eat, our “comfort foods” are tied in deeply with our memories and emotions.
  • As a family, we are all bound by a common interest in the same foods, so it would be tough to change.
  • Cravings for sugar and/or fat are just too hard to resist.
  • Eating on the run has become a pattern.
  • The perception that eating healthily is expensive.

There may be a lot of other reasons, but many of the ones I listed have prevented me from eating as healthily as I should. But over the course of the year, I’ve learned a few things that have motivated me to take some basic steps to eating healthier.   Lately, I have:

  • Built a small but growing file of tasty, easy recipes that I tested and practiced one by one.  
  • Created a pantry list to take to the supermarket so there are always good ingredients on hand.  
  • Habitually looked at labels and count how many edible single ingredients there are in each package.  If there is high fructose corn syrup in it, or a long list of preservatives and artificial ingredients, I try to find a better choice.
  • Learned to enjoy eating fresh foods, and my palate is reflecting that.   I now refuse to eat canned soups of any kind because making them fresh doesn’t take that long and they are SO much better.  This, from a person whose children do not recall a single home-cooked  meal that I made for them in their formative years (my husband, thank God, is a wonderful cook).  

So if I can do it, you can too–and I aim to help break down every one of those barriers I cited above, and then some.  To help me, please take the poll and pass it along to a few of your friends.   

By the way, I forgot to mention another author to add to the reading list in last week’s Foodbyte post.  I can’t believe I forgot, because she’s a leader in the field of food politics.  Marion Nestle is Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University.  She has written several books that are dense with information and give a million reasons to think about why you eat what you eat.   To get started, read Food Politics.   She also has a terrific blog at www.foodpolitics.com.  Check it out. 

Here’s a parting quote from the Introduction of Food Politics:

Humans do not innately know how to select a nutritious diet; we survived in evolution because nutritious foods were readily available for us to hunt or gather.  In an economy of overabundance, food companies can sell products only to people who want to buy them.  Whether consumer demands drives food sales or the industry creates such demands is a matter of debate, but much industry effort goes into trying to figure out what the public ‘wants’ and how to meet such ‘needs.’  Nearly all research on this issue yields the same conclusion.  When food is plentiful and people can afford to buy it, basic biological needs become less compelling and the principal determinant of food choice is personal preference.  In turn, personal preferences may be influenced by religion and other cultural factors, as well as by considerations of convenience, price, and nutritional value.  To sell food in an economy of abundant food choices, companies must worry about those other determinants much more than about the nutritional value of their products–unless the nutrient content helps to entice buyers… Thus the food industry’s marketing imperatives principally concern four factors:  taste, cost, convenience, and … public confusion. — Marion Nestle, Food Politics; p.16

Kicking Ourselves Out of Suburban Nests: Building a New Kind of Levittown

 

Tim Burton's depiction of suburbia in Edward Scissorhands--a surreal version of the truth

Tim Burton's depiction of suburbia in Edward Scissorhands--a surreal version of the truth

We form pictures in our heads of what we dream our lives will be like in 5, 10, 20 years.  Generally, our dreams are formed by happy memories, environments that have been comfortable and safe, our parents’ dreams for us, and pop culture cues.  

When I was fourteen I had a clear picture in my head of what my dream home would look like and it wasn’t a copy of the Brady Bunch house –it was an apartment in Greenwich Village.  Coming from a Connecticut suburb, I had no idea whatsoever what it meant to have an apartment in the Village, but I had read a story which formed romantic thoughts about having a little atelier overlooking Washington Square.  

My parents had lived the post-War American Dream.   My dad had built our little cape cod pretty much on his own, since his dad had given him a new lumber yard to manage when he got out of the Navy.  My brothers and I grew up there, walking to the neighborhood school past all the other little square houses on the way.    When we played outside, all Mom had to do was call out our names, and we’d go running.   It all seemed so safe, and each neighborhood was its own nest.

So, when I told my mother that my dream was to live in Greenwich Village, she said, “Mmmm.”  A couple of weeks later, she suggested to my stepfather that we go for a drive.  “Where shall we go?” he asked.   “Um, how about New York?  That would be fun!”  So off we went down Interstate 95 and into Manhattan.   I had been to Times Square and many of the the other midtown landmarks, and they never ceased to thrill.  But we drove out of midtown and the glitz got less glitzy, the buildings slightly greyer, until Mom managed to get us to a bunch of blocks that were a far cry from any romantic idea of New York in my head. No, suddenly I was looking at iron grates strewn with graffiti, unfriendly looking people lingering in doorways.  Where were the cute shops?  Where were the tree-lined streets?   Where were the artists in the park?   

“Well, honey,” Mom said twisting her head around from the front seat so she could fully appreciate the expression on my face.  “Here’s Greenwich Village!”   To this day I don’t know what small part of the Village she had taken me to, nor how she had so carefully avoided all the other blocks of downtown New York where the place of my imagination would have been realized, but her mission had been accomplished.  My face registered bewilderment and disappointment, and I never spoke of living in Manhattan again–at least until I was old enough to see for myself that my mother had been doing her typical Mom thing, trying to recalibrate my dreams to match the ones she had for me.   

Time Magazine’s provocative cover story this week, “10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now,”  Idea #2, Recycling the Suburbs by Bryan Walsh, nudged me out of any warm-fuzzy feelings about the type of neighborhood that I grew up in, and the type I raised my own children in.  Suburban sprawl may be on life-support.  Many will bid good riddance to the model of single family homes sequestered from the business side of town; double-width driveways and barbecue decks and the hum of riding mowers.  Towns where, if you decide to walk to the post office or convenience store and a neighbor passes you in their car, they assume your car has broken down and they offer you a ride.  When you say, you are doing it for the exercise and the pleasure of walking, they look at you funnily–as if to say, “Well then, why don’t you live in Manhattan?”

The reason suburbs may be doomed is because they are built on an outdated premise–that fuel will always be plentiful and cheap–and we now know that this is not true, which makes suburbia unsustainable.   But there are other reasons the suburbs have lost their luster.  The suburbs in many cases have failed to fulfill the promises they made.  The term “bedroom community” means that you’re only there to sleep because you spend so much time commuting to your job.   Isolation born out of this type of nesting has been written about in books like Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone.  

Luckily, there are all kinds of visionary urban planners and architects and others who are trying to formulate a new model for the 21st century:   one of mixed-use areas, where retail shops and residences and offices come together holistically like many of the little towns in Europe that are still like that.  I remember being in Haversom, outside of Amsterdam, where you could bike or walk anywhere–and people did.  It was not unusual at all to see septuagenarians pedaling their groceries back home on their bicycles and what’s more,  the village infrastructure supported their efforts with bike paths that integrated with the pedestrian walkways and the roads for the cars.

The point is this:   Looking to a future where the American Dream is redefined sounds nice, but will require that some of us raised in subdivisions let go of nostalgia for the American Dream of the Past.   How do we reverse the trajectory from cape code to split level to McMansions and beyond?  For many of us, I think we need to detach from dream homes in our heads and ask ourselves questions like:

  • What aspects of community am I really looking for, and how do I expect them to be realized?
  • How much square footage do I really need, and can my need for space and privacy be satisfied with less?
  • Why do I want a lawn? 
  • How much do I value my time, and do I want to spend it commuting?
  • How do I define safety?  
  • How independent do I want my children to be?  What activities will foster that?
  • What aspects of my childhood home am I looking to re-create?   What dreams did I have for a home when I was young?  Are some of these emotional drivers still valid, or do they need to be re-examined or perhaps repackaged?   
  • What specific impact will my choice for home and neighborhood have on the environment?  It has been shown that city-dwellers have much less impact on the environment than their nature-seeking neighbors in the outlying suburbs.   How do I reconcile this with my personal need for a “best of both worlds” between city and country?

 If you still get misty at the thought of the Old American Dream, Bryan Walsh makes a great case for letting go of the past in this week’s TIME.   Perhaps we can all envision a new kind of Levittown with a new kind of community life that supports the environment, as well as our need for real community.  

Perhaps someday a young girl will have a dream of living in the suburbs, and so her mother will drive her into a world of dying strip malls, a world of neighbors who live isolated lives behind their manicured lawns, who leave the development in single-lane streams before the sun is up to get to work by 9.   And the young girl will say, “Mom, please take me back home–this place is scary!”

The Greening of Letting Go: Jim Merkel, inspiration for radically simplifying

radicalsimplicitybook2When it comes to inspiration for reducing the number of possessions we come to depend on in our lives, the one that comes to mind for me, because his book is one of my “nightstand books,” is Jim Merkel, author of Radical Simplicity:  Small Footprints on a Finite Earth and founder of the Global Living Project.  I was so disappointed to have missed him in a weekend workshop retreat at Pendle Hill in Pennsylvania in January, that I just looked up his website to see where else I may be able to catch him this year, and I’m thrilled to see that there are a couple of opportunities this spring, particularly if you live in the Northeast.

April 6 in Haverhill, MA, a talk on Radical Leadership

May 15-17 in Albany, NY, a 3 day retreat  focused on lifestyle choices, simplicity and ecological footprints, acknowledging our true wealth, (family, relationships, soil, water, etc) and living a richer life.

Jim Merkel’s story

Merkel had a conversion experience during the time of the Exxon Valdiz disaster, while working as a military engineer and arms trader.   Realizing the responsibility that each of us bears for disasters like this, he quit his job in order to be the change he wanted to see in his world.

He downsized drastically, and determined to live in an income level under $5,000 a year and has done so ever since.  Today he spreads the word around the country.  

For him, letting go meant letting go of habits that will eventually mean the destruction of the planet.  In place of trying to fit these new habits into a culture that supports opposing values, he preaches a shift in global living that replaces power with equity, exploitation with respect, and consumption with sustainability.

In the book he makes a case for a different model for society, and offers very practical information for shining a light on our own habits and how to make a difference in our lives.

Read this book if you are interested in:

  • Exploring some thought-provoking models for a society that supports living lightly on the earth
  • Learning exactly the negative environmental impact that use of every one of your possessions represents
  • Determining your current footprint on the earth so that you can make quantifiable changes
  • Challenge yourself to make these changes

My favorite parts of this book were:

  • Chapter 1:  Building the Case for Global Living
  • Figure 6-7:  Ecological Footprint Quiz (you can also take a version of a footprint quiz online at http://www.redefiningprogress.org)
  • Chapter 9:  Applying the Tools (you actually should  read Chapters 5-6 first, but they’re pretty weighty if you’re not a numbers person)

I would have added Chapter 7,   The Second Tool:  Your Money or Your Life, but I’ve long ago read and reread that book, so I skipped that chapter.  (By the way, the third edition is now available with updates.)

One of my favorite quotes from this book:

Our intuition doesn’t need a factual basis to know what to do; it is a way of knowing without the use of our rational minds.  Intuitive information is like an internal compass, guiding us in considering the well-being of the whole.  Does your intuition and spirituality influence you to share the Earth?  Most spiritual paths include kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and reciprocity.  If your scientific mind looks deeply into natural phenomena, while our spirituality embraces all life, and we pay attention to our intuition, our personal ethics will influence how we make day to day choices.  As we get out of theory and down to practice, some ethical questions might be:

  • Could Earth support all the world’s people at my standard of living?
  • Do other species or people suffer because of my lifestyle?
  • Do good things come from each dollar I spend?
  • Do other species have inherent value?
  • Should my race, gender, strength, taxonomy, education or birthplace allow me to consume more than others?
  • Are wars being fought over resources that I use?
  • Do I support corporations or industries that damage the environment or exploit workers in sweatshops?
  • Is my lifestyle in alignment with my own values?

This gets to the heart of why we should let go of our stuff, let go of our bad energy habits, let go of wants that don’t help us or our planet.