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I grew up with grandparents of the 19th century deeply rooted in an agrarian culture. They were the children of German immigrants who ate mostly grains, legumes vegetables, and fruit, meat was a small part of their diet.
Today things have changed. We eat way too much meat and it’s hurting us and killing the planet.
Many of the most brilliant and mindful souls I know live lightly and choose vegan diets and lifestyles.
Why did they transition to a vegan diet in the first place? What is it that drives them to make the choice every day and enjoy it?
I decided to ask a few of my vegan friends why they’ve adopted and love the vegan lifestyle.
It’s odd to think about gardening even as the air nips and the leaves turn and fall.
Planting a seed or a bulb, or a bush can spruce up your life in any season.
And I believe a dalliance with nature is exactly what we need right now—in a world, we couldn’t have imagined even four years ago.
We have entered the age of Permacrisis. (Yet another word to add to your dictionary.)
It describes the extended period of instability and insecurity we continue to live in. We’ve become numb to political instability, the war in Ukraine, climate catastrophes, the cost of living, and food insecurity.
I suffer from anxiety about the future—too many things are going awry all at the same time.
My hope withers as the oaks and madrone trees drop near my home of 40 years. The forest is drying, and with it comes fire danger. I have such angst it makes me want to leave this place I’ve grown up in. It is heartbreaking.
Know as “ecological anxiety” or “climate grief”, it’s a condition so common now that therapists have a new word to describe it:
“Solastalgia.”The trauma of losing one’s home while staying in the same place.
Better add it to your spell-check dictionary. It’s going to be around for a while.
UN’s Climate Report warns that we aren’t doing enough to curb emissions like we said we would. All countries need to be cutting and removing emissions faster and at wider scopes in all areas of the economy.
If we don’t start acting like one species sharing one planet, we’ll suffer more severe climate events. With devastating loss, damage, displacement, and hunger.
It’s time to think about what we can do to overcome anxiety by channeling it into positive and productive actions. Because as challenging as that may seem, the world needs balanced and grounded individuals to lead the way.
How does one overcome existential angst while the planet toasts?
Humans have been growing their food for ten thousand years or so, give or take by continent and climate. Yet, today many regard it as something someone does far away working in a field.
If we “endeavor to get our fingernails dirty, we consider it “gardening,” a hobby that’s relaxing and therapeutic.
Yes, you’ll save money and enjoy delicious fresh produce to nourish you when supply chains give way. Your food security will be a bit more robust.
A more important benefit to growing our food is that it gives us a direct connection to the natural world.
“The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” Wendell Berry
Understanding that we are not separate from nature is a critical shift we need to make in order to heal the problems before us.
Are you old enough to remember the song “what condition your condition is in”?
Being in “Perfect condition” means something different for each one of us, there’s no ultimate standard. Understanding what perfect condition means for you is the first step to having it. Knowing and nurturing your perfection is important as you move through a not-so-perfect world.