My man Louie's genius, again.
"Wouldnt it be powerful if you fell in love with yourself so deeply that you would do just about anything if you knew it would make you happy? This is precisely how much life loves you and wants you to nurture yourself. The deeper you love yourself, the more the universe will affirm your worth. Then you can enjoy a lifelong love affair that brings you the richest fulfillment from inside out."- Alan Cohen
The causes lie deep and simply--the causes are a hunger in a stomach, multiplied a million times; a hunger in a single soul, hunger for joy and some security, multiplied a million times; muscles and mind aching to grow, to work, to create, multiplied a million times. The last clear definite function of man--muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need--this is man.
Just how destructive does a culinary preference have to be before we decide to eat something else? If contributing to the suffering of billions of animals that live miserable lives and (quite often) die in horrific ways isn't motivating, what would be? If being the number one contributor to the most serious threat facing the planet (global warming) isn't enough, what is? And if you are tempted to put off these questions of conscience, to say not now then when?I had avoided this book since 2009. I really enjoyed (and still do) a lot of the food writing of the same time by authors like Michael Pollan but I knew that this book in particular delved into the horrors of the factory farming industry and it wasn't something I wanted to subject myself to willingly. I have recently undergone my third honest shift in my relationship to food. Primarily from the severe destruction animal farming has on the environment, I have chosen to become vegetarian. It was after this shift I decided to read Eating Animals. I am not a purist. I occasionally still eat fish (and can still never imagine totally giving up oysters) but it is a personal evolution, the change comes from an honest, internal transformation. Foer gives us an important and accessible insight to what we are putting into the bodies of our families and children and forces us to look into the mirror. Our choices, manifested in our actions are the only way to truly share our beliefs. Walk the talk. I cannot preach to anyone, I cannot judge anyone but I can manage myself. I can choose to live in a city where I do not rely on the need for a personal car, I can choose not to support an industry that is destroying the planet and is detrimental to all of our wellbeing. I no longer live in a small rural community where the beef on my parents table comes from a neighbor's pasture. So where is it coming from then? Examination is a challenge, for it is unforgivingly violent and horrific, but isn't that precisely why we should question it?
It's strange how deserts turn us into believers. I believe in walking in a landscape of mirages because you learn humility. I believe in living in a land of little water because life is drawn together. And I believe in the gathering of bones as a testament to spirits that have moved on.
If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self. There is no place to hide and so we are found.
Wilderness courts our souls.
No man ever followed his genius till it misled him. Though the result were bodily weakness, yet perhaps no one can say that the consequences were to be regretted, for these were a life in conformity to higher principles. If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal, -- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality... The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
|PASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,|
|You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,)|
|I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,|
|All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,|
|You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me,||5|
|I ate with you, and slept with you—your body has become not yours only, nor left my body mine only,|
|You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass—you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,|
|I am not to speak to you—I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone,|
|I am to wait—I do not doubt I am to meet you again,|
|I am to see to it that I do not lose you.|
The moment of quickening, the briefest visual exchanging of selves, the hot rush that feels like one (of many) version of I love you. It follows no reason but is beautiful, human, resonant, exact.
"We have more and more ways to communicate, as Thoreau noted, but less and less to say. Partly because we’re so busy communicating... The central paradox of the machines that have made our lives so much brighter, quicker, longer and healthier is that they cannot teach us how to make the best use of them."
"I think we fall in love with places for the same reason we fall in love with people. And our reasons are irrational and passionate and hard to explain. And sometimes when we fall in love with a place it becomes part of us forever." Lori Anderson