It’s Still Not About You!

This month, I have been observing a practice of eating vegan.


My partner is vegan and we keep a vegan kitchen, so I’m no stranger to eating vegan. I ate meat infrequently, but always did so when I was away from the house. (Generally, while eating pho or ramen with friends.)


Also, since I work in the Italian-American neighborhood of Boston, I frequently would have some great cheap pizza before going into work. It was filling and inexpensive and delicious.


In going vegan for a month, I’ve had to give that up. To be honest, though I crave pho, ramen, or pizza (or a great burger) from time-to-time, being temporarily vegan has been an excellent practice.


Our society is built upon the idea of choice and desire. It wants us to want. Want things to buy. A better house. A better car. A better body. It wants us to want food and drink, for taste or convenience. It wants us to drink alcohol to excess (because often it’s the only societally acceptable way of dealing with the frustrating demands of work, life, home).


I’m not going to say that I’m going to become an ascetic or anything, but it felt good and liberating to be able to say “No” to something that is both my life and (most likely) my death: my relationship with food.


In general, I’ve eaten healthier and I think some aspects of my health have improved because of that (and other reasons). Sure, you can even get unhealthy with vegan food and I have done that this past month. (I made my own seitan and then breaded and fried it like chicken. It was amazing!)  But overall, I’ve gained a bit of self-control.


I feel as if fasting or the traditional Christian practice of giving something up for Lent ties into this self-control attitude.


It reminds you that this life is not all about you and what you want.

Taking away a significant amount of options (which being vegan can do), leads one to make more intentional choices.


In my case, I can gear that attitude towards what my God wants me to eat. Yes. I want cheese. I want a burger. I want ramen. Of course, I want all of these things. These options are all available to me, if I want them. They are figuratively being dangled in front of me. But it’s not about what *I* want.


I give my body in service to the Gods. What do They want me to eat? They want me to eat healthy so that my body will be healthy. I will have energy and strength to do the Work that they want me to do.

I flirted with the idea of continuing being vegan after this month ends on Wednesday. But I don’t think I will. I think I will, however, be more intentional about eating vegan more often.


I want to be more intentional about what I eat and why I eat it. Whether it’s due to ethics (as with meat/dairy) or health (avoiding fried foods), or other reasons.


This isn’t something that one reads about a lot in Paganism but I think it very much relates to the practice of my religion and the way that I live my life.
I have given my life to the gods. It’s time to think about what that means and re-orient myself towards what is good rather than “what I want”.

~ by R.M. McGrath on 02/27/2017.

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