A few evenings ago, as my wife and I were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner, she said: “Wow, you know what I haven’t cooked in awhile? Food.” That’s the pace of life these days. This morning we let our son pick his own breakfast because he was uninterested in anything we suggested, and he also went for convenience: “Wasabi seaweed. And mandarins.” His words were short. He was focused on an anteater that Jeff Corwin was rescuing from a Panamanian kitchen on The Jeff Corwin Experience.
We’ve had more traditional culinary evenings and mornings even with the time crunch. Before you get too worried for my little man’s well being, he does in fact get a warm, complete meal for lunch everyday when we send him off to preschool, when his friends are probably eating cold cuts. In other words, my wife was more accurately noting that we haven’t been cooking much for ourselves as parents, but Nahum gets all kinds of cooking attention. That said, the state of our plate is due in part to our dietary choice not to eat animals other than fish, which my son has internalized as: “We don’t eat giraffe, right?”
I could coast for long stretches without any sense of deprivation on bread, hummus, raw vegetables and coffee. Studies are always revealing surprises about coffee and I’m waiting for an announcement that it’s a complete protein. When my wife and I got married, we came up with a lofty list of reasons why we wouldn’t eat animals (at that time, fish was out too). Here are reasons 2 and 5 on the list, but the deal is that you have to remember it’s our personal choice, not a judgment of what anyone else should be eating unless you’re our kid, in which case you’re at the mercy of fate. Deal? OK:
A plant-based diet extends the planet’s resources further than an animal-based diet, and it’s a more sustainable option for a growing human population.
The food on our plate is a political/cultural/spiritual demonstration that helps to make a difference in our lives, others’ lives and in the grand scheme of things (not in the least, by continuously refocusing our commitment to being agents of positive change in the world).
Yes, we wrote a whole list of these gems. If you were Chris Rock, you might take this opportunity to note that if you are one of the lucky people in this world of massive inequality to actually get your hands on a steak, then you’d better appreciate it. You might also be of the school of thought that plants are not food. Plants are what food eats. But stubbornly, we remain motivated by our list. And PB&J aside, we aren’t particularly limited in grabbing a quick dinner after the workday with places like Nud Pob and Boca Grande on Comm. Ave. near the law tower.
I’m finding a connection between intentionality in daily choices and staying encouraged that the increasing pace of life will not be too much to handle. The key is that I don’t feel lost in a time sink of hard work. Instead, I’m hopeful about making steady gains toward carefully crafted goals.