I wrote this last week.
So I’m sitting here in a waiting room waiting for my daughter. She’s having the very first massage therapy experience of her life! And with one of the most loving, kind and wise women that I know! YIPPEEEE! I’m so excited for her. I decided to bring my laptop and write out some stuff for my blog since I’ve been thinking about it for several days now.
Lots of things to write about but for now I’ll write about the workshop last night at Hunger Mountain Coop. My daughter and I made a peach cheeze cake the day before. I made hazelnut milk lightly sweetened with vanilla and agave and took the leftover mash and made fudge balls with it. So we got to the coop and went up to the new conference room (Love the new room, by the way!) We set up the computer with the speakers and put the goodies out. People started arriving and I said a short introduction and put the DVD on.
Last night we watched Eating - a DVD by Mike Anderson. I’m not too sure what to call it. I guess it would fall in the lines of a documentary. To me it is very powerful and I want everyone to see it. I acknowledge that for some, the message might be a little too much to receive but for me it totally isn’t… I was thinking last night whether or not I would describe Mike Anderson as radical or progressive, say if I had to describe him or his movies to someone. Certainly, I think people from my hometown would describe him as radical although he doesn’t really fit the full mold of that word/connotation. People around here in VT might consider him progressive but again, he doesn’t look like that kind of person either… “Progressive” definitely has a better tone to it than “radical” does. I would want to say that if I want to describe him as a “radical”, then I welcome him in as I do any “radicals” in history that helped bring about better changes (but not the ones that harmed people or themselves for some greater good.) For me, if we didn’t have “radical” people putting out their “radical” ideas, we wouldn’t have things like women’s rights, rights for African Americans, children’s rights, animal rights, and so on. So to me, I don’t see radicals always as fitting the bill of insane or harmful, which sometimes the word depicts, although I do acknowledge that is the fear behind that word…
So maybe let’s play with the word “progressive” and use it to describe what Mike Anderson is doing.
Well, he looks ordinary enough and even drives a sports car in the movie. Sports cars aren’t all that progressive, at least not how I think of them as gas guzzling and inefficient although shiny and nice to look at. Hmm… He’s an older man and I get the sense that he has grown up in middle America somewhere. I think he’s trying hard to get his message out that he feels passionately about. I think Mike Anderson’s life has been radically changed by what he chooses to put in his mouth, plain and simple. He is putting out his word of what he’s experienced with his DVDs like Eating and Healing Cancer from the Inside Out and his little book called The RAVE Diet (all 3 of which are great for getting the ball rolling to think differently about what one may be eating/doing.) Of the three things listed that I’ve read or seen, I particularly like the Eating DVD the best. I think he’s trying to encapsulate many many books into an 88 minute DVD. And I think that seeing a DVD for 88 minutes has the ability to say his message better than if we were to write a big laundry list of books to read like: The China Study or Fast Food Nation or books on Mindful Eating or Eat to Live or Spiritual Nutrition, etc and so forth. This video uses graphics and visual quotes and his own and others voices to drive his message. Some of the graphics are difficult for me to view close up and I apologized before we began at the workshop for them. They are meant to stir emotions and for me, they certainly do. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Whatever it takes to wake a person up, so long as it harms no one.
We watched the DVD and ate the raw food goodies and had a very short discussion. Next time I will stop the DVD at a certain point and then have more opportunity for a longer discussion. To me, it’s the discussion that is what is so rich. People’s initial experiences and reactions come out. Last night the discussion came out about how rigidly one has to adopt the kind of change Mike Anderson is talking about. I love when people express their feelings of almost dread when they see something that makes them go, “Oh My God, there’s so much - even too much that I need to do. Where do I begin?” For me, that is a brilliant question. THAT is where you begin. WIth that question.
One step is what you take when you decide to take your life or health in what you consider to be a positive direction. I love the “radicals” or “progressive” people out there that show their 100% unequivocal, undying, unwavering focus and direction on why doing what they are doing works. With Mike Anderson in his movies, he says in no uncertain terms, going to a 100% plant-based diet helps you in your health, in your life, helps the planet, is the “greenest” way to live and he gives you COUNTLESS ways of proving it. I love that. But does that mean that you are going to take this information and tomorrow wake up and say “I am going 100% plant-based today.” For a few, yes, it will. For others, it will be a definite “NO, I still need more proof.” Or maybe it will be “OMG! I can’t do all that, that’s too overwhelming.” And maybe nothing will change right away. Maybe that person will need to see more movies or (better yet) talk to more people living/eating this way and see that they are functioning people in society and they are still breathing! (Feel free to contact me! I’ll let you know that I’m still alive and I don’t eat meat or dairy! )
Maybe some people will watch the movie and get totally turned off by it. Maybe still others will watch the movie and say, “I’m going to stop eating meat one day out of the week and see how it goes.” OO! Maybe someone will be so bold as to say “I’m going to try this raw food thing for 30 days and see if there’s any bullshit here!” That would be fun. I typically love the person at the workshop who has their arms folded saying, “Yea, just TRY and convince me that this ‘healthy’ food tastes good.” Or something like that. It’s great fun to see their arms lower and relax and then their eyes open when they try a bite of my food!
So anyway, I am still quite eager to hear what people have to say about their experience after seeing this DVD. Even a day (or a week) after viewing it. What affected you? What did you find most interesting? What part(s) caught you and made you go “hmm… never thought of it like that.” What are you willing to try differently with your life or your health or your diet?
For me, a few parts make me giggle. Even the way he blatantly puts things together makes me giggle because he’s being REALLY clear with his message here! At least he’s not trying to be subtle like in advertising. My favorite line is when it goes, “It’s pretty ridiculous. We’re the most overweight nation, we eat like horses and yet we are scared that we’re going to have a protein deficiency that can only happen when you are literally starving.” My son’s favorite part was when there was the picture of the cow and it said that it cholesterol was like the animal’s revenge for humans eating meat - he thought that was funny and saw a picture of it in his head. He saw another picture in his head and I’m asking him to draw it so I can post it up here - it was something about having a part of the animal with you all the time when you eat it. I posted the picture at the bottom of this blog post. The most significant thing for my daughter was the realization of how dirty meat actually is. That one will stick with her for a long time, me thinks!
I also loved some of the pictures and the quotes - milk = liquid meat. Drinking 3 glasses of milk = 21 slices of bacon. Eating 1 pint of ice cream = 24 slices of bacon in terms of cholesterol. I love the numbers put up there - how many tens of thousands of gallons of water does it take to produce 1 lb of ground meat? The differences between chicken/fish and red meat… It’s great stuff!
So, that’s enough from me. I’d love to hear other people’s reactions to this DVD. I’m going to schedule it again, show less of it so’s we can talk more and of course we’ll have raw vegan goodies to eat while we watch. Thank you to everyone who showed up that evening to watch this. I’m so very grateful.
animals stay with us for a long time after we eat them. a drawing by my son.