Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Casting Your Pearls Before Swine

Where do you get your protein is probably a question I field more than any other.  A close second would be, "what about calcium?  Won't you get brittle bones?" At times questions are asked in a genuine inquisitive manner but at other times they are presented in an acerbic, condescending manner.  So, how is one to respond?

When I first began my plant-based lifestyle I was all fired up and filled with information and ready to spread the good news.  I wasn't attempting to proseltyze but share the positive changes in my sugar, cholesterol, and weight.  Not everyone was happy to hear what I had to say.  Some were but not many.

Then people began to ask questions in an accusatory tone.  I suppose asking someone where they get their protein is an okay question when the USDA and Got Milk has brainwashed them.  However, I didn't understand why they were so nasty about how they inquired.  I've had people approach me with the idea that eating a plant-based diet was borderline cultish or just plain anti-American. 

I've never judged people for how they eat.  I understand that eating is a very personal endeavor.  As people we revert to how we were raised for eating and often that evokes strong memories of when life was simpler and less stressful.  The other day I was making a large pot of vegetable stock and my wife commented, "Mmm, that reminds me of growing up."

How do I respond, then? 

I do my best to keep things as simple as possible. I don't breakout into the minutia of plant-based eating.  It took me several times through Engine 2 Diet, Eat to Live, and the China Study to even have a small amount of knowledge.  I was unlearning many things and then relearning them.  The process took some time.  Why would I expect someone to "get it" with one conversation from me?

I struggle with the nasty people.  I often want to tell them to eat their way and I'll eat mine and we see who dies of heart disease first! But I don't.  *sigh*.  I take on the responsibility of a teacher.  Repetition, repetition, repetition!  Faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing. At least they're asking, right.

I don't bash meat or meat eating.  I do my best to explain to people that processed foods, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are just as deadly.  Understand, I am not a "true" vegan but a person that follows a plant-based diet.  We get to the same place but we're taking different modes of transportation, so to speak.

In the end then there really are no swine for me to cast my pearls.  They are people in need of knowledge, information and education.  Jesus made a great statement once: "First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear."  Changing from the stereotypical American diet to a plant-based diet is a process.  Plus, I don't have all of the answers.  There are myriad amount of bloggers, authors, and doctors spreading the news about plant-strong diets.  Maybe I simply planted or watered the seed.

Let's get busy planting and watering.

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