December 17, 2009
Holiday Season is officially here. Can you believe that Thanksgiving is already weeks behind us? As we move deeper into the month of December, most of us grow in excitement (or anxiety) for a special holiday called Christmas. For many people around the world, Christmas is a holiday celebrated with loads of presents, family, friends, and food!
Food is a very popular topic during the holidays. For most of us, we carry traditions that our parents passed down to us, especially when it comes to what to create in the kitchen. There is a never ending list of creations in the kitchen for the holidays. There are Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, candies, chocolates, eggnog, cocktails, and meals, meals, meals!!!
One thing that concerns me with the holidays and any time of the year, is the attention that people put towards the quality of food they are purchasing. When you go into a grocery store, what is on your mind? Is it………..I have a grocery list and my job is to find what is on this list and purchase it?
I have a challenge to offer everyone of you. Next time you go shopping, take a moment and think about what you are purchasing. Where is your money going? Who are you supporting? What are you supporting? Who or what might you be harming? Compassion goes a long way when we take a moment and think about your choices.
What does it mean to be “cruelty-free”? What and who deserves your compassionate attention this holiday season? If you choose to serve meat for your holiday meal, rather than a vegetarian/vegan/raw feast, call your local natural food stores and find out where you can get a completely free roaming, organically-fed animal. Ask questions to assure your grocer knows where their animal came from. It’s ok to challenge them with questions. If they do not know, maybe it’s time for them to think about it. Completely free roaming means that the birds are not caged or held warehouse style w/ no access outside.
Creating a cruelty free holiday meal goes beyond the animal products on the table. What about your side dishes? When buying produce for candid yams, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie, make sure it is labeled 100% Organic! By purchasing food that is Organic you are saying NO to pesticides, gmo’s, and farmers that are mass producing with out love, just to make an extra dollar. By purchasing organic produce you are saying YES to your health(free of chemicals), the planet(free of pollution), and the smaller farms who exert so much love and energy into their products. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a local farmer’s market or other resource that sells locally-grown, organic produce. Eating local and organic is the greenest way to enjoy your food. Locally grown food ensures that precious fuel was not wasted to get your food from far away lands to your dinner table. By purchasing local produce you are supporting local family farms and enjoying the freshest possible produce! Yummy!
Remember that some people are not capable of celebrating the holidays as extravagantly as others. Some of us thrive in consuming more food in one meal, than less fortunate people do in a week. It’s important that we have compassion towards those who are hungry, and those who struggle. Contact local charities, churches, rescue missions and homeless shelters in your community. Donate food or money so that these over-burdened agencies can feed those who desperately need reasons for gratitude.
Enjoy your holiday season and take your compassion to the table and beyond!
THINK, LOVE, SHARE, AND BE COMPASSIONATE TOWARDS ALL BEINGS!