Raw, adjective: 1. uncooked, as articles of food: a raw carrot.

You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Fate: Essays and Lectures

Flesh-eating by humans is unnecessary, irrational, anatomically unsound, unhealthy, unhygienic, uneconomic, unaesthetic, unkind and unethical. May I elaborate?

~ Helen Nearing,
Simple Food for the Good Life

I'm on a big raw vegan kick. Can you tell?

August this year carries with it many Big Life Things, and when that happens, I'm always wont to turn straight back to that great source of prana - eating well - in an effort to abide the days, and to sit comfortably and compassionately with Shiva the Destroyer's barreling through the halls of my metaphorical home. So on the cusp of a busy few weeks, I headed to Whole Foods the other day and ran rampant through their raw foods section, stocking up on plums (plums! I forgot about plums!) and melons (obvs) and berries and pistachios (lurve) and kale chips and you name it. And then this morning at yoga I ran into my main man Briksha, he of the inspirational Cafe Gratitude raw chef-dom and the remarkable training with Gabriel Cousens and his ilk. And we talked ahimsa and yogic food ethics and the excitement of sharing our practice with people of equal passion. And we're going to write a book.

But before we get to that: run your tongue over and around those two quotes above. They're harder than I usually go for, edgier, more brusque, more abrasive, so cautious am I usually to avoid offending/alienating the beloved meat eaters in my life.

But, really. It's quite clear. And now and again, in the right moment, when the stars align, the revelation of the radical and righteous work done by people like John Robbins, Carol J. Adams and Mr. Cousens himself will hit me smack in the face and remind me how pleasant, how perfect, how pristine that choice to live lightly on the earth is, to extend your yoga practice off the mat and reaffirm it every time you choose (or don't choose) to practice less suffering in the way you consume, in the very food you put in your mouth, in the decision to either increase or decrease your prana with every bite.

With compassion as the guiding force, eating well really becomes quite easy. Compassion for your own healthy, living, breathing body, that craves only nourishment and good sattvic food; compassion for the planet, which benefits so from you living lightly upon it; and compassion for the other living beings around you, whose prana we often value far too little.

It's really very simple. But everything good is, no?

Vegetarianism preserves lives, health, peace, the ecology, creates a more equitable distribution of resources, helps to feed the hungry, encourages nonviolence for the animal and human members of the planet, and is a powerful aid for the spiritual transformation of the body, emotions, mind, and spirit.

~ Gabriel Cousens, Conscious Eating


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