Detoxifying

3 Jul

Last February, after some bad winter flu (me) and various stomach issues (Dotan) we decided to do a 28-day detox via wholeliving.com. We stuck to it pretty strictly and the result was,  we felt better overall, D no longer drinks any caffeine and I got to thinking about  some big, important stuff (please note how I still drink coffee. Why is he so much more disciplined than me?!).

During the last year, I have read a lot about factory farming, raw food diets, vegetarianism, going dairy-free, fish farming, vegan lifestyles and all kinds of different takes on these ideas. I have read a lot of blogs. A lot. My RSS feed is stuffed with more blogs than a person should probably follow, but there’s so much interesting material  ‘out there’ about these ideas that it evidently requires some serious consideration.

When I was 10, we did a school project on the environment. My Dad worked for (big bad) Shell LNG for over 20 years, and I can remember being fascinated with the promotional material he brought home which, while acknowledging their carbon footprint, also discussed the ways Shell were trying to make up for it.  In Junior Two, I learned the terms CFC and ozone layer for the first time during that project and for the cover, I used an image of a giant bucket of crap being dumped all over the earth.

How and what we consume directly affects the environment!

Since then, I’ve been an amatuer environmentalist. Back in 2006, my plans were to move to Israel and study environmental law. Then I realised my Hebrew wasn’t good enough, so it was put on the back burner. I tried being a weekday vegetarian when I was a tween but it didn’t last very long. Plus, we lived in Japan at the time, and when my Mum could get hold of a frozen, kosher chicken from Australia you’d better well eat it on Friday night or literally risk the wrath of Khan.

I didn’t connect the dots.  Food. Environment. Kashrut. Health.

But in the last year, it has been clawing at me. Here are the strands of thoughts I have about this – as a person, a woman, a Jew and a consumer:

1) Health

Animal factory farms are, in today’s world, where all of our meat comes from. It is where antibiotics, chemicals & hormones are pumped into the bodies of the animals which end up on our plates.  Think about it – antibiotics and hormones? Tell me you don’t want to puke. I am ingesting all of this into my body, voluntarily, when I eat meat or chicken, turkey, duck or lamb.

Can Hormones In Meat Affect Puberty in Girls?

2) Kashrut

Animal factory “farms” are not the pastoral hollyhock farms of childhood TV shows.  How sad is this? There is no such thing anymore.  Today, ‘farms’ are factories. Picture a slaughterhouse, and everything you imagine along with that word. They are places of cruelty and abuse.  Preventing “tza’ar baaley chayim” i.e. cruelty to animals, is the primary principle behind the treatment of animals in Jewish law.  Here I am, an observant Jew, who is knowingly happy to eat meat which has been raised in contradiction with Jewish law.  How can this meat be considered ‘kosher’?

Sidenote: Milk – how is it that milk lasts so long nowadays? In England, we used to have red/silver bottled tops delivered every other day by the milkman because fresh milk goes sour quickly.  What do they put into milk today that it can last for 3 weeks? Is it even ‘milk’ anymore?

The End of Milk 

How Kosher Is Our Milk?

Is it kosher?

3) Environment

Jonathan Safran Foer’s book ‘Eating Animals’ – an account of his first-person research on this topic – is an accessible way to understand the damage that factory farms, animal slaughter and fish farming are inflicting on the environment. There is too much information to squeeze into this post. But, as an example, I will share this. Someone said to me the other day that they use plastic plates a lot. We discussed how this might be bad for the environment, and she said she didn’t really care about the environment. I asked her if she’d like her kids, or her grandkids, to have fresh, clean air to breathe when they’re our age, and she said yes – of course. I told her to stop f’ing using plastic plates, then –  not for the environment’s sake (god forbid) but for her children.  Now, I’m starting to think about meat in the same way.

It’s never just about me, or about you. It’s who comes after us, and what the world will look like when we’re finished messing with it.

Check out http://live-the-solution.com/mindmaps/ for brilliant ways to inspire people into environmental friendliness!

All these issues tie together for me.  There are so many things about the farming industry, our health and what it means to keep kosher that overlap.  But I can’t see us going vegan, ever.  We could easily morph, however, into ‘weekday vegetarians’. We no longer buy or eat red meat at home, and currently only buy Israeli chicken ‘grown without antibiotics’. This is a start.

It’s important for me to say that I am extraordinarily grateful for our overall good health. Neither of us, thank God, has anything majorly wrong with us. But we all know how quickly that can change. Our lifestyles, as they are right now, are not setting us up for a healthy middle-age.  We have woken up to the fact that there are so many things we can do that will impact upon the length and quality of our lives – it’s serious biz, yo!

Pesticide free! Booya!

Thus, to set off in the right direction, I have embarked on a safe, healthy and holistic 30-day detox program. You’ll prolly be hearing a LOT about that on here, be warned.

It’s July. It’s on.

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