How Eating Can Save America

Given the staggering consequences from recent earthquakes and tsunamis, we’ve learned more about our planet’s idiosyncratic tectonic plates than we may want to. Without ever being seen, they’re shifting beneath our everyday lives, setting up these sudden physical eruptions.

The same might be said for what may seem like our sudden cultural eruptions as well. Without ever being seen, shifts are taking place that make cultural eruptions seem sudden, when a sharper look tells us they weren’t. Take the current un-proclaimed meeting between vegetarianism and veganism. Two food cultures — one ancient, one new — fusing into yet another phenomenon helping widen the gap between Millennial America and Trump America.

Look, if there is anything Trumpism projects, it’s the traditional culture of the hard driving, white male entrepreneur. You’ll often see him smartly dressed in glamorous venues drinking fine wines and red meats. But in these last 50 years, something called the Farmers Markets has happened. With almost 9000 across the nation [2000 in Chicagoland alone], the one thing they aren’t marketing is meat!

These local farmers truck in mainly the fresh fruits and vegetables our moms and doctors have been begging us to eat for years. However, they don’t get all the credit, because Vegetarianism is an idea the ancient Greeks had 3500 years ago. When Veganism first appeared in the war-rationing 1940s, it pushed the envelope even further. Along with meat, they reminded anyone who would listen that we shouldn’t be consuming eggs, cheese, honey, fish, just about anything that comes from animals.

Lest any filet mignon aficionados smirk….don’t. The number of Vegans in America has grown three and half times in just the last 10 years. And, no, not just the Millennials, gentlemen. The Vegan philosophy makes enormously good sense for anyone when it posits: humanity should live without exploiting animals. Not only because the raising, confining and slaughtering of 70 billion land and 100 billion sea animals a year is cruel; but because it is no longer necessary for life as it once was with our spear-carrying ancestors. We are on the brink of another food revolution, ready or not.

One thought. Next time we meet at the local Farmers Market, don’t bring your politics. This is really not a Democrat/ Republican thing. Shopping and eating together is still one of the few things we can do without wearing name tags!

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