February 12, 2016
In January, each Kiss the Ground member made regenerative resolutions (www.regenerativeresolutions.com). These resolutions are a way for our team to share our process of taking simple steps toward becoming stewards of the land.
This month, our Communications Director, Aria McLauchlan shares updates on her resolution: cutting meat intake unless it’s clear that the animal lived a happy life and was produced in a regenerative way.
This commitment immediately cuts out a lot of options. It’s easy enough to make a resolution like this and then really get in touch with the impact of your favorite dining rituals… the solitary bowl of beef pho noodle soup, the quick carnitas burrito brought home by your partner on a Sunday night, the all-you-can-eat dumplings celebration for a friend’s PhD confirmation celebration…
All in all, I’ve found it pretty easy to make positive choices when I’m by myself – at the farmers’ market and grocery store. I got some regeneratively raised bison chunks, perfect for the stews and soups I make during the winter months, and otherwise have been making simple, economical plant-based dishes, not dissimilar to my usual routine.
While I might be tempted for a moment by a meat dish on a menu, once I’ve ordered and started to eat the veggie option, I generally feel my palate and belly satiated and I feel some pride at sticking to my resolution.
The biggest challenge has been sometimes (not always) with friends. The opportunity for me moving forward is to not be afraid to engage a friend in conversation around my decision – or even ask for support if I’m feeling tempted, or when it’s not appropriate to bring it up in large groups, to simply, quietly check in with myself and make an affirming menu selection.
The other opportunity is to ASK the waiter! Rather than assume one way or the other, asking about ‘sustainable’, ‘free range’ or ‘regenerative’ animal products – even your eggs in that brunch – is a great way to let both your friends and the restaurant owners know that there’s consumer demand for doing the right thing.
The benefits to this resolution:
Animals that are raised by farmers practicing regenerative agriculture use the animals (instead of soil-tilling and the use synthetic chemicals & fertilizers) to help restore the land, sequester carbon and thus improve soil health
“Free range” and goods from small, local farms avoid causing (and participating in) the unnecessary suffering that happens at “factory farms”. If we all make choices as consumers to opt out and instead support our local farmers, eventually big ag and big brands will hear us and evolve into more conscious practices with us.
Walking the talk: I’ve felt more confident in my work and aligned because more of my actions now match my beliefs and values. It’s still too early to notice any major physical shifts, but I have felt clear, healthy and energetic, even during this new year, wintery month when we tend to shift from hibernation to making lots of personal changes and growth.