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Ethical Raw Veganism

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By Robert Miller

Vegan: a vegetarian diet devoid of animals or
animal products.
Raw Vegan: a diet of fresh, uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

The vegan diet, with its omission of animals and animal products, is of tremendous benefit to both the individual and the Earth. It is in practice, however, largely a cooked food diet. Cooking engenders tremendous destruction of the Earth because of the resources used in the production, distribution, and cooking of the food. (see sidebar, The Ignominious List.)

The Ignominious List Of Carnage Brought About By The Human Practice Of Firing Food
By Seth Asher

With the cooked food lifestyle we need:
  • pots, pans, woks, stoves, ovens, microwaves, toasters, baking equipment, spice racks;
  • dish & pot detergents, scrubbers, dish-washing machines;
  • manufacture of all of the above including mining and production of metals and plastics;
  • processed food manufacturing;
  • processed food packaging including disposable containers;
  • processed food trucking and shipping;
  • processed food based advertising and promotion;
  • processed food based medical, dental and hospital “services”;
  • vitamins, herbal remedies and supplements;
  • cooking gas exploration, development, and delivery; restaurants;
  • soft drink manufacture, beer brewing, wine making and much more.

The resources needed to manufacture, house, maintain, transport, distribute, promote and sell all of these enterprises and their products are incalculable. The ecological cost of eating cooked foods is enormous! The above list is all unnecessary in a locally grown, organic, raw vegan diet.

Veganism is on the first level ethical and compassionate. But a deeper look at the typical vegan diet reveals the enormous amount of harm done in food processing, refrigeration, storage, shipping, sales, and more. Mining and forging metals for pots and pans, cooking gas and fossil fuel exploration and removal, asphalt production, paving of roadways, production of appliances with their myriad plastic and metal parts, etc. Each of these and many more are necessary for cooked food production. Each destroys vast swathes of land and the plants, insects and animals that live there. No doubt this destruction has other uses, but its most basic is to provide cooked, processed foods.

The vegan diet in practice is grain and soy based. These foods are integral to our current system of “totalitarian agriculture” where all forms of life are subjugated to our desire for ever-increasing volumes of food. The “amber waves of grain,” doused with millions of tons of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and chemical fertilizers, are fields devoid of almost all life, but the target grain. These were once beautiful fields teeming with life including flowering and fruiting plants and other edible vegetation.

The system of totalitarian agriculture, of which cooked food veganism is a part, has led to ever-increasing food production and consequently ever-expanding human population. It has also led to the ecological disaster in which we currently live. It is a vicious cycle where humans populate lands unfit for human existence, then create systems which allow us to live there, i.e., climate control housing, irrigation, apartment buildings, etc. In so doing almost everything that was there previously is destroyed.

Increased food production: increasing human population, requiring more land for shelter and increased food production — increasing human population: requiring more land, and on and on to our current ecological and sociological catastrophe.

It is important to understand that humans are made from food, and the more food there is, the more humans will be created despite attempts at birth control. This has always been the case. It is impossible to produce humans without food and in fact, our rapidly increasing human population is fed year after year by global food surpluses. There may be shortages in certain areas, but these are filled by surpluses from other areas, i.e. “food aid,” “humanitarian relief,” also known as grain surplus from Nebraska flown in to feed the starving masses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Because we produce our own food, rather than eating what Nature provides, we have grown well beyond what Nature can provide. Since we do not live within Nature’s laws as we did for the first 2.5 to 3 million years of human existence prior to the advent of totalitarian agriculture some 10,000 years ago, (we have eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and left the fruit-filled Garden of Eden in order to till the soil and tend animals), we also suffer from this strain on Nature in an endless series of famines, environmental disasters and wars — conflicts caused by too many humans unable to deal with each other under too crowded conditions.

The raw vegan diet can be a fully compassionate diet. Initially, during a transition period, many raw vegans may choose to eat gourmet raw food recipes. These do use some resources such as manufacturing and electricity for blenders and juicers. Still, this is minimal when compared to a cooked vegan meal. Over time, most raw vegans do come to eat a more barehanded diet consisting almost totally of fresh, raw, organic, preferably home grown, locally grown or foraged fruits and vegetables. This means simply wash and eat, or even better pick and eat. Each meal is a major contribution to the health of the Earth by virtue of resources not used. It is an immense saving of time, effort, energy, and even more, it brings substantial health and happiness — a major distinction between the vegan and raw vegan diet.

There is no doubt that the vegan diet brings better health than the standard American diet. As commonly practiced, however, it does not bring the vitality, deep balance and happiness that comes from raw veganism after an adaptation period which can be months or sometimes a few years. It can be difficult to stick with a diet for intellectual reasons, but far easier when one feels great from it.

These are areas in which vegans and raw vegans can and should learn from each other. Many vegans become such from an ethical or environmental motivation. Raw vegans generally make the change for health reasons, but are often devoid, or have only a glimmer, of the ethical/environmental principle. However, in ethical raw veganism, we have the most powerful combination for the possibility of sustainable, long-term human life as part of a healthy Earth.

Raw veganism (raw food or live food diet) is currently expanding rapidly. Hopefully, vegans and raw vegans will reach out to one another, combining their knowledge and efforts to create dramatic global change — together stepping outside the destructive vortex of totalitarian agriculture and lifeless cooked food, and joining in a peaceful, quiet revolution which will allow humans to once again exist happily as viable members of Earth’s living community.

Rob Miller is an accomplished writer, speaker, composer, saxophonist, flutist, world traveler, avid yoga practitioner, and enthusiastic raw vegan. He has toured and recorded across the globe as a musician, lectured throughout the U.S.A. and Asia on raw food and environmental topics, and organizes the annual raw food vacations in Bali and India. He can be contacted at: http://www.rawfoodvacations.com and mailto:robertmiller@rcn.com

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