Dave and I went to pick up our vegetables from the Harvest Food Coop today. We are owners of a share in this year’s harvest of the Happy Valley farm located in New Braintree, MA. As we walked out of the subway exit, which is 6 feet from the entrance to the Coop, I saw a man waiting to cross Mass Ave. It was hard not to notice that his left foot was at a 90 degree angle to his ankle, which meant that he literally had to walk on his ankle. I stood there for a minute, evaluating the situation. I decided I could help. A few seconds later, we were jaywalking arm-in-arm across Mass Ave. He told me that his name was Big Al, and that he had done five minute comedy stands at the Hong Kong restaurant in Harvard Square. He said his foot had been run over 40 years ago, while he was in the Army. We made our way across the street and into the Wendys. I bought him lunch, gave him my card, and said goodbye. That’s really the spirit of this blog. I wish every day contained that perfect little happy moment; the joy I felt when we were walking across the street today.
People often ask me why I’m a vegan. Kind of in the same way someone might ask you why you raise pet tarantulas. In the past, they were expecting to hear either than I was a health nut or an animal nut. For me, actually, it’s a personal decision. Like Bartleby, the Scrivener, my reply is: “I prefer not to.”
But now, it turns out that eating vegan is the new equivalent of driving a Prius. Animal agriculture is responsible for eighteen percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. And the decision to unhook from one of our strongest cultural moorings and sail off into uncharted territory by turning to a plant-based diet becomes an act of wild optimism. We vegans are showing than man can evolve. By treading lightly, we can lead the way back to the Garden of Eden.
For an inspiring blog post on this subjects, see: Common Ground Magazine.