Many people may not know this about me but I don't particularly care for conflict. That is why I love writing so much. I get to say how I feel and if someone doesn't like it, they can just stop reading. Well, the other night in the car my husband and I got in to a heated discussion. The discussion was actually about a friend of his who made a comment to me not long ago that I didn't agree with (and let it be known.) To make a long story short it was about a story I heard while watching Food Inc. about a young child who died from E. coli which was found in spinach he had eaten. There are all kinds of theories, related to the meat industry, of how veggies like spinach are suddenly being contaminated but I won't go in to that right now. The mother of the child in this story is now a food safety advocate. As a mother myself, I know that I can't do everything to protect my child. But, with that being said, I know that if God forbid something like that were to happen to me, the only thing that would give me peace would be knowing I did and would continue to do everything possible to keep this from happening to another child's family. With that being said, our heated debate was about standing for something. Basically the point I tried to get across was that I am not saying that I am right or wrong in my thinking, BUT I am doing what I believe could make a difference in my daughters future. I believe that even if I am only one person, I CAN make a difference. I can't stand the mentality of, 'well I can't make much of a difference by myself so I will turn a blind eye and pretend like the things that are happening in this world aren't really happening.' That is of course until it hits close to home and I have no choice but to recognize it. I can't be that person and I don't think anyone should. True, one person alone can't change everything but look how far we've come already.
Those who know me personally know that I don't go around all day preaching my beliefs about the environment and food safety or lack thereof. I do however talk about what I am cooking, what I am eating and what I am doing. You'd be amazed how many times I go out to eat with a group, whether it be co-workers, friends or even family and I order something "meatless" from the menu and the conversation suddenly turns to the over consumption of meat in the U.S. I can't tell you how many people have said to me that they too have wanted to cut back on their meat consumption but needed a push or maybe even some ideas on how to get started. When I walk out of that restaurant, I know that I have made a difference. I don't expect the world someday to be full of vegetarians. I do however want to encourage the people I love to make better choices for themselves and their families. To be more aware of where their food came from, how it was processed and what types of "unthinkables" it has been subjected to, like chemicals and added hormones. I do want to encourage people to cut back on their meat. Start with one meal a week, then one day a week and see where it takes you. Start exploring new options and you'll be surprised at how many tasty meat free choices there are out there. But, most importantly, share this thinking with the people around you. That, my friend, is how one person can change the world. By sharing what you believe in and standing for something.