My cleanse is completed, but the questions it brought up for me persist. This recent experience caused me to hearken back to my (brief) days of veganism. I find myself torn between the locavore diet and the modern intergalactic superfoods ascension-to-other-realms diet of spirulina, coconut butter, agave, goji berry juice, maca powder, and other such delicacies. I want to be well, and while I love root vegetables, I am tired of them being the basis for every meal. I am also having quite a challenge with integrating so much meat into my diet.
So I ask, can one be a vegan and a locavore? And, more importantly, should one be committed to either? Veganism seems intuitively wrong to me. Being indiscriminate omnivores is what got humans to the top of the food chain, and I have never heard of an indigenous population that subsisted on a vegan diet. In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.), Barbara Kingsolver even mentions an interesting historical blooper where vegetarians from India migrated to England and became anemic. It turns out they were consuming bug parts in their minimally processed grains in India, whereas the overprocessed British flour was devoid of such delectable nutrients.
For myself, I feel the most amazing when I eat close to what is now being referred to as the "paleo" or "caveman" diet. Essentially, the paleo diet consists of meat and veggies and fruits and nuts and seeds: anything that was available for consumption in pre-agricultural times. When I eat a mainly raw-vegan diet with the occasional local organic free range egg and the occasional (like, once or twice a month) big hunk of meat, I feel light, energetic, and satiated.
However, the is always the philosophical, ethical, and ecological question of how and when it is okay to eat meat. I have come to terms with local, organic meat being okay with me, and after having participated in a chicken slaughter and various other events of animals dismemberment, I'm getting closer to having a sense of what I would be willing to eat based on what I would be willing to kill. I am still not at peace with the process, but I also accept it as part of the cycle of life.
I try to imagine living up to my locavore ideals while being a strict vegan. In essence, I would currently be living on root vegetables and kimchi. Yuck.
I would like to hear whether others experience this or similar tensions when deciding where to send their food dollars!