Saturday, September 22, 2007

Let's be fair now...

I've been vegetarian for about 12 years now - so it's really a part of my lifestyle I don't even think about anymore - it just IS. I've noticed over the last few months, or maybe a year, however, that my palette has changed slightly. I had NEVER been a coffee drinker before, partly because I had NO NEED for the extra stimulation the caffeine would provide (of course, this didn't stop me from drinking caffeinated soft drinks) but mainly I found it far too bitter - no matter how much sugar and milk I added.

Lately though I've been SO enjoying a morning cup of coffee made with lovely coffee grounds and a little plunger. I boil the kettle, trot off and do something else til it's ready, pour it over the spoons of lovely rich coffee grounds in the plunger, then trot off again to busy myself whilst it brews, and brews and becomes all lovely and tasty!

Perhaps my palette is finally becoming adult? All growed up, as I like to say! I'm still not an olive fan, and think I'll always prefer sweets to savouries - but isn't it interesting how our likes and dislikes can change so dramatically as we progress through life?

Another change I've been experiencing is in my mind. As I said above, vegetarianism is something that is simply a part of my life, not up for compromise or re-thinking. But I've found myself becoming.. MORE vegetarian.. or perhaps leaning towards veganism lately. I have trouble eating eggs unless I can distract my mind from what's going on there, and have always had a funny phobia of dairy - "is this off?!?! Is it? What's that funny bit in it?" If the cheese has been out of the fridge for longer than 20 minutes it's inedible as far as I'm concerned!

But now that awareness of where things are derived from is extending further, into food groups I never expected to have hampered by ethics - LOLLIES! Of course most jubey, squidgy lollies are made from gelatin. And gelatin is made from hooves and horns and other such delightful animal parts. Tasty, huh? Our lolly-tin at work is always a source of mid-afternoon energy and we all tuck in every now and again, lining up the colourful treats across the top of our keyboards to pop into our salivating mouths when the phones are quiet for a moment or two. But now I find myself only picking the chocolate ones, or the hard boiled ones. No more squidgy gelatin lollies for me - I find it too hard to reconcile in my mind. And that's a good thing. I'm not disappointed that my damn ethics have stopped me from having a tasty treat!! I feel glad to be mindful of these things.

So, as a result when I was in the store the other day needing to top up on my coffee supplies, I looked over the shelves and shelves of various, exotic, european and fancy-pants packets not knowing one from the other - and one stood out as the definate and easy choice.
The Fair Trade coffee.
fairtrade coffee
No more expensive than the other brands, and as I've ascertained from my morning cuppa, equally as delicious. Plus, the added bonus of no ethical baggage to carry with me all day! I think it can make such a huge difference to one's life to do these little tiny things. To be true to your integrity, morality and personal ethics. Not to compromise, even the tiny stuff, because it's easier, or quicker, or slightly less expensive etc.. To me, the wealth of reward I get back from this mindfulness in life is so significant, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Yes, it can make life seem slightly more complicated, and of course I'm not a saint - there are many areas in which I fall down - driving to work each day and back for example - but as long as we each maintain our integrity and value system, don't cut corners, uphold our own ethics - imagine what a difference that would make? Imagine a world full of honourable and genuine people - it's certainly food for thought, isn't it?

1 comment:

bink said...

Weird!! Chris was just asking me a few days ago whether you check candy-wrappers for gelatin!! (it sounds odd doesn't it, but I just can't remember how that came up in conversation!)

I'll have to give him an update now :)