Six Powers to Transform Temptations and Halt Addictive Eating

Six Powers to Transform Temptations and Halt Addictive Eating

You Are a Hero!

Have you made a decision to eat better? To transform dietary patterns that hurt your body and the earth and torture and kill animals? To take on a lifestyle that promotes vitality for you, a sustainable human presence on the planet, compassion toward non-human animals, and the cause of everyone everywhere being able to be nourished? If so, my friend, you are embarking on a journey of transformation and you are a hero![1] What you are doing is so counter-cultural that you will need great information, effective tools, lots of support, community, and the fortitude to sustain your new lifestyle for the long haul.

Like the heroes of every hero’s journey story ever shared through oral tradition or written down, you are venturing forth in the cause of bringing forth a new way of being for yourself that will also benefit the community. And like those heroes, you will face challenges along the way. In many of the old tales, the challenges showed up in the form of fierce and terrifying dragons, blocking the way, breathing fire, and threatening to tear the hero to pieces! And in many of those tales, in order to reach the Holy Grail or whatever great treasure was sought, the hero needed to slay the dragon.

A Kinder Approach

In our metaphysical revision of this journey, we recognize that there is another approach. As people committed to adopting a lifestyle that is kinder and gentler to the human body, the earth, and all lifekind, we don’t want to kill anything! Yet, in order to be successful on our journeys, we must find effective strategies for facing the “dragons” that appear in whatever form they take, and engaging with them in a way that results in victory for ourselves and our cause of a better world.

There are many ways that dragons manifest in our path in any transformational process. Some of these dragons are internal. Such dragons as trepidation, inclination, gratification, and adaptation arise from within our own consciousness and emotional selves. It is true that they may have formed through external messages we have heard throughout our lives. Indeed the external dragons of indoctrination and enculturation prey on these internal dragons, further reinforcing their grip on our psyches. Then there are the mega-dragons of manipulation, exploitation, and addiction, which have succeeded in blocking many a hero’s path, but not yours! Regardless of the addictive concoctions that the food industry creates to hook you, regardless of the subtle and not so subtle methods of Big Ag, Big Pharma, Big Medicine, and their friends in government use to confuse you about nutrition and to lure you into hurting your body and all life, you cannot be swayed from your commitment. You are a hero!

One of the common dragons

that many Heroes face on their journey to the great jewel of Vibrant Health is Temptation. In an un-evolved way of conceptualizing the Heroes Journey Story, we might have imagined the Hero slaying Temptation or at least taming it or bringing it under control through will-power. The problem with attempting to kill, tame, or control temptation is that there is a missed opportunity to learn and go deeper. We may succeed in temporarily bringing our temptations into compliance, but the deeper need that the temptations were bringing forward is not necessarily addressed. That is a set up for falling off the wagon, substitute addictions, splitting off parts of ourselves, and other adaptive actions that can undermine our progress.

The solution is to transform our temptations,

rather than attempting to control them. Transformation is an alchemical process in which everything is used. It honors the Divine impulse that is driving the behavior, and is integrating rather than separating.

Another way people often attempt to deal with temptations is through resistance. Because of the Universal principle “what you resist persists,” it is likely that attempts to resist what tempts you will only make it more compelling to indulge. It is important to focus on what you do want, rather than what you don’t want.

Six Powers

The Six Powers to Transform Temptations and Halt Addictive Eating are all techniques that we can learn and practice over time, building our capacity, while simultaneously healing the underlying issues that are driving the compulsions and addictive eating.

1. The Self-Love Power:

Problem: Unfortunately, we often attempt to create change by taking a punitive effort towards our slips. We may beat ourselves up for giving in to a temptation, and perhaps even go into a shame spiral. If we take this approach, it increases the likelihood that we will want to anesthetize the pain of self-hatred or disappointment, and may turn to food for this purpose.

Solution: The Self-Love Power counters the unconscious cycle of eating, feeling bad, and eating some more. It also gives us time to consider other possibilities. You invoke the power when faced by a temptation by affirming that you will love yourself no matter what, whether you eat a little, a lot, or none at all. Your love for yourself is not dependent on your action in responding to the temptation.

One mistake is to do it by rote. Really feel into the love. One secret is to listen for the voice of the part who doesn’t agree that “I’m gonna love myself no matter what.” Get curious about what wisdom that part is bringing forth, what Divine impulse is guiding it. Make a space of compassion for that part to fully reveal and be heard.

2. The “So What?” Power:

Problem: The things that tempt us project the appearance of desirable qualities, even things we need, such as fulfillment, enjoyment, safety, comfort, protection, etc. In truth, the object of our temptation is a mere projection and will never give us what we really want and need in a sustainable way. Looking for fulfillment in a pint of ice cream is like looking in the art supply store for organic food; it just isn’t going to be there.

Solution: The solution is two-fold. The first part is to recognize the projection. Say to the tempting thing: “You are a projection – so what? You don’t have what I need and you have no power over me.” Then, get curious about the underlying need. Invite the part that is feeling needy to share, and listen with compassion to the wisdom it is bringing. Figure out healthy alternatives to meet the true need that is being expressed.

This power is courtesy of New Thought pioneer Joel Goldsmith. Goldsmith writes a metaphor for how our projections function like a white poodle that a hypnotized man has been induced to believe is on the stage playing with him. In truth, there is no white poodle, only the illusion of one, but the man’s acts as though there is actually a poodle, because he is under a spell. Break the spell that unhealthy foods have what you need and they will no longer have power over you!

3. The Aversion Power:

Problem: Our unexamined temptations seduce us to do things that harm ourselves, others, the earth, and all living things.

Solution: Once the projection has been exposed as a projection by the “So What” Power, we can Get Real about the cost of indulging in the tempting food. We can then Get Info about how these foods are produced and marketed. We begin to see the foods more honestly. No longer is the chocolate ice cream my secret lover or my savior. Rather, it revealed as a concoction created for profit, often through exploitation and greed. When seen as the product of enslavement, kidnapping, and greed, the ice cream no longer tastes as sweet.

One secret to getting the most out of the Aversion Power is to use the alchemy of Education to learn about how your most tempting unhealthy foods are produced. What you discover may shock you. It is important to bring a lot of compassion and self-love to this process so that you don’t overwhelm yourself.

4. The “In the Presence of My Mentor” Power:

Problem: Through the mechanisms of denial and magical thinking, we sometimes talk ourselves into thinking that we can get away with things. The Universal law of karma is absolute however. For every action there is a reaction. We don’t truly get away with anything. What actually happens when we do fool ourselves into thinking we can do things that do not align with our values is that we experience a lack of integrity within ourselves that can undermine our feeling of self-worth. That can start the shame spiral mentioned earlier.

Solution: One way to more consistently engage in behaviors that align with our values is to conjure up the image of a compassionate mentor we admire when we experience temptations. Having our mentor “in the room” with us mentally may give us insights and inspiration to make a choice that aligns with our values.

5. The Not-Food Power:

Problem: As Michael Pollan points out in his book In Defense of Food, much of what passes for food today would not be recognizable as such to our great grandmothers. Chemical flavorings and other additives, preservatives, dough conditioners, food colorings, etc., are indeed not food, but substances you might find in a chemistry kit! We have been duped into thinking that junk food, animal flesh and secretions, and highly refined and modified food-like objects are food, but they are not. It’s like when we were children and we mixed together dirt, water, leaves, and perhaps some parts of small insects and pretended to eat our concoction. It’s posing as food, but it’s not-food.

Solution: The solution is to rewire our mental associations that tell us that not-food is food. As we carve out new neural pathways by telling ourselves that the enticing object is indeed not-food, we will eventually see it as such and it will completely lose its appeal.

One secret to success in implementing the not-food power is to refrain from purchasing not-foods. If they are not around, you won’t feel tempted to eat them in a vulnerable moment.

6. The Work with Your Physiology Power:

Problem: Sometimes we attempt to make changes without taking our physiology into account. This is one of the reasons that calorie-restriction diets fail to provide sustainable weight loss. Restricting calories is an attempt to subdue our physiology, rather than working with it. We get hungry on purpose, and if we don’t appropriately respond to that hunger, we will continue to feel hungry and continue to experience an impulse to fill ourselves. Unfulfilled hunger is a set up for compulsive eating, so far too often, when we attempt to restrict calories we find ourselves indulging in just the foods we were hoping to avoid.

Solution: There are many ways to work with our physiology instead of either ignoring it or trying to subdue it. Dr. John McDougall encourages the consumption of starchy carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables such as winter squash, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. These foods fill us up so we feel satiated, but they carry a much smaller caloric load by weight and bulk than foods such as meat, dairy, and oils. Since we feel satiated, we are less likely to indulge in addictive eating.

Another example of working with our physiology applies to our relationship with addictive foods such as sugar, cheese, and other dairy products. It is much easier to avoid getting into an addictive pattern with these substances if we quit them completely than if we attempt to eat them in moderation. Finding alternative ways to stimulate our dopamine response is also helpful, for instance exercising, connecting with others, or listening to music.

Which are your dragons?

Enculturation, indoctrination, manipulation, exploitation, trepidation, gratification, inclination, adaptation, addiction, trepidation. Which dragon is yours, and how will you transform it?


[1] I use the word “hero” in a gender neutral fashion. Women, men, girls, boys, trans people, and anyone who falls anywhere on the gender spectrum can be a hero, and in fact, I would argue that we are all heroes in our own lives!

Six Guiding Principles for Fabulous Flavor

Six Guiding Principles for Fabulous Flavor

I have found

that making delicious, nutritious food is a delightful and rewarding process. I don’t like rules, because they can be arbitrary and by their very nature provoke insurgence from any rebellious soul. I stand by principles, however. To me, principles operate like laws of nature. There isn’t any moral value in gravity working, nor is there a question about whether it will work or not; it just does. Following are some key guiding principles that I believe apply to food preparation and beyond. Making use of these principles in a conscious way will make the food taste better!

Energy has a taste.

Have you ever eaten food prepared by someone who was in a foul mood as they interacted with the food? Did it taste good? Or was it bitter or harsh tasting? How about the opposite? Have you eaten something that was prepared by someone who brought joyful energy to the task? How did that food taste? The energy with which we do anything permeates that thing with its nature. This is the most important principle to understand and embody in order to make tasty food or really to create anything that will have a positive impact in the world. Given that I know my energy cannot be hidden in the final product, but will be revealed for all to taste, I choose to infuse the food I prepare with the energy of love. And how does the energy of love taste? It Tastes Like Love!

Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.

This principle was stated by George Washington Carver and is a favorite of a former mentor of mine. If we love something, we pay attention to it. We are curious about it. We listen to it and we observe it. We take time to be present with it. We notice what is wonderful about it, and we offer appreciations. If we love it enough, we make a commitment to it, and we faithfully honor that commitment over time. When we find out disturbing or unsettling things about that which we love, we lean into our love for it so we can re-cultivate a sense of connection. Through this process of paying attention, being curious, listening and observing, taking time, being present, praising the good, making a commitment, and coming back to the love when we feel separate, we do learn so much about the object of our love. And by knowing our beloved more deeply and understanding its secrets, we are able to interact with it in effective ways that result in bounteous expressions of good.

I love preparing, serving, and eating delicious, nutritious food, and this love comes naturally to me. Because I love it, I pay attention to the vegetables, the herbs, the fruits. I understand little secrets that have come to me over time, so when I go to market I can select fruits and vegetables that taste the best. Because I love it, I take the time to be present, to smell, to feel, to intuit. Because I love it, I get curious. Will this taste good with that? Or with that? Because I love it, I notice and appreciate the delicious creations that come through. And because I love it, I feel inspired to share this love with others.

But what if one doesn’t love food preparation, I hear some readers object! My suggestion is to start with willingness. Are you willing to learn to love food preparation? Declare your willingness! Are you open to the possibility? Cultivate that possibility by seeing your future self in pure delight as you create delicious nourishing dishes. Is there some small thing about food prep that you do love? Maybe you like to make smoothies in your blender or mash up an avocado for guacamole. Start with what you love and grow your love from there. Set your intention to learn to love food prep, and you will move in that direction. You will find that as you love it more, the food starts tasting better, and you will be carried into a delightful feedback loop in which love feeds more love. Through that increase of love, you too will learn the secrets of food prep and your food will demonstrate that knowing.

We are always at choice.

[1] At every moment in time we have the capacity to make an infinite number of choices. We can choose to do what we did before, or some variation of it, or something entirely new. We may be out of touch with that choice, but it is always only a conscious thought away. This is as true for food preparation as for any other area of life. I see recipes as suggestions, inspiration, and options, not as dictates that must be followed rigidly. The recipes in this book are meant to be a starting point for your authentic creative expression. When you make choices to follow the guidance you receive because of the love you have for the food, you may stray significantly from the recipe as written. By paying attention to what you love, you will almost certainly notice that food tastes better when it is fresh and in season, for example. Therefore, if you are making a fruit salad that calls for apricots and when you go to the store discover that the apricots were grown in the other hemisphere and are hard with no fragrance, you will make a choice to substitute the delightful ripe pears that you started smelling the moment you walked into the produce department. You are always at choice and the recipes are a starting place. Be creative, flexible, spontaneous, and bold!

Junk in junk out.

This saying is often used to refer to data, but since it is a principle, it also applies to food preparation. My second most powerful secret for making food delicious, after “energy has a taste,” is to use the freshest, highest-quality ingredients that I can find. When you are shopping for food or picking it from your garden, use as many senses as possible. Touch it, smell it, observe it, listen to it. Look for vegetables that are plump and tender rather than dried up and woody. Choose fruits that are fragrant and have good color. Learn the sounds of ripe melons. Learn the feel of young root crops. Grow or purchase and use fresh herbs, and lots of them. If you must use herbs out of season, consider freezing cubes of herbs when they are in season instead of using shriveled up old dried herbs! Buy whole spices in small quantities and grind what you need. Perk up a dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, not the kind that comes from a bottle. Use whole foods, minimally processed. Purchase organic food for the best flavor, sustainability, and health value. If something gets too old, find an alternate use for it rather than spoiling your good food with junk. For example you can use wilted or dried up produce in vegetable stock, or give it to your worms or your garden.

Starting with high-quality food gives you a great head start and is the first of my two part equation: “start with good food and don’t wreck it.” After you have taken the time to use your love and your choice to select fresh, whole, nutritious food, prepare it in ways that enhance and compliment the fresh, high quality food you have. A few tips for “not wrecking it” include serving most vegetables raw or lightly cooked, combining flavors that complement each other without putting too many different flavors in any one dish, and adding salt, salty condiments, and oils sparingly. Remember you can always add more of something but generally cannot take it out once added. When I’m creating in the kitchen I often have a tiny testing bowl in which I can put a spoonful of something and add an herb, spice, or other addition. Then I taste the dish to determine if my proposed addition will work well in it or not.

Blessing food has a tangible impact on its vitality.

I remember hearing many years ago about a study that demonstrated that blessing food before eating it results in a measurable, statistically-significant increase in nutrients. I don’t know if the information I heard was correct, but I do know that significant research confirms that the regular practice of prayer confers health benefits on the person praying.[2] In the studies, the beliefs and specific practices of the person praying doesn’t matter; the act of blessing has the same impact regardless of particularities. So I consider my household’s communal practice of having a moment of silence followed by a verbal New Thought style prayer a suitable blessing, and I also consider my quick “Thank you for this delicious food” an appropriate prayer when I’m on the run. Words are not even necessary for it to be a blessing: sometimes it’s enough just to breathe in the fragrance of the food for a moment with a feeling of gratitude in my heart. In my adult son’s home, they bless each meal with a high five over the food, and I have no doubt that this blessing enhances the experience of eating as well.

One of the most powerful experiments I ever encountered regarding the act of blessing and its impact on the nutritional value of food involved some rabbits on a high cholesterol diet. As vegans, rabbits do not normally encounter cholesterol in their diet. This group of rabbits was being fed cholesterol as part of an experiment about heart disease. There was a surprise at the end of the study; one group of rabbits had not developed heart disease even though they had been fed the exact same diet as the others. It turned out that the person in charge of this healthy group of rabbits was petting and cuddling the rabbits and talking to them lovingly each time she fed them the toxic food. It seems that this act of “blessing” somehow created a different metabolic experience for the cuddled rabbits, an experience that resulted in vitality in spite of eating the same foods that were killing the other rabbits![3]

And while I have never seen studies about flavor improvements based on blessing, I absolutely believe it is true from my experience. The first time I experienced the difference that blessing could make on taste was when I was about 15 years old. My family was helping out a friend by selling a bunch of pumpkins he had grown. We would take a truckload of pumpkins into the center of a nearby town and sell them to people out of the back of the truck. One day we had a significant amount of pumpkins left when we were ready to go home. We gave them to a Hare Krishna group that was chanting in the park.

A few days later when we returned to the city where we had encountered the Hare Krishna devotees, we gratefully accepted the free meal they were offering, and part of the meal was the pumpkins. Now these were not Sugar Pie pumpkins. They were Halloween-style pumpkins that I had tried unsuccessfully to prepare for consumption in many ways. They just didn’t taste good. On that day in the park with the Hare Krishnas, I found to my surprise that the pumpkin dish they served, made from the very pumpkins that had completely stumped my considerable culinary capacities, tasted absolutely delicious! When I asked the cook the secret, she put her index finger up in the air and said she had made the dish for that One and had given Him the first taste. That was a lesson I will always remember. So although I stand by the importance of selecting fresh produce with naturally-obtained deliciousness, when that is not possible the food can still be made whole with a blessing.

Our thoughts are creative.

The final principle for fabulous flavor is a truth that has been known and written about by sages and teachers from ancient times through today. This principle has many variations: “What you think about comes about,” “Whatever you focus your attention on grows in your experience,” “Thoughts become things,” “Every idea in consciousness finds its corresponding expression in the physical world,” “Cause and effect,” etc. When I say that our thoughts are creative, I’m not talking about creativity in the artistic sense, though that can be true as well. What I am pointing out is that things that we experience and create in the world start out with thoughts. I cannot make a delightful five-course Asian California Fusion meal without starting with some idea in my mind. I cannot make endless varieties of nourishing salads or raw whole foods desserts or new flavors of live sauerkraut without first having an inspiration.

It is also true that I cannot make a spectacularly failed pot of soup or batch of muffins without first having this thought in mind! For example, on the few occasions on which I have made a dish or a meal that was truly awful, I can always trace the origins of that mess back to a thought or series of thoughts. Typically when this has happened, my ego was engaged in trying to impress a person or group and I started entertaining fears of disaster. Instead of moving my mind back to love and aligning my consciousness with the possibility of deliciousness, I have allowed my mind to fixate on the possibility of failure. I have worried and fretted, therefore infusing the food with the energy of worry, fret and fear. No wonder the food tasted less than spectacular!

I have proved this principle to myself so many times that I trust it implicitly. I encourage you to give it a try and see if your experience doesn’t replicate mine. Just remember to discipline your mind, keeping your thoughts on the beautiful, powerfully nutritious, scrumptious food you are preparing, and hold a vision of it done. See yourself in joy as you nourish yourself and all life by preparing and consuming the fruits and veggies of the earth!

Excerpted from the book Tastes Like Love: Sensational Salads to Cool the Earth, © 2016 Beth Love. Several of the photos of salads are from the book.





[1]One of my editors pointed out that the phrase “we are always at choice” is not standard English. This phrase is a statement of principle that would most likely be familiar, however, to people who study New Thought metaphysics or similar philosophies, and to those who have been exposed to popular culture figures who have been influenced by these movements. After my editor made this observation, I did consider changing it to something like “we always have a choice.” For me, however, there is more power in the original phrasing. It has an immediacy that is lacking for me in the standard English version. The phrase “we are always at choice” conjures up a mental image of this now moment, this point in time, this place where I am in consciousness right now. In this place, I am always at a point of choice. Acknowledging that I “have” a choice, does not call me up to the same level of accountability as knowing that I am making a choice in this moment, and in this moment, and in this moment, and that each of these choice points is a place of tremendous potential power. What will you do with the power of your choice of this now moment?

[2] See, for example, Kenneth F. Ferraro and Cynthia M. Albrecht-Jensen, “Does Religion Influence Adult Health?” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 30, no. 2 (1991): 193-202,  (accessed September 16, 2016.); or Richard Shiffman, “The Blog: Why People Who Pray Are Healthier Than Those Who Don’t,” Huffington Post, January 18, 2012, (accessed September 16, 2016).

[3] Robert M. Nerem, Murina J. Levesque, and J. Fredrick Cornhill, “Social Environment as a Factor in Diet-induced Atherosclerosis,” Science 208, no. 4451 (1980): 1475-1476, cited in “Study Shows Cuddling of Bunnies Helps Keep Their Arteries Clear,” Ocala Star-Banner, April 13, 1980, (accessed September 16, 2016).

I’m Soup Again

I’m Soup Again

Have you ever been in a liminal state?

Liminality is a condition in which you had exited from one way of being but had not yet completely crossed the threshold into the new you? This place of being not the thing you were but not yet the thing you will be has often been likened to the pupal stage of metamorphosis, the time when the caterpillar has ceased to be and the butterfly has not yet become.

Just what is happening during that stage?

What is going on in the pupal stage for the insect or the place of liminality for a human? This article in Scientific American says that in the cocoon or chrysalis, the caterpillar secretes enzymes to dissolve itself! What is inside of the cocoon or chrysalis is “caterpillar soup.”

Well, “soup” is an apt description of my current state of being.

I have been here before many times in my incredible life, so on some level, I trust that there will be a full-fledged manifestation of my next metamorphic stage. I also trust that it will be equally as amazing as the previous stage was, just as the butterfly is as wondrous as the caterpillar.

What’s it like to be soup?

Not very comfortable, I must admit! As a creature who loves to take action, who thrives on clarity, and who prides myself on knowing things, breathing through a state of not-know is extremely challenging! In fact, I would rather plan, organize, and implement 22 events in 13 weeks than be present for this feeling of disintegration.


In fact, what I actually did from October 1 to December 29 was plan, organize, and implement 22 events in 13 weeks! And ironically, that is what it took for the caterpillar that I was to recognize the need to completely dissolve myself so I could become what I feel called to be. The caterpillar was marvelous, AND it had gone through its final molt before pupating. It was clear that the time to enter the transformational pupal stage had arrived. I let go of the known and took a leap of faith into the unknown.

Alright, already!

So I have now been soup for about one month. I feel ready to begin the process of coalescing into the new form. I’m so grateful that, like the caterpillar soup in the cocoon, some very special cells, “imaginal discs,” have survived the disintegration process and have within them a complete blueprint for the next phase of my existence. It is an act of faith to rely on this, and faith is what has gotten me through so many pupal experiences before.

I can’t wait to see what emerges, and to share this new form with you. In the meantime, I’m soup. That is not only okay, but also necessary and ultimately beneficial, for me and for those I am meant to serve.


Have you ever been soup?

What emerged after your experience of liminality?

A Fishing Trip with Dad

A Fishing Trip with Dad

The following is an excerpt from Sensational Salads to Cool the Earth, by Beth Love.

When I was a child, maybe 10 or 11 years old, and several years before the advent of vegetarianism in my family, our father took my sister and brother and me out on a fishing expedition. If I remember correctly, he chartered a boat and we went out on the sea. Much of the experience is lost in the depths of memory, but I do clearly recall that I was the only person who caught a fish, a very large tuna. I also remember the sound of the fish after it had been hauled into the boat, disconnected from the hook, and placed into a wooden box on the deck; in fact this sound is the crispest part of the memory. For the rest of that expedition, until it finally died, the fish flopped around in the box, causing crashing, erratic, drum-like sounds. I was fixated on those sounds. They forcefully drove me to face the fact that I was the instigator of the slow, painful death of a living creature. If, as seems likely, there was blood in the box when the fish was removed, or if the body of the fish was lacerated from its heroic struggles, I have completely blocked these things out of my memory.

In recalling the incident, I want to believe that I begged and pleaded with my father to let the fish go. I can almost see my child self doing that, hear myself crying out for mercy for the fish. I even seem to have a vague recollection of my dad taking a stubborn stand; after all, he had paid good money to charter the boat for the purpose of catching fish! In actuality, however, I don’t really know if I even made the suggestion that the fish be released. I may have simply sat, silent and numb, feeling disempowered to right the wrong that I had surely just committed.

I also want to believe that I took a stand when my Baba (Dad’s mother) cooked the fish and served it to us later that day. I want to believe that I refused to eat it and that I made my reasons clear. But I don’t really know whether I ate it or not, or whether I said anything or not.

I fantasize about the idea of having had that incident be a conversion experience—of having sworn off of eating living creatures ever after. I know that that did not happen.

How is it that most of us who live in cultures in which the eating of meat is normalized become so shut off from the ethical and spiritual dimensions of routine cruelty and killing? How have we, as a species, so fully otherized our animal brothers and sisters such that we can take their bloody, dead bodies into our bodies for pleasure without even giving it a second thought? How can we tolerate the ripping of children away from their mothers in order that we might enjoy the mothers’ milk? Or the excruciatingly horrifying realities of imprisoning animals in Auschwitz-style conditions so we can take pleasure from consuming their body parts, their children, their potential children?

(The photo is of my dad, my siblings Craig and Alix, and me, taken around the time of the fishing trip. I am wearing a treasured pair of bleach-dyed bell-bottoms that my dad bought me, after much begging and pleading and protestations to his suggestion that I get a pair of JC Penney’s “plain-pockets!”)