Why is it that I refuse to put processed food into my mouth but don’t think twice about giving it to my dog? I have this truth about that shit being no good stuck solid in the mud of my heart and mind when it comes to me and my health, so why has it taken me so long to see what I’m doing to my dog?
Oh sure, Shauna and I love our boy Romero like you wouldn’t believe and we want to be good doggie-mommas. We even picked his food carefully, read the labels and tried to make the best choices. BUT HIS FOOD STILL CAME IN A BAG, BOX, CAN , OR OTHER CONTAINER. It was all still processed from stuff that I have no real guarantee was organic or the best for him. It still came from some sort of processing plant. About a year ago we took a step toward making better food choices for Ro. We got rid of the kibble and went to Dr. Harveys, which we rehydrated each meal and added homemade beans and some oil to. Then he got diagnosed with cancer and we followed the experts’ advice and put him on canned food (all meats) and kibble (all meats).
The reality of what we were doing hit me just a few days ago. The light went on and I had a choice to make. Change my actions – which would mean doing some research and some extra work, or I could just ignore that annoying light. You know as well as I do that you can have some truth just explode in your head, but you don’t have to act on it. In fact, if you just sort of ignore it, it will fade away and you won’t even be bothered about it. That’s not my way of living. When I see documentaries like Food Inc, Bag It, Supersize Me, Foodmatters, No Impact Man, Dirt, Tapped, just to name a few, or read books like The Blue Zones, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Skinny Bitch, The Moneyless Man, Harvest for Hope, or The Story of Stuff, challenging ideas come pouring at me. I try to take at least one idea that really strikes me, one truth that resonates in my soul, and act on it . . . immediately. No over-thinking it, no excuses, no procrastinating. I just change my behaviors, actions and life to match this new truth. I don’t just wait around for the fire that got ignited inside to just fizzle out and die. I make a change right away.
This is how Shauna and I became vegans, how we decided to never buy bottled water again, how we stopped using plastic bags, how we chose organic, how we went more minimalist, how we chose not to eat fast food or processed foods anymore, and how we’ve made many other changes in our lives. .
Sometimes these new truths get introduced from other people, documentaries, books or articles. Other times it starts with lyrics of a song or just arises out of your own mind. That’s where the dog food thing came from this time. I was just thinking about processed foods and realized we are still hauling them into the house . . . for Romero. Why would I do that for a creature I love so much? Especially now that he has cancer, we want to do our utmost to take the best care of him.
So . . . as of today we’re done. I made up a batch of dog food just for him. No more canned food. No more kibble. He means enough to us to give him real food. Being fully committed vegans, or maybe we’re vegans who should be committed, Shauna and I are going to do this according to our truth.
Here’s what I cooked up for Romero:
A big mixture of pinto beans, lentils, large lima beans, brown rice with a stick of kombu got soaked for 8 hours then simmered until just about tender. I added ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar, and spices (cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and turmeric) and veggies: 3 red beets shredded in the food processer, the beet greens chopped small, chopped green beans, and yellow summer squash from our garden. Altogether about 4-5 cups of veggies. I let them cook with the beans for about 5 minutes, then turned off the heat and covered letting the steam do the rest. I also added chopped garlic cloves about 3-4, chopped up the kombu and stirred it in.
When it’s Romero’s mealtime, he now gets a nice cup or 2 of that mixture along with some flax oil. Tonight he also got some cherimoya thrown in – a superfood according to Shauna and me and Ro.
What about meat, you ask? If I’m not willing to look the creature in the eye, kill it, then dismember it and prepare it, then it’s not something I’ll eat and it’s not something I’ll put in Ro’s food. He’s already shown that he can hunt gophers with the best of them. So if he wants meat, he can just march his furry little butt outside and get his own.
Yeah, all this takes more time. Sure, I’ll be “weird,” doing something not many others are. People will criticize and disagree with my actions. So what?! I do food this way for Shauna and I because we believe we are worth it and because we believe in it, so why not do it for our dog? I feel really good about this change. Not just for what it’s doing for our dog, but because there’s something powerful about acting on our convictions. I can deny or stifle my own truth just to fit in with everyone else, but then what? I’ll be mediocre. I’ll be dissatisfied. I’ll be something other than my own authentic, evolving self.
When something stirs your soul, when something resonates with you, when you see an area of your life that it’s time to change to be a better you . . . ACT ON IT.