Many of the leading thinkers in the field of human evolution understand that the next frontier lies in the landscape of consciousness. We have been living dominantly in our individual brains and bodies in the physical realm plodding along under the guidance of our egos and have neglected & repressed our collective hearts and souls in connection to the spiritual realm and our higher intuition.
We have broken the 4 minute mile, walked on the moon, built the 2,722 foot (over 1/2 mile) tall building, identified sub-atomic particles, equipped the globe’s inhabitants with more cell phones than toilets (wait, is that progress?), and have medically saved lives in astounding ways.
Technological advances surely will continue. However is this what will ensure the continuation of human life on Earth or will it impede it? Without a conscious shift in awareness and understanding of what we are doing, many forward thinkers believe that we will invent, produce, and consume our way into obliteration.
With all our intellectual advances we have created unsustainable population growth, environmental degradation, famine, war, insatiable greed, injustice, disease, climate instability, and violence. We can go on like this for only so long before we destroy our home planet and then ourselves en masse.
Bringing more conscious awareness to everyday choices, even the most mundane ones, can shift the direction of human evolution away from a path of extinction. It is erroneous to think that we can shift consciousness, stop destroying the planet, preserve humankind, and further positive evolution without changing the way we eat.
We often talk about bringing more consciousness into our work, communication, worship, buying habits, relationships, transportation, and politics yet we fail to see how food weaves through everything we do, everything we encounter, and how it impacts everything we care about in life. Food is so ever-present, it’s nearly invisible.
For thousands of years we, men and women alike, have been living in and supporting a masculine energy dominated world where survival of the fittest (competition), independence, industry, and control over others has been the growing agenda. Five thousand years ago humans discovered that to control nature provided more reward than to live in and with nature.
Humans began to grow plants (agriculture) and keep animals (domestication) instead of foraging and hunting. Tasks were genderized and ranked in value. Property was claimed. Power over others who were weaker became the norm: animals, women, slaves, children, and political, economic or religious prisoners. A cultural system was created to benefit individuals and groups who could exhibit and wield ownership, control, and force.
This system, patriarchy, has served us well in many ways for a long time, however it’s usefulness is expiring. We need a new, more evolved, way of living, being, and working that invites and includes collaboration, cooperation, and compassion so that we can create solutions, conserve resources, and cultivate harmony among Earth’s 7 billion residents.
Patriarchy is crumbling. Matriarchy is not the replacement solution. What we need in our post-patriarchal future is a system that honors and respects differences while affording equal consideration where alikeness exists. We are all far more alike than we are different.
To harness the best of healthy masculine energies and the best of healthy feminine energies in each individual regardless of gender would create a more balanced, peaceful divine human who could walk through life with one foot in the physical plane and with one foot in the spiritual plane simultaneously.
The sacred would marry the secular. Mundane choices and actions would be infused with intentional purpose. Achieving this harmony would create a human race that consciously and purposefully evolves and co-creates a sustainable world.
There are eight ways (inspired by the Soul Self Living graphic above) we can evoke divine humanity in ourselves by using our diet, yes the food we eat, as a platform for transformation. It may sound too simple to be true, however 7 billion mouths eating several times a day impacts all global systems – ecological, financial, humanitarian – profoundly. Changing the way we eat changes the system, one meal at a time. We can not talk about changing the world without talking about how the world eats.
1. Integrity: This happens when what we believe on the inside (ethics, morals) matches our actions on the outside. If what we are is what we do, then we are in integrity. If we believe that change needs to happen, that the direction of humanity needs to shift, then we need to start changing and heading a new direction ourselves. When we shift, we shift the system.
The most fundamental & mundane everyday actions of each individual need to shift. When these regular activities are infused with conscious awareness, they become micro-events of collective service to humanity. Changing the way we eat gives us practical daily actions that we can use to commit to our ideals. We don’t just talk about “saving humanity,” we actually practice it.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Fundamental Human Needs
As a spiritual nutritionist I teach how shifting the way we eat and how we think about how and what we eat can contribute to positive human evolution. When we eat only what we would have been willing to procure ourselves are we eating with integrity. Outsourcing or externalizing the tasks of farming & processing food does not grant permission to remain oblivious to how food is created.
If you could not slaughter a cow, hook a fish, take an egg, gut a pig, bleed a deer, shoot a bird, milk a teat, or behead a lamb, then these are foods that would be out of integrity to consume.
2. Honor the rights of self & others: Every living being is entitled to individual autonomy. Being caged, raped, fed an unnatural diet, forced inappropriate medications or formulas, starved, beaten, terrorized, marginalized, slaughtered, extinguished, disposed, chained, humiliated, confined, exploited, or tortured is inhumane for animals and people alike. Only when we can do these acts to animals are humans able to do them to one another through desensitization and cultural conditioning.
The only humane killing is a mercy killing for the sake of the one being killed. When being alive is too physically painful with no hope of recuperation, death can come as a relief. Mercy killings are often very difficult for the killer. Killing another person or animal for the benefit of the killer is never merciful or humane. What we do to others, we do to ourselves.
3. Courage: The forerunners of divine humanity need to step outside the status quo and live differently than they have before and differently from the masses. They need courage to be able to stand up, alone, and apart to help shift the direction from unconscious d/evolution to conscious evolution. These pioneers will pave an enlightened path for others to follow or by which to be inspired.
Eating the foods supported and subsidized by corporate industry & government – meat, dairy, grains – is an act of submission. Eating a plant-based diet is a courageous message of revolution. Eating differently from family and friends requires courage especially in the light of criticism, mockery, apathy, and anger.
4. Power: The individual who is apt to generate positive human evolution will know self-realized power and will use it for collective benefit rather than personal gain. Delaying instant gratification is the mark of a mature individual. As children we want what we want when we want it, which is usually now. Many adults barely grow out of this model and feed the machine of excessive consumerism that is destroying the planet.
Understanding that each of us is a part of a vast system and as important as any other part, we can learn to wield our personal power for positive causes and use our life for service.
Choosing a way of eating that promotes peace, life, freedom, ecological repair, and global hunger relief is choosing to exercise positive power with each meal. Choosing to satisfy dreams of a better tomorrow trumps satisfying a salivating appetite.
5. Love: When self-love is pure, loving others unconditionally comes naturally. Choosing a healing plant-based diet is an act of acute self-love, love for others (humanitarian), and love for the planet (environmentalism). We become an active expression of love.
A simple diet expands our capacity for love. When we dine on foods that do not rely on confinement, pain, and fear to arrive on our plate, we feed on freedom, joy, peace, and love instead. What we eat, we become…physically and metaphysically.
6. Wisdom: When we know better we do better. When we know better but don’t do better, we live in denial. Living in denial generates anxiety and often requires numbing (medication, excess food, drugs, alcohol, unnecessary shopping, inappropriate sex, etc.) to tolerate and manage it.
Many brave individuals and organizations have taught us alarming truths about our food system by capturing footage of violent maltreatment of animals. This action is such a financial threat to industry that it is now illegal to enter confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) or slaughter houses with undercover cameras.
In the year 2000, 9.7 billion animals were killed for food. Consider the vast land, water, grain, transportation fuel, and other environmental resources that are devoted to supporting this industry. Run-off (urine, feces, blood) from these CAFOs and slaughterhouses are polluting our water and air.
What will we do with this knowledge? If we can greatly slow the destruction of our environment and feed the world’s hungry just by changing the way we eat, why wouldn’t we?
7. Healthy: We are what we eat. Our food becomes the building blocks for our tomorrow body. If we want to be well & strong, we need to eat accordingly.
The human body living in desirable conditions does not need to eat meat or dairy to survive.
To thrive, most of us can trip over to the nearest grocery store or market to secure ample plant food. Some of us grow it ourselves in gardens. Learning how to maximize these foods for a lifetime of wellness requires courage & wisdom. Mainstream medicine does not promote plant-based living because healthy people are bad for business.
More often than not, industrial meat comes from sick animals, often ones with cancer. The majority of antibiotic use in the USA goes to livestock to keep them alive long enough in unfit housing conditions to make it to slaughter. These medications are passed through the meat & dairy products causing drug-resistant diseases in people who consume them.
8. Balanced: When eating for evolution, one experiences an internal shift toward expanded consciousness and connection to all that is. One becomes more balanced between the physical and spiritual worlds. This sweet spot creates divine humans.
Finding greater harmony and balance between our masculine and feminine energies will allow each of us to more successfully realize and fulfill our divine human potential. Determining and adopting a personal diet that balances individual wellbeing with environmental restoration and global hunger relief becomes an act of service to self, others, and Earth.
If sourcing food differently by early humans five thousand years ago kickstarted the patriarchal system that is now outdating, changing our food now can jumpstart a new cultural system in which divine humans live more in harmony with Mother Earth and all her creatures. Make no mistake, 7 billion mouths eating from and consuming the planet daily tells the collective consciousness what kind of world we wish to live in….sick, polluted, and degraded or abundant, clean, and full of life.
Any conversation about creating a better future for human life to continue on Earth is incomplete without discussing how we eat. Expecting the world to change without changing the way we eat is a recipe for ignorant self-destruction.
Save the humans. Study your food. Eat to evolve.
• Carol Adams & The Sexual Politics of Meat
• Video: Gary Yourofsky: Best Speech You Will Ever Hear presented at Georgia TechCarla Golden is a vegan nutritionist and a massage therapist in private practice specializing in therapeutic essential oils. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Holistic Health & Healing, she enjoys helping others discover the benefits and liberation inherent in a whole food, plant-based vegan diet. The Vegan Key™ is her newest online nutrition program based on tried and true methods which foster performance, vitality, and purpose. Join Carla in person at a Palmetto Plant Eaters Club meeting!