As I have been learning and continuing to try to improve my life one thing that has continually come up is the term pragmatic. It is defined as: dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. Minimalism is essentially looking at objects and my time through a pragmatic lens. I am now trying to apply this to another part of my life, my eating habits.
Pragmatic Food Consumption
Beyond the health aspects of food, the food I eat has two functions.
- My eating choices are like votes, every time I buy something I am supporting and encouraging more of that food to be produced or for that company to stay in business.
- My eating choices have impacts on the world, so each time I buy something I am adding more waste. Every food choice involves waste, however some add more than others.
Focusing on a single goal at a time is typically going to be the best way to be successful. The first goal I want to accomplish should have the biggest impact possible. Vegetarianism is a pragmatic choice to improve my food consumption.
So I want to have my food choices ‘vote’ for the right companies and types of food, and I want my food choices to have positive impacts on the world. Being a vegetarian fulfills both of those desires. So I am going to intentionally stop eating meat… Mostly. Theoretically it would be the best to never eat meat again, pragmatically I will probably create more waste by always requiring specials meals for myself. So a more practical goal would be never buying meat, but if I am served meat and there is not a vegetarian option then I will eat it.
If you are interested in some of the science and how me becoming vegetarian-ish (or eating the Mediterranean diet) can actually help the environment you can watch this video. I want to do what I can for the environment, I realize that my small change won’t have a huge impact on the world, however this choice does have three effects 1. I can feel better about what I eat, that it is hurting the environment less. 2. I can help chip away at some of the monolithic systems that are contributing to global warming. 3. This allows me to work on my discipline (to not buy meat, even if there some dishes I really enjoy) and understand the pains some people who have certain mandatory dietary restrictions.
I consider going vegetarian an experiment. I have already reading about how to eat healthily while not eating meat. I still have a lot to learn and if I become ill from my new food choices, I reserve the right to roll back on my decision until I figure out how to do this while being healthy. This is not intended as intentional deprivation.
Wish Me Luck
Once I have been able to build this into my life and feel ready I will be moving onto the next big thing in my life that I take the pragmatic knife and remove the surplus. Now that this is public I need to have some healthy conversations with the people around me, specifically how this is a personal journey and I don’t expect them to bend over backwards just because of a personal choice I have made.