In Defense of Crazy

November 7, 2011

So, I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. I wasn’t always this way, but then I turned 23 and started experiencing the aches and pains of old age. And now I’m 29, so clearly it’s all over. In the past year three months, I’ve diagnosed myself with thyroid problems, glaucoma, tumors, several cancers, and mono. I don’t ever actually go to the doctor though, so I have a sneaking suspicion that I mostly just like to pretend there’s some validity to my whining about being tired and lazy.

I like naps.

When I’m not being a hypochondriac, I’m usually beginning a short-lived stint of deciding to eat real, whole foods. Every once in awhile, I watch a movie like Food Inc. or read a book like In Defense of Food and I become convinced that I should change my eating habits. I think this neurosis is actually kind of valid. The majority of the food we eat is fake — it’s been engineered. Even our fruits and vegetables have been fancied up to be bigger and better. Which, I would guess, is probably not awesome for you.

So, neurosis (and desire to lose a few pounds) in full swing, I went to Whole Foods this weekend. But even at Whole Foods you have to be careful, you guys! The experts say that you should buy food that is organic and grown close to home, if possible. (If it’s grown far away, they probably picked it early and gave it some kind of fakeness to make it pretty and ripe by the time it arrives in your store.) Also, when you’re buying food, look at the ingredients on the package. If there are more than about five ingredients, and if you’re unable to pronounce them because they include words like sucrakillermine and poisondeathlypoisonazine, you probably shouldn’t get it.

Denise, this is such a fascinating health lesson!

Well, thanks, guys!

But why are you not boring us to death with things about the Old Testament or Jewishness or pointing your finger and laughing at us because we’ve used the word Jehovah?

No worries, you guys! Boringness straight ahead!

Part of the reason I feel like I should think about what I eat is because sometimes it seems to be important to God. (I think I’ve talked about some of this on the bloggy before, but I’m way too lazy to figure that out. Sorry.) For example, in Genesis, God gave Adam, Eve and the animals only plants to eat. It seems like, before the fall, no one ate meat. We all know that fruits and veggies are good for us, but it seems like those are the things we were truly meant to eat.

Secondly, I honestly believe that God cares about all of his creation. We’ve been given dominion over the earth, and I definitely think we’re allowed to eat meat. However, I do feel that there’s maybe something to thinking about how our meat was treated before it was killed for our consumption.

I’m not a big animal person. I was scared of dogs until I was about 12. I tolerate cats, and I am filled with fear and hatred for birds. But in the Bible, when God finally shows up to answer Job’s requests, he says nothing about people. Instead, for four chapters he goes on and on about nature and animals. He says that he knows when and where the mountain goats and doe give birth. He feeds the lions and the ravens. Proverbs tells us that righteous people care for the needs of their animals. God seems to care about animals a little bit, even if I don’t.

God loves this guy the most. "Don't eat him!" he said.

A lot of the meat we buy wasn’t treated that great. Chickens are physically engineered to produce more breast meat, which keeps them from being able to walk. Many cows are stuffed together in pens and then slaughtered in a pretty gross fashion. This isn’t the farmers’ fault — they are simply meeting our demands. We want meat and lots of it. Which is fine. But, I think it’s worth thinking about this issue from a biblical perspective.

What does it mean that God thought heaven on earth meant no steak, just plants? What does it look like to consider all of God’s creation when buying eggs and meat? Jews eat kosher meat which is killed very humanely — maybe it’s worth buying my hamburger from a kosher deli. It’s a few cents more to buy free-range eggs, but perhaps that’s OK.

I haven’t come to a conclusion on all these things yet, but I definitely think it’s worth pondering. Especially as I start my latest neurosis.

K, I’ve got whole wheat pasta to boil and pomegranates to de-seed. Have a lovely day, friendsies!

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16 Responses to “In Defense of Crazy”

  1. Kim said

    Did you know I’m also filled with fear and hatred toward birds? Have we ever discussed this?!?!?!! I’m so happy you hate birds!

  2. Kerry Wester said

    Denise, we are very humane when we butcher chickens and then it turns into a great homeschool project when you gut them. The kids gave great fun identifying all the innards and the jump roping with the intestines. Some summer when you are visiting we will have to have you come so you can over come your fear.

  3. Summer said

    You are so cute Denise. Love your blog! Very entertaining & informative πŸ™‚

  4. Rachel said

    Thoughtfulness towards food is important! I’m a Gentile and a Christian, but I’ve been keeping some of Kosher (no pork, separate meat and dairy meals but not separate plates/pots/pans) since mid-June as a part of exploring Judaism. It’s a difficult thing to explain to others as it’s more questions than answers right now. I am excited to see where God will take this journey and have enjoyed following your blog as you have been asking somewhat related questions. Thanks for sharing online. πŸ™‚

  5. ashley said

    You forgot about the bird flu and malaria . . . circa 2007-2008. BE CAREFUL deseeding your pomegrante, lest your kitchen end up looking like it’s covered in blood!

  6. denisemorris said

    Kim — they’re scary! I’m actually mostly afraid of bats, but birds are right behind them. Anything that can fly at your head is not to be trusted.

    Kerry — I might die if I watch a chicken being butchered. But maybe not. Sounds like a smelly jump rope. πŸ™‚

    Summer — thanks!!

    Rachel — why are you keeping Kosher? Just to see what it’s like? Sounds very interesting!

    Ashley — Oh, the bird flu. I’m still recovering from that one. I know — pomegranate de-seeding is serious business. And very dangerous.

  7. laura said

    I have been thinking about some of this stuff, too! I just love bacon so much though. I could probably handle being a vegetarian if it weren’t for that hurdle. That, and I don’t eat the fish. Have been checking labels a lot lately for 100% whole grains, and hidden sugars. Basically everything has hidden sugars in it. Also have been paying attention to breathing better (apparently I hold my breath a lot and shrug my shoulders up constantly….no wonder my body acts like I’m stressed out!), and drinking way more herbal tea. At least a couple cups a day.

  8. denisemorris said

    Laura — you’re in luck! Peter’s crazy vision makes it ok for everyone to eat bacon! I’m totally not against eating meat at all. I just think it’s interesting (and I wonder why) there was no meat consumption before the fall. And yeah, I think it’s good to know where our food is coming from and what’s going on with it.

    Yes, I’ve been trying to look a lot more at labels lately too. It’s super hard to buy food that doesn’t have junk in it. Basically, I need to start growing a garden and buy my own cow. Ha!

  9. laura said

    Probably because the animals could talk! (why no meat eating before the fall)


    I’m *maybe* getting this information from the Narnia books and Wicked (the book). And Lewis Carroll. And Baum. πŸ˜‰

    Someday if we ever live in a place with a yard, I think I will have a garden too. No animals though. I don’t really like interacting with them that much. Just eating.

  10. Andy Osten said

    If you’re serious about getting your own cow, talk to me. I can hook you up! Just kidding…unless you’re serious, I really can get you a cow.

  11. denisemorris said

    Laura — I think a lot of my ideas about Eden come from Narnia too…

    Andy — How about you take care of the cow for me, and I’ll come get some milk? Sounds great!

  12. Maybe instead of a cow, you can start with chickens. I think they’re a bit easier…

  13. Kristy said

    I am all over the no meat thing. Obvs. But also, I’m a big fan of cake, so I’m not sure how that fits into this whole thing.

    Again, I really think the solution is for you to do all the cooking, and I will just come to your house to eat. I think it’s best. Also, I might even bake an occasional cake. Which doesn’t fit into the diet, but is tasty. πŸ™‚

  14. Here’s my theory on the before/after fall meat thing…

    For man: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%203:17-19&version=NIV
    His curse is working harder than he did before. The ground is now cursed and he has to work harder to feed himself and his new wife. Until death.
    For woman: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%203:16&version=NIV
    Her curse is to have painful labor giving birth.
    So one of the major things that’s changed is what’s happening during childbearing/working years. The increased work = increased nutrients needed.
    AKA: Guys working long hours, sweating in fields, and still expected to produce sperm to procreate need more nutrients than lounging Eden Adam did. Long-laboring, procreating woman needs more nutrients than Eden Eve who probably created, labored and birthed babies like an animal — pretty easily.
    Plus, what better way to really get man and woman to really REMEMBER that they were cursed and separate from God but to require them to take their friendly Eden animal buddies and slaughter them. DAILY. To stay alive.
    That’s another issue I have with the way we eat now… not many people know what it FEELS like to kill an animal to stay alive. And the questions about God that it raises. People that don’t face death and the consequence of their sin, think that they don’t need God. When you kill an animal, it begs the question, “Why would God make us need to do this anyway??” Enter understanding of sacrifice and scape-goat.
    All this said, I think people *can* be vegetarians. Just not really for long-term if they’re hard workers or women of childbearing years. Or for children.
    What do you think? Crazy? πŸ™‚
    ((Also, am I going to get in trouble for saying sperm?))

  15. denisemorris said

    Jac — I think that’s a good idea. Start out small. Except I’m scared of chickens.

    Kristy — I will make you some dinners. If you make me some cakes.

    Rebecca — that is really interesting. I think that’s a very interesting way to look at it. And yes, death certainly entered the world through sin, and I would guess you become so much more aware of that when you’re the one killing your food every day. Weird. You are not in trouble. πŸ˜‰ Ha!

  16. […] am all up ons my whole food eating, you guys! I just made this quinoa pudding, and it’s really […]

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