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A Higher-Level Alternative

Original watercolor by Madeleine Tuttle

From The World Peace Diet, VegInspiration……. Buckminster Fuller often emphasized that the way of cultural transformation is not so much in fighting against destructive attitudes and practices, but in recognizing them as being obsolete and offering positive, higher-level alternatives.

The competitive, violent, commodifying mentality of the ancient herding cultures is, in our age of nuclear weapons and global interconnectedness, profoundly obsolete, as is eating the animal foods of these old cultures, which are unhealthy in the extreme both to our body-minds and to our precious planetary ecology.

These paragraphs speak to my core.  I have felt the futility of my anger and frustration, fighting against something that I believe is creating unnecessary suffering for people, animals, and the planet.  How do I speak my Truth without demonstrating and creating more of the same kind of mentality that is at the root of many of our societal and world challenges?  That mentality of “me against him”, “us against them”, is causing so much suffering in the world.

As we tune in to the reality that this is a world of interdependence, we realize that this old separatist way of thinking is truly obsolete!    If I participate on any level with harming others, I am creating harm in my own life, because there is NO way that I can honor Life for myself, if I am not honoring Life for others.  This is the higher-level awareness that we humans need to attain for the benefit of our own evolution and survival.

There is a story I heard recently where a western group of people went in to a tribal village in Africa.  They were playing games with the children, and, given their western way of thinking, they set up a game of competition, telling the children that the person who ran the fastest and got to a distant tree first would win a prize of a basket of fruit.  When the run started, all the children joined hands and ran to the tree together.  When asked why they did not play the game the way it was set up and compete to win the fruit, the children responded, “how can any one of us be happy and enjoy the fruit when the others have none?”

In my mind, this is a fundamental question for each one of us.  I may think that I am fine with getting my own, and letting everyone else fend for themselves, but in reality, there is great harm to my own spirit in this, and, our planet cannot sustain this way of thinking for much longer.

So, where in my life do I wish to make transformational changes?  Where am I going about it by fighting against old destructive habits and patterns?  Where can I simply recognize that these habits and patterns are obsolete and offer a more positive, higher-level alternative?

That is what we are doing when we look squarely in the face of our old ways of eating, and get clear about the damage we are doing to our own health and the health of the planet.  We can offer ourselves and our loved ones a higher-level alternative – one that supports life on all levels, individual through global.  

All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?”

~ Buddha

Thanks for reading, and, as promised, here’s a recipe for Rooibos Butternut Pizzettas!   They’re a fun and delicious way to use the butternut squash so prevalent now in the Pacific NW fall months, and you’ll feel good eating something that’s good for your health, doesn’t harm animals, and is sustainable for the planet!


Rooibos Butternut Pizzettas (makes 15-20)

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons rooibos tea leaves
  • 2 medium-large butternut squashes
  • Drizzle of olive oil for baking sheets
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and add butter and 1 tablespoon tea.  When butter foams, remove from heat, cover, and let infuse 10 minutes.  Strain butter through a fine sieve; discard tea.

Cut off stems and seedless “necks” of squashes (save seeded parts for another use.)  Peel “necks”.  Cut into 1/2 inch slices.  Lightly oil 2 baking sheets and place squash, slightly separated, on sheets.

Pulverize remaining 1 1/2 teaspoon tea leaves (if already fine, skip this step.)  Mix with salt.

Brush infused butter onto tops of squash slices, then season with pepper and rooibos salt.  Bake until very soft, about 25 minutes.  Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with chives.


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