The more and more I research the plant-based lifestyle and try to share my findings, the more I find that it's similar to religion. K, I'm not nuts or anything, and I'm not worshiping food, but I've arrived at a very poignant thought: Anything that we take into our bodies, be it spiritual or physical, will affect us.
This is another reason why I HATE the "moderation in all things" concept that people believe. For example, you would NEVER hear a strong member of any faith say that we can have moderation in all things pertaining to spiritual matters. "It's okay to watch a moderate amount of porn." "It's okay to listen to a moderate amount of music with cussing or degrading messages." "It's okay to sleep around moderately." (All of these, by the way, the world has told us are actually okay).
SO WHY DO WE TREAT OUR FOOD THAT WAY??
When people say to me, "It's okay to eat a moderate amount of meat," or "It's okay to eat my Snickers bar" I want to slap them upside the head. Our bodies are temples. If we're taking moderate amounts of bad things into our bodies, how are we treating ourselves like temples??
My mom was just telling me today that there was a lesson in her Relief Society once where they were discussing self-mastery (very important to overcome the natural man). And the teacher brought up the point, "It's like eating dinner. We have to know when to push ourselves away from the table."
As my mom told me this, I may have actually rolled my eyes. If the things on our tabletops for dinner aren't good for us...if we can't FEAST on them without feeling sick, then we're EATING THE WRONG FOODS!
It's like the scriptures. We've been told to FEAST on the words of Christ. We can't have too much of them. We can't bring too much of light and truth into our minds.
Why can't the physical things we bring into our bodies be the same way? Believe it or not, it's possible. We can feast on good foods. We can feast until we are legitimately full. And if we're hungry an hour later...it's possible to eat more. FEAST on the good things. ELIMINATE the bad things.
Our spirituality depends on more than just our personal prayers, our scripture study, and church attendance. It's more than fulfilling our callings and serving our neighbors. Every little thing that we put into our divinely given bodies and minds will affect our ability to listen to the spirit and act.
There are three things that people are deeply passionate about--to the point of contention. One of those is politics (which I'm not even going to touch on), the other two are religion and food. I don't think I ever would have put food in that same list until now. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people get actually offended that I choose to eat "vegan" or Plant-Based. And even more shocking is how anti- they are about it.
Honestly...sometimes I feel like a food missionary (that's not sacrilegious is it??), trying to share my testimony, and having people slam their hypothetical doors in my face. And these are active members of the church.
If we want to truly learn self-mastery, put off the natural man, and become closer to God, I have a deep testimony that we must give up our addiction to flesh and animal products (I can't even tell you how many times I've heard someone say "I just couldn't give up steak/fish/cheese/etc." -- okay? Where's the self-mastery in that statement?), and humble ourselves so that we can really feast. Feast on the good. And eliminate the bad. We need to do as Jeffery R. Holland teaches: