“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” ~ John F. Kennedy
As we spend our Memorial Day weekend reflecting on our past wars and lost servicemen, spending time with our families and friends, enjoying the freedoms that are so hard-fought for us to keep here in America, or perhaps keeping abreast of the latest political games being played in cities, states, and at The Capitol, the last thing I want to do is intentionally make life hard for someone else.
In truth, we should be doing everything we can to help those families who made the ultimate sacrifice, families who are left to make do without the loved ones they lost, particularly those who perished at work so that we can relax and enjoy our work days without fear.
Actions have consequences, many of which directly affect others whether or not we care to accept the responsibility. Just because we choose to believe some atrocity isn’t happening doesn’t somehow magically wish it away. Things are as they are, and facts are facts. What some are calling alternative facts is really only a differing perspective surrounding certain uncomfortable — or unwanted — pieces of information.
Service members consent to serve their country in whatever capacity the government chooses for them to. They agree to their duties as employees of our government, going into contract fully aware they may have to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, for us. We take those individual contracts very seriously; it’s what keeps our freedoms tangible. No service member should be expected to lose his life on the job, and certainly not in a time of peace. We honor these veterans on special days like Memorial Day, so we don’t forget or somehow devalue their service.
It is a reminder to never forget them and what they do for us.
Flags Fly in Frankfort, MI
Slice of Americana
In this same peacetime stability, however, is where we ramp it up for trillions of others. For these beings, there is no consent to contract: their lives and deaths are taken from them, by us, against their will. No animal is hard-wired to give its life willingly, to sacrifice. Even people who get to choose, as animals, we are all wired to survive.
It’s been made easy for us to take it all for granted. We really shouldn’t.
This weekend, extend your baseline of compassion outward, past the male versus female serviceman, past petty differences in skin tone and countries of origin, ignoring differences in faith and beliefs, even discounting the number of feet that touch the ground.
In particular, honor those beings who have never been given choice or consent to their very lives. Consider the facts as they are and reach for alternative solutions: plants are food, always have been.
Eat something else and let the bovine keep his rib-eye steaks and brisket intact and on his body where he most assuredly wants it. The pig’s ribs are necessary right where they are — on the living pig. Allow the chicken’s egg to become the poult it’s naturally intended be. And for Pete’s sake, stop stealing the calf’s milk for your iced cream. He needs it way more than you do.
None of what we do to these beings is even necessary for our survival. Like many of our daily actions, we are just doing what we do out of habit and convenience.
So yes, let’s honor our servicemen, remember their sacrifices. While you’re at it, free those who have never enjoyed our freedoms. Free them from your stomachs and — especially — from the mere seconds of pleasure upon your tongue.
Easy Fresh Kale Salad
This salad is a regular staple ‘bowl meal’ in our home. We pick kale straight from the garden, but we recommend organic bunches from the grocery in absence. Kale is a wonder-leaf and chock full of nutrients, but with it comes bitterness. The sweet-and-sour combo will help.
- 5-6 medium leaves Fresh Kale, de-stemmed, rough chopped or torn
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Rice wine vinegar (or sub apple cider)
- 1 tbsp Tahini (peanut butter works well too!)
- 1 tbsp Maple syrup (or agave nectar)
- 1 tsp Liquid Aminos (or regular soy sauce)
- Sesame seed, Craisins® (optional)
- Massage kale in a medium bowl with finger tips until the leaves are softened and dark green with all that lovely chlorophyll.
- In a small bowl, add the oil, vinegar, seed/nut butter, syrup, and (salty) sauce and whip together with a fork until blended. This is a sweet/sour version of vinaigrette and the seed butter will hold it together into a creamy concoction.
- Toss the vinaigrette with the leaves and sprinkle with sesame seeds and/or Craisins® (not required).
- Enjoy! No animals were exploited for your pleasure.
Shannon @ DirtNKids Blog
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.
And please, do it without cruelty.