Conscious Consumption is the process of becoming aware of where our food has come from, and practicing gratitude for everything and everyone that was involved in getting it onto a plate. This may sound too deep for some, like it’s going to be too much work to think about all that every time they wish to eat something. But it’s like most things in life – it takes practice. Besides, most of us tend to gravitate towards the same foods from day to day, so it becomes a gradual process of thankfulness. It builds more and more every day.
Where your food comes from is an important question, because all the events that led up to your receiving it will have had an energetic impact upon it. This simple idea is why many yogis choose to abstain from the consumption of animals. One of my teachers at Yandara Yoga Institute, Shane Christopher Perkins, gave us a simple visualization to help bring across the point of conscious consumption.
Imagine you are in a beautiful garden. Your favorite vegetable is growing, and is ripe to be picked ~ go ahead, grab the leaves of the carrot, the round red tomato, or the plump green snap pea … and partake ~ take a bite, how does it taste? What does it feel like to eat this vegetable?
Now imagine you are in the same garden. You see a little brown hen cornered by the fence. There is a shovel nearby, and there is no way that she can escape. So … partake ~ grab the shovel and kill the hen. Now you may eat. How does this feel?
Is it the same? Yoga is so much more than just a physical exercise. Yoga is cultivating awareness of how we are truly feeling when we are grounded and present in this moment. It is important to consider our true feelings in any situation, from someone cutting into a lineup ahead of you, to the warm sun on your face, to the feeling you get when you truly contemplate how your food was gathered and prepared for you.
Food is a sensitive subject for many of us. When we are children, it is the first thing that we truly have control over – the roots of free will. Change takes time and patience, and if you are not ready to consider change at the dinner table, that is okay! I only ask you to consider the idea of Conscious Consumption. If you can practice gratitude for the being who gave its’ life, or be content with how the animal may have been treated, then you are free in your mind and your heart. For example, knowing that your eggs were retrieved from a free-range, organically-fed hen may put your mind more at ease.
Why not try practicing Conscious Consumption for a day?