Food for Life Global represents the world’s largest vegetarian food relief. With roots in India’s Vedic food culture, projects in 50 countries, a strong heritage of respect for the environment, and a current distribution of more than 400,000 meals daily, the charity is beginning to make a significant impact on world consciousness.
How so? The mission of Food for Life is to bring about peace and prosperity in the world through the liberal distribution of pure vegetarian meals. Food for Life strongly believes that the reason there is so much violence in the world is because of man’s inability to see the equality of all beings. The pure vegetarian meals we serve, therefore, are a statement of respect for other species and a call to a more humane way of life.
Just like us, animals feel pain. Granted, they may not have the intelligence of man, but they do have emotions and are living, breathing conscious beings just like humans. Recognizing this fact is the basis of a truly humane society.
Since food is so central to everyone’s life, it is only natural that it is the most effective medium to initiate change in consciousness. All of us have had the experience of sitting down to a meal cooked with love and felt an immediate transformation of consciousness and reciprocal love for the person that cooked the meal. The fact is, when prepared with love, food can speak any language. Such food has the ability to break down barriers, turn anger into love, fear into trust and ignorance into enlightenment.
When a person is living consciously, they will do so in all their thoughts and actions. Their life will be consistent and in harmony with their environment. They will compliment their surrounding and not disturb them. Living consciously begins with conscious eating.
Food is the most basic necessity of life. It’s only purpose is to nourish the body, mind and soul. Food therefore should give life and cleanse the body and uplift our spirit. Food that is old, decomposed, and consisting of dead flesh, will pollute the body and consciousness, while food that is fresh, alive and nutritious will enrich the body, cleanse mind and satisfy the soul.
Taking such conscious eating a step further, when we recognize the equality of all beings, it will come natural to us to share the bounty of the earth with others and give up all selfish tendencies. World hunger is a case in point, for the issue is not a lack of food resources, but inequitable distribution.
The truly conscious person therefore, does not disrespect other living beings; they honor the environment and love their own bodies treating it as if it were a temple. They live their lives in full awareness of their connection to their surroundings. Such spiritual perspective is the foundation of India’s Vedic culture of hospitality of which the Food for Life program was founded upon.
The conscious person fully embraces a socially responsible and environmentally respectful lifestyle. By becoming aware of our human responsibility to maintain and protect the environment and other forms of life, we will learn to love our brethren and not exploit them. The same applies to our choice of clothing and habitat.
The beginning of this journey in raising our consciousness begins with the tongue. Never underestimate the power of the plate. What you put on your plate is as much a political statement to the world as it is a mirror of who you really are.
By Paul R. Turner
Paul Rodney Turner is the global director of Food for Life (www.ffl.org). He has traveled to more than 50 countries establishing new FFL projects, including the war zones of Sarajevo and Chechnya. He also led a team of 50 volunteers in Sri Lanka for the Tsunami relief. He resides in Washington DC.