There’s Really No Such Thing As Eating Guilt-Free…

…except if you choose to Eat With Joy.

Your diet will always disappoint someone.

The Paleo people say “don’t eat grains or legumes; meat made you who you are.”

The vegans say “grains and legumes are way better than meat.”

The low-carb people say “eat more meat.”

The low-fat people say “eat more carbs.

The biodynamic farm enthusiasts say “eat better meat.”

The locavores say “eat what grows nearby.”

The general health enthusiasts say “eat what’s good for you.”

The eco-eaters say “eat what’s good for the earth.”

The justice people say, “eat that which hasn’t come to you from hands that have labored under unfair conditions.

Yesterday I heard a prominent vegan who owns a farm animal sanctuary in Woodstock, NY, on the radio. She invited people to stay visit her farm and enjoy vegan food “and it’s all guilt-free, because nothing comes from animals!”

And I thought: “there is no such thing as guilt-free eating.”

Something must always die for us to live and someone must labor for us to eat.

The soymilk must be produced and shipped using fossil fuels.

The hands who picked your organic tomatoes may wear shackles, figurative or otherwise.

The local farmer may have to spray her trees with pesticides to make a go of it.

The animal who was raised and slaughtered with compassion and gratitude must, to be eaten, die.

The grains and legumes and other edibles take water and fertilizer and fuel and sweat to grow.

And so on.

And yet…I still think we can Eat With Joy.

do you?



12 thoughts on “There’s Really No Such Thing As Eating Guilt-Free…

  1. I do. But I also think that we should all make the changes (slowly, maybe) we feel convicted by. The food system in the US is such a mess that any positive change seems to be a good one. But yes, in the midst of all that, I do think it is possible to eat with joy.


    And with that I’m going downstairs for some coffee. Fair trade. WIth organic half & half from happy cows. Of course the mug was probably made in China, by either exploited workers or political prison slave labor…

    We try.

  3. I did learn that anything that God did not make its best to stay away from as I have never seen chocolate chip cookies growing on trees. One cookie will never harm us and that we should be able to enjoy once in awhile.

    • I’ve never seen an omelet tree either, Nancy!

      P.S. My favorite omelet is a three egg, three cheese and linguica omelet from a place here in town. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen linguica grow either.

  4. So true, so true – “there’s no such thing as guilt-free eating.” And I think of all the women in our culture who can’t eat ANYTHING without that guilt. It’s so painful to think about. My sister and I decided we were going to try to be “nutritarians” for awhile after reading a book that insisted the only reason one would not be able to insist on a healthy food is because he/she is addicted to the American diet. It’s just not true. Whatever good advice was there in that book was overshadowed by the fact that it was shaming and manipulative.But sometimes, when we are struggling, we let ourselves be shamed and manipulated, don’t we? It makes us feel a sick kind of hope, I think. Not a hope that leads to change, because it’s so twisted…does that make any sense at all?

    • ok I got it now: we want a “Law” mentality. Following rules gives us the illusion that we are righteous. Living by rules requires guilt, though. Letting our behavior be modified by guilt is less messy than living by grace; but as Scripture tells us, the Law is death. I think this is what I meant by “a sick kind of hope.” Following food rules makes us feel we are living rightly, when we are not actually living in conscience-guided freedom.

  5. I find it stressful to omit whole groups of food. I wonder if I should eat paleo or become a vegan, but I have decided just to be moderate in all things. I might still try to eat more of something or less of something, but I’m not going to be overly strict about my diet. I love your philosophy! Very freeing.

  6. Pingback: Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food–includes CD | health and nutrition advice, nutrition and health, health and nutrition

  7. Pingback: Vegan? Vegetarian? Flexitarian? Compassionate Carnivory? | Rachel Marie Stone

Please Join the Conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s