A Gentleman’s Relationship with Nature
I was going to do my usual weekend reading post, but I only had one other post this week. So, I felt it was better to get another post out instead. I’m also curious to see what the readership is like on a Saturday. I was hesitant to involve the word gentleman, seeing as how gent/gentleman/etc. is so overused these days. I guess maybe a better word would be Renaissance Man, but I’m trying to propose that style is more than just how you dress and how you shave. It’s about how you interact with the world around you. Whether you have relationships with other people, animals, or your environment, you are going interact with your world. How you choose to behave in that relationship says more about you than any “look”, clothing label, or cologne fragrance ever could.
Look, I’ll be honest. I had never ever heard of Cecil the Lion before this week. I’m sure I’m like most people in the U.S. in this respect. However, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts and stories published with the assumption that Cecil the Lion was the most important thing in the world to the author. This may be true for a few people, but, sadly, I assume that most folks are just jumping on the hot cause of the week. What really matters here is how I take this story and apply it to my life going forward.
I’m not going to hop a flight and start guarding wildlife on another continent, but I can be vocal about my views towards the treatment of animals in this country. My views really began with how I cared about my food and its nutritional value based on how the animals themselves were raised, but that quickly morphed in caring about the animals themselves. I personally believe that humans are omnivores by evolution, and that the eating of other animals is part of the natural cycle of life. Some animals eat plants, some eat other animals, and some eat both. If you choose vegetarianism or veganism, I totally respect your choice, and think that plants can provide a highly nutritious diet. However, since I am going to eat other animals, those animals need to be bred, raised, and even killed with respect. They are giving their life to feed me, and that needs to be appreciated. I think this has been lost in the current day culture of mass produced food. While it may cost a little more, I am going to make the choice to purchase meat, eggs, dairy, etc. acquired from ethically raised animals whenever possible. If you’re looking for some first steps to get yourself started, two brands that I have been buying recently are Vital Farms and Niman Ranch. Both are highly recommended for their sustainable and humane practices. If you are looking for some additional informational resources, I suggest learning the difference between cage-free, free-range and pasture-raised, searching for local farmers to buy from and watching Food, Inc.