Watch Our New Vegan Cooking Show!
Last week, we live-streamed the very first show in our brand-new 12-step cooking series that supports you to maintain optimum health, lose weight, reverse chronic illness and tackle food addiction while adopting a plant-based lifestyle. The Vegan Cooking & Food Psychology show is part of our Carnivores Anonymous program, featuring our very own In Defense of Animals President, Dr. Marilyn Kroplick, and co-hosted by Vegan and Wellness coach extraordinaire, Chef Kathleen Kastner. Dr. Marilyn shares her thoughts and insights on the program, as she invites us to watch the show and reflect on food addiction and powerlessness.
I was exhilarated and thrilled to bring you Vegan Cooking and Food Psychology — our new online show co-hosted by myself and Chef Kathleen Kastner.
Some of us suffer addiction to meat and dairy products. Denial and self-deception are part of the disease of meat addiction, leading us to easily forget that we are still carnivores in recovery and only “one bite away from a slip.” Along with admitting that we are powerless over our own meat consumption, many of us conclude that we are also powerless over people, places, and things. It stands to reason then that we're powerless to free the animals, persuade a meat-eater to go vegan, and to close down Farmer John’s slaughterhouse. As a result, we can feel tense, frustrated, even furious. Step one is often not taken until, after decades of eating meat and knowing that billions of animals are slaughtered, that it’s not only meat, dairy, and processed foods that have been devastating over and over again—but life itself.
In Step One of the Carnivores Anonymous program: we admit we are powerless over food—that our lives have become unmanageable. It is not a step you take once—it is something that you do repeatedly, daily, because we can so easily forget that we are recovering carnivores. Ironically, when we admit powerlessness over the horrors of factory farming and slaughterhouses, when we stop trying to manage others and ourselves, letting go of both—weakness can become strength. Thinking we can right the wrongs of animal injustice—that we can do it by willpower alone, we fail another day and every day. Animal liberation is a rocky road and a marathon, not a sprint.
Paradoxically, through Carnivores Anonymous we gain control when we stop trying to manage our food addictions and our lives. Through powerlessness (often mistaken for weakness) comes renewed strength. How many times have you succumbed to a Dorito instead of a power bowl of grains, greens, beans, and fruit when hurried? Without knowing how to cook plant-based foods, and without outside support, we forget that food is our medicine and we can regress back to relying on junk food.
So why do we resist Step One? Why do we fight admitting the situation is out-of-control? Conditioning! Most of us are brought up to think that we must handle every problem and manage our lives independently. If we are unable, we are weak. To say we are powerless goes against our conditioning. Furthermore, giving up control requires giving up the fantasy of doing things our way. “My way” usually translates into finding a faster route, our secret formula.
Imagining the planet’s future, we dare not! Monsters could populate it. We slam shut doors and tightly seal ourselves off. The end result—we live in the present—but are haunted by our past acts. Thus, we fall into despair. Hopeless, we are not able to plan for a brighter future.
Taking Step One, however, is the beginning of a new life. If followed honestly, the Carnivores Anonymous program promises vitality instead of despair—“the program works if you work it.” In the program, there are no failures, only slow successes.
Admitting powerlessness prepares us for change. Our attitude turns from denial and defiance to surrender. “Yes, I am a recovering carnivore. I’m powerless over meat, people, places, and things and my life has become unmanageable.” We stop fighting our addiction to meat, to other activists, to the abusers and we feel relief—we stop fighting mistakes made, the slow progress of the animal liberation movement, and our philosophical differences.
Surrender grows and bears fruit as we work the 12 steps—one step at a time. Slowly, but surely, confusion lifts, replaced by peace and order. Out of weakness and the admission of our powerlessness—comes strength! Healing ourselves requires opening the doors to release our human imaginative power, in order to realize a brighter future—to see our next step. Also needed for the healing of ourselves, the movement, and the abuse of animals is having a scintilla of hope, some awareness, and reserve energy to make hope come alive! With awareness of our long history of failed attempts to change things, we find healing. Free from stress, we can image a brighter future—for animals, our environment, and ourselves.
Before our next online show airs, on February 22, 2018, I invite you to contemplate and embrace the concept of powerlessness without judging yourself. Next month, we will embark on Step Two and learn about higher power and the new science of epigenetics, scientific proof that decisions to go vegan, to exercise, and meditate regulate gene expression—debunking the theory that DNA is destiny. Are you ready to discover balance: powerlessness along with unimaginable power?
Register now to take part in Step Two of Vegan Cooking & Food Psychology with Chef Kathleen and Dr. Kroplick broadcasting live on Thursday, February 22, 6 – 6:30 p.m. PT (9 – 9:30 p.m. ET).
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