Dr. King’s Great Words Bolster Commitment to Healthy Eating for All
Great leaders inspire great effort. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a profound and moving orator. His speeches inspired millions to rise above their own limited concerns and work for the greater good, for justice, liberty, and equality.
If you are seeking change for the better in your own life, think about Dr. King’s words, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
Another inspiring Dr. King quote is “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
The most fundamental justice is to ensure that all have the basic necessities. As long as some are not adequately fed, those who care must be committed to end this injustice.
In October 2009, the United Nations estimated over a billion people were undernourished, with the number not having enough to eat rising every year. At least five million children a year die from the effects of too little food. The desperately poor cannot afford food when its price increases by an amount that would be insignificant to wealthier people.
You may be wishing you ate a healthier diet, but have not quite gotten around to consistently basing your meals on whole plant foods. Paradoxically, the best way to build commitment to your own well-being is to look to ethical concerns and purpose outside yourself.
When you eat animal foods, such as meat, milk, and eggs, there are two to sixteen pounds of plant foods hidden in every pound of the animal food. Most of the nutrients in these plants, including protein, vitamins, minerals, and calories, are lost when the plant is eaten. Animals use these nutrients for their own metabolism and survival. The meat is a pale remnant of the whole plant food the animal ate. All the phytochemicals – beneficial plant nutrients that strengthen and support your body – are lost when animals eat plants.
The price of food falls when there is less competition for it from farmed animals, and so the poor can better afford to eat. So every time you base a meal or snack on whole plant foods, you are freeing up nourishment for hungry children.
A whole foods, plant-based diet is also sustainable, using far fewer natural resources than raising animals does. This puts less pressure on the planet, helping ensure future generations can also be properly fed.
What a wonderful way to honor Dr. King! Consider another of his great quotes, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” Simply by consistently improving your diet to boost your own health and lose weight, you show the “passionate concern” that Dr. King strove for. Use this knowledge to strengthen your commitment. Understand how your food choices affect so many others, now and in the future. Your meals leave a legacy.
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Blog by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet, a nutrition book built on sustainable food choices. Enjoy six kinds of whole foods for permanent, hunger-free weight loss and health.