Because no single way of eating works for everybody.
There are times when having lunch with a group is like going to a meeting of many opposing political parties, or even religions.
Francesco’s a vegan who won’t eat anything associated with animals; he won’t even wear leather shoes. He’s always accusing Keesha, who’s gone to a strict paleo diet, of being unethical and cruel to animals, because she eats meat. Keesha maintains that her diet is ethical because she only eats meat from animals that are allowed to range free and are treated well before slaughter – and she, in turn, rags on Lars, who’s ovo-lacto vegetarian and doesn’t believe it matters where his eggs and dairy come from. All of them, under the right circumstances, have no trouble getting into altercations with Trang, who eats everything under the sun regardless of whether it has any nutritional value or not; and with Janine, who’s recently become a fruitarian.
They can’t all agree on much of anything, except salad. If it’s fruit salad.
This essay by Tom Billings, Idealism vs. Realism in Raw Food Diets, makes a point that really strikes me as relevant, especially now that so many of us are rebelling against our societies’ supposedly-conventional diets. We’re each trying to eat in ways that best suit our health… but when you come right down to it, it’s just lunch. And when our friends or acquaintances choose to eat in different ways from us, for their own best health, it’s really not worth going to war over. As Billings says, “Food should sustain you and nourish you, rather than rule your life. If food rules your life, the diet is eating you, rather than the other way around.”
In fact, we’re incredibly lucky to live in countries where there’s so much food that we can actually make choices about it.
So, to heck with conflict. Gather ’round the table, and let’s eat! 🙂