“The All-Merciful has taught the Qur’an.
He created man and He taught him the explanation.
The sun and the moon to a reckoning,
and the stars and trees bow themselves;
and heaven –
He raised it up and set the balance.
Transgress not in the balance, and weigh with justice, and skimp not inthe balance. And earth –
He set it down for all beings,
therein fruits and palm trees with sheaths,
and grain in the blade, and fragrant herbs.
Of which your Lord’s bounties will you and
The Noble Qur’an: Surah 55: Ayah 1-12.
The life and times of this world has drastically changed over the past 40 years and as the rate of information gets spread faster and faster, many times people are beginning to wonder if we as a Human Species are progressing for the better or for the worse.
When you begin to look at nutrition and good health on a much deeper level, you will realize that the money you spend on either promoting your good health or promoting your ill health just doesn’t affect you as in individual person per se’: it literally affects the global system around the entire world and not just in your local area. When we spend our money, it impacts the food and agricultural industry (*as many corporations own part share on everything to the entertainment in our lives all the way down to type of health care that you will receive throughout your life time), the Environment, either for or against it as a whole and then which ultimately affects the Human Being on both the conscious or sub-conscious level. We would be hard pressed to say that over the last 100 years as a Human Species, we have done right by being conscious of our treatment towards the welfare of animals, always done the right thing when it comes to being conscious of making the Earth a more sustainable place for our children and have used our true spiritual potential to become true realized beings that was a care taker and not a destroyer. One may argue that this has always been the case, however we cannot deny that our impact on these things has certainly accelerated at a faster rate over the last 100 years.
It has been said that the Human Being has been placed on earth to be the Guardian and protector (The Vicegerent of the Earth). Then how is it that we have reached this is station and is there something that each and every one of us can do to be that true Vicegerent and make a positive impact on our societies no matter how grim things may seem? Yes there is. Let’s explore some of the 3 ways we can become better Guardians of the Natural Order:
Some may argue that the welfare of Animals is of no great importance and that the material world always adjusts itself and that there is no such thing as animal abuse. However I would ask one to reconsider this if this is the position that they hold. After the turn of the industrial revolution the mass production of raising animals for food and experiment has increased almost ten-fold. We have become numb to the fact that Animals are creatures and are not merely assembly line tools (although this is a life that many animals live). This mass theme of seeing animals as commodities has not contributed to the overall betterment of the human race. The rates of Cancer and other diseases are at levels never seen before in the history of the world due to excessive consumption of animal proteins (when it has been proven that there are other forms of proteins that are comparable and sustainable) and animal experimentation has not necessarily made the medical world of Humans better. We often speak of wanting to live in a just world, but can we truly achieve that when we are unjust to animals; which are sentient beings? Before snickering at this, this is something to ponder.
What can we do?:
While we all have varying taste and opinions as to what the best things to eat are, the most important thing that we can do is at least try and become conscious consumers and make an effort to purchase less and consume less meat. If it is hard to do this, at the very least we must be aware of where the food that ends up on our plate comes from ; thus making an effort to at least try and become a conscious consumer and to know what we are putting in our bodies . Our excessive mental cravings and addiction to eat animal flesh have contributed to more and more land to be cleared so that the animals may graze. The rate of replanting these lands occurs no doubt at a much slower rate; thus leaving our home more and more imbalanced. One may say that doing this won’t matter. But it does matter. The change always starts with the self.
On the Environment:
Good nutrition and being healthy isn’t only what we eat or think. It is also what we breath and observe. Going into this part of the discussion is a whole separate book in itself. The cynical attitude that there is nothing that we can do to help the Earth we live on is not true. Many scientist agree that at the rate of present progression our world that we live in will become less and less sustainable by the decade.
What can we do?:
While it may seem overwhelming to try and tackle the whole subject of who not to give our money to when it comes to companies that harm the environment; it is not overwhelming to say that we will choose wiser when it comes to where we spend our money. Besides this we can find better ways to reuse the things that we own if possible and we can even teach our children that the Earth too is an actual living organism. The way we treat it is the way that we get treated in return.
On the Progression of Humankind:
If the present state of the way we presently treat animals is sub-par and the way that we have presently treated the earth is questionable to say the least, then what could be said about the progression of the Human Race at this present moment? Whether we like it or not, information and technology is advancing so fast, many of us are losing our humanity in the process. This is not necessarily a new thing, so to deal with our void within ourselves, many of us join various Mosques, Churches, Temples, Communes, Ashrams and other centers in an attempt to reconnect to the Spiritual realm thinking that this alone will solve our internal pain. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case, and it seems the more religious we seem to get, the more cruel, self-righteous and totally checked out we seem to be getting as a species when this wasn’t the initial focus of the Prophets and enlightened Masters when they were sent to this world. While a good spiritual practice and being with a group of people serves the purpose of external learning and how to conduct ourselves in a more civil manner, the reality is many religious people in this day and age are still looking for that ‘that something’ that seems to be missing. That something is the neglected relationship that we haven’t developed with our self. There is a Hadith Qudsi that states: “He (or) She who knows themselves, knows their Lord.” In other words, while outwardly one may practice the outer forms of religion, the true Journey to the truth is the one you must discover for yourself. Through silent reflection, making constant dhikr, and never settling for the Ego’s false representation that it shows to ourself 24 hours a day, change can occur if never given up. The Enlightened Masters came to show you your true self and not to be mere parrots and copy cats of someone else’s transformation: They came to teach you how to have your own. If one is wondering what one can do in order to foster the progression of positivity for the Human Race, just a simple commitment is needed to embrace true self critique on the path to truth and shun counterfeit, plastic spirituality in which we care more about the way others look at us rather than the way we feel on the inside. At the present time we as a Human Race have a chance to see the world that we are preparing for ourselves; each and every one has a role to play in it. So again, things are never as they seem, what looks like Holistic Nutrition can actually be a doorway to self-discovery depending on what lenses we choose to look through.
While there is much more, these are some of the simple things that we can do in our life to take steps to becoming better Guardians of the Natural Order. Becoming true Vicegerents of planet Earth. Embarking on the path of Holistic Nutrition is good for you, the animals and the planet as a whole when deducing its impact. While each and every one of us still has breath, we can still make an impact no matter how insignificant others may tell us that it is. To your health and to becoming a stronger Guardian inshallah.
Daud Scott- CHNP.