This is a bit difficult and complicated to explain, so please bear with me :)
At the moment I am in England, not really for holiday but to be with my brother who lives here and my mum who came with me.
As a family we are going through an extremely tough time at the moment (this is not random, it is to explain the next bit! :) Long story short my dad has gone to
prison for possibly one of the worse crimes you can commit and we are not going
to see him again. He used to be mine and my brother's hero, but he has been
lying to us all and our whole childhood is basically a lie.
My brother got the worse brunt of this and was confused, maddened, depressed and in disbelief, and turned to alcohol and drugs as escapism and a way to
numb his escalating emotions.
He was an emotional wreck when he found Jake while looking for work. Jake, of Indian origin, owns a cafe and got on really well with Liam. He took him under his
wing, providing him with a place to stay, free food and a family setting. This
was about 5 weeks ago, and since Jake has blessedly got him off drugs
and alcohol. This is all great and amazing. Around 3 weeks ago my mum went
to England to sort out stuff. Then they both asked me to come so we could all
be together. So I came last week.
(I have lots of positive things to say about my stay here, but as this is a rant, I am just going to focus on what is not!! :)
Jake has helped changed a LOT of people for the better. He is kind of like a councilor (or a bit like Mother Teresa). He just lives to help as many
people as he can for no personal gain. And please don't get me wrong after
reading this, I am soooo glad my brother found him.
Everyone holds really high opinions about him, like anything he says is right. And most of what he says is very knowledgeable and wise and whatever,
The first thing I noticed is that my mum had started eating meat again under the encouragement of Jake. I was, of course quite upset by this but Jake just said
"No, no, you're mum needs meat now. Besides, it's turkey and
Then he saw me eating. (and during this time I have actually been eating a fraction of what I normally eat!!) His first reaction is that he took me aside and said "AJ, you are eating too much fruit. You would be better
off eating a few donuts than all of that fruit (he was SERIOUS) It's going to damage you're liver!". Well, kind of just the
normal reaction we get, right? ;)
He then went on to tell me that he used to eat a lot of grapes (1 stalk?;) and that he developed blood sugar problems so he went to his doctor and he told him to cut out grapes. He did and his blood sugar problems went away. I explained to him the link between a high fat diet and blood sugar problems but he didn't say anything. (And he really does eat a VERY high fat diet even though he doesn't think so. You should SEE the amount of oil he uses in cooking and every surface in the kitchen is GREASY!).
A few days ago it was my birthday and my brother took me to the grocer's to get some stuff. When we got there He told me that I am only allowed to buy maximum 3 pieces of fruit as I was eating too much and that it is going to damage my liver. I did get upset and just left the shop and went up the road to another grocery store where I bought 3 cartons of strawberries. I came back and he said "You're unbelievable! That's more like 50 pieces of fruit not 3! (Like 1 strawberry counts as 1 fruit anyway?) See, you're just showing me you're unflexability as you can't go without fruit for just one day. You're just like me when I was on drink and drugs. I was spending all my money on them, wouldn't go places where I couldn't get them...".
All all the way back home he then explained that how everyone around me but me could see how I was putting myself on a pedestal by eating only fruits and veggies and how egoistic it was as it offends other people when I don't try their food, and how I was doing myself a disfavor by not trying new things and how I was being "hollier than thou" or whatever and how it was just my pride talking and how I'm shutting all my doors by being so narrow minded ect, ect.
Then, he goes and buys a (n organic) ginger beer and asks me to take a sip. He wants to prove his point but of course I say "no thank you" so then he's like "see! No harm is going to come from taking a sip. I am not asking you to drink the whole can, just asking you to take a sip. No biggie!" I said no thank you again. "See! Thats your ego talking! What makes you better than me in that you can't drink this!? Why is it too good for you but not for me?" I told him about the environmental impacts (monocrop, litter ect), the animal impacts (affects of monocrops on biodiversity ect), the health impacts (obvious:) and that I choose not to because I don't want to support that kind of thing. But he just said "Look, I've already bought the beer. And I'm going to drink it no matter what. So Not of your ethics are going to be compromised by just ONE sip." ERG. The he tried a nother tactic I guess I am quite hard headed and when someone winds me up I get even more so so I just said "NO! thank you" and walked away.
His next point is that I run away from everything as I am spoiled when I don't get what I want (fresh fruit and veg is ALL I want? Wow, I really am spoiled!:) and how selfish that is and that it is a luxury as we don't have any money and that I spend my money on that (Oh, but you having 3 teas a round nearly everyday in a cafe costing £1 pound each isn't a luxury?) . But he says he's telling me this cuz he loves and cares for me and doesn't want to see me putting my self in a box and not being open-minded.
(Note about my brother: I love my brother so much and he understands me better than probably anyone. He holds much the same values and ethics as me (he is a timber frame builder and wants to build his house in the woods :) but I guess the difference is that he does not practice them. He respects and admires me for a lot and embraces aspects of the raw food lifestyle but obviously not to the extreme :) But for the last 4 years we have lived apart (in different countries) so he has missed much of my life. And when I came to England this summer, I was/am in a bad place, and I am more reserved than usual as that is how I deal with stress and depression. He took this as how I usually act and concludes that it is because of my food ways.
Okay, so that was the morning! lol! On the way back from the grocery shop me and my brother meet my mum and Jake at a Cafe. It seems that they all have the same agenda to get me to change my ways. These are just some of the things Jake said to me:
" What do you value more, your brother or my diet?" (To which I obviously responded "My brother" and then he said "Well then, why don't you drink some coffee?" WTF? Just because I eat only raw food it means I don't love my family?????)
"You've got a fixation on your diet. Out of all 17teen year old I'v met, you're the most concerned about what you eat" (Maybe cuz you've never met a 17 year old raw foodist!?!? And all the teens youv met eat junk???
"It's not even you're own opinion. You just think you know it all because you've read some book and read stuff on the internet. Don't believe everything you read"
"At your age, you can't be so close.minded. YOu need a blanced diet. A bit of meat, a bit of milk. It's all good"
"My advice is to keep your diet open at your age. The world around you is surviving on cooked food. It is not poison. Have a cooked meal with your mum once in a while. It will make her happy."
"It's all about compromising. I am not saying raw fruits or veg are bad, just don't limit yourself. All I see is people compromising to you, eating more fruit and veg, but you make no compromise to eat their food"
"You're tricking yourself, cutting yourself off, always doing stuff one way"
"You're becoming a fascist with your rigid ways"
"If someone you love offers you cooked food, don't let your pride get in the way, try it"
"Taking a sip of ginger beer makes your points more valid as right now you're too one-sided."
"You might as well make life easier for yourself as life is difficult as it is!"
"It's becoming an obsession"
"You seem so cut-off " IDK, maybe thats cuz I just lost my DAD? and that you know nothing about my life and just met me a few days ago?!
"Never seen a 17yo so obsessed about food"
"We arn't meant to eat only veg. After all my mother wasn't a vegetable, we arn't made of vegetables" WTF?
This was in just ONE sitting! We stayed at that cafe listening to him talk for 3 HOURS! And everyone was like nodding their heads to what he said as if he's a flippin guru (which he believes he is) and he would hardly let me talk. I felt cornered and attacked :( Not nice. I am not saying that I wasn't listening. he obviously made me think and what I have to learn is to try and take this positively and not be offended as I know they just mean well. But I know the problem is not in the food. For me, I need to learn how to be more open and confident as a person. But that's another story ;)
I was just so dumbfounded by some of the arrogant and uninformed (sorry, if that sounds harsh, but it is true) stuff he said.
The next day went similar, as we all went to a cafe again (as everyday we all go for a walk). This time he really RANTed and didn't stop and was even almost SHOUTING at me. Again, everyone else was noding and saying "he's right" ERG. It really pissed me off.
Some of the stuff he said:
"Permaculture and organic food is not the solution to poverty" (I never even said it was)
"Learn to be a economist and then you will make a difference in people's lives"
"All you Western people worry about food but don't put your energy into helping people"
"My sister had 15 children. That's 15 mouths to feed! If my sister had to go looking for organic food and spend extra money, they would have never had got an education!!! And here YOU are saying that cooked food is POISON! Well, excuse me, they were even having WHITE rice, not even brown rice and they're still ALIVE. I can tell you that if my sister did tht she would not have died a saint"
"You've put your mother in a trap. And forced her into eating better. You've influenced her with all your fruit and veg. A bad influence" OMG, I think I just have to laugh........
"It's okay to be wrong. You must have to admit it"
"Follow the truth. What I am saying is not opinion. It is fact. I am speaking the truth. " Okay, that REALLY pissed me off.
Most of what he said was based on assumptions. And applying Western ideas on the developing world, which REALLY does not work. Besides, actually a large proportion of WHY I eat the way I do IS to help people and poverty as what we eat AFFECTS people so much. And NO I don't think and didn't say anything of the like that I think that people in poor countries need to go veggie or eat only organic food! OMG! How ignorant is he? But the fact is what we eat in the WEST determined a lot of what goes on in poorer countries and either helps them or destroy their land. The fact that he does not recognize this already tells me he is UNINFORMED and obviously has not researched this area.... what makes e so made is how he thinks he can comment on it with such authority!??!
So yes, now he has gotten everyone convinced that I need to start to eat cooked food to have an open-mind and has even started to cook me dishes.... last night he said, "here this is for you, it's just some cooked veggies in olive oil"... the veggies were drowned in olive oil and salt and spices. I just politely said "It looks great, but no thank you" ERG. Well OF COURSE IT'S GOING TO LOOK LIKE I MAKE A BIG DEAL ABOUT NOT EATING COOKED FOOD IF I HAVE TO REJECT IT ALL THE TIME IF THEY KEEP ASKING ME TO EAT IT WHEN THEY KNOW I DONT. arggggggg!!!!!! I feel like I am fighting a loosing battle with them!
And also last night when my mum came back she dipped her fork into the sauce on her plate and said "Just have a lick at this. Look at how little we are talking about". I mean, WHY BOTHER? If it's so little why the fuck should I even be inclined to eat it!?!? Honestly, they are actually pushing me away from cooked food even more, as I tend to rebel against people who force stuff on me anyway! BUt it do just feel outnumbered and that this is UNNECESSARY!? I just want to turn this England trip into a positive experience!! (We are having lots of good moments too though!) But the food moments too! I am starting to feel guilty about eating food (fruit) around them though as I know they are thinking badly of it.
The problem is my confidence. I wish I had the confidence to just sit down with them while they are eating and get out my 12 bananas or something and eat WITH them, just like it was normal. But I'm just not there yet and it's partly becaus I feel I don't have any support. MAN I wish I also lived with / knew other 80/10/10ers. It would be so much easier if I wasn't on my own! :P
If anyone could offer some advice or support on what do to or thing I could say it could be much appreciated :)))))))))))) What would you do?
Thank you! And sorry for this being so long!!