I have a friend.

“Just the one?” I hear you ask… No, let me finish… 

I have a friend called Mega Friend Zoë and she practices (and teaches) mindfulness. 

Incase you were wondering, mindfulness is defined as

the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

For me, mindfulness is about being in the moment. I practice mindfulness when I’m sitting outside. I resist looking at my phone and instead I notice the smells, the sounds and the events going on around me. Mega Friend Zoë taught me to fade into the background and to take notice of my surroundings as though I were no longer present. It’s an incredible experience.

A subset of mindfulness is mindful eating. The Centre For Mindful Eating describes someone who eats mindfully as someone who

becomes aware of the interconnection of earth, living beings, and cultural practices and the impact of their food choices on those systems.

Mindful eating can seem a bit obscure. Not only do we become super aware of the taste and texture of our food, but as described above, we also acknowledge the path in which our food came to us. This may not seem obvious but Mega Friend Zoë explained it to me by making a mega mindful point…

An egg and bacon sandwich.

For this simple sandwich, which will keep someone’s attention for at most five minutes, three animals would have suffered. 

(Warning: the red links contain scenes that may upset).

To mindfully eat an egg and bacon sandwich, we recognise that a pig would have suffered and died to give us bacon, a cow would have suffered to produce milk in order to make butter and a chicken would have suffered to produce the egg. 

Mindful eating, in part, is acknowledging that the suffering took place. However, it doesn’t justify the suffering. 

Nowadays it is super easy to eat whatever we want, without having to acknowledge the suffering that took place for us to get our five, ten or fifteen minutes of pleasure. I’m sure we could all benefit from being a bit more mindful. 

Maybe that’s what made Mega Friend Zoë become a mega vegan 🙂 

World Mindfulness Day is coming up: Thursday 12th of September 2019. To be mindful of World Mindfulness Day (doubly mindful!) you could try eating mindfully (TRIPLY MINDFUL!). Mega Friend Zoë is also hosting an event where a bunch of us will get together and be mindful, so if you’re local then feel free to come along. 

Lastly, for the people that don’t enjoy mindful eating because it makes you feel sad, negative or less able to enjoy animal products, then maybe you’d enjoy mindfully eating vegan food. I have lots of recipes to share if you’d like some ideas. 

Thanks for reading and Happy Mindfulness Day (on Thursday) 💚