Vegan Lifestyle: The Seed

Determining what to eat should not be a mindless process. The seed can be a catalyst to a healthy, and tasty, vegan lifestyle.


| June 2013



Feeding the Hungry Ghost

A Vegan lifestyle is about balance and compromise. Rather than weird you out with a bunch of arcane ingredients "Feeding the Hungry Ghost" by Ellen Kanner, swaps traditional dairy and eggs ingredients for other items that are whole, plant based and fairly gettable.

Cover Courtesy New World Library

What do we turn to for both everyday sustenance and seasonal celebration? Food. Ellen Kanner explains how we can impact our spiritual lives as well as our community through what we choose to put in our bodies. In Feeding the Hungry Ghost (New World Library, 2013), she describes the disconnect between us and our food, and the best way around that is giving our bodies the nutrition we need through a vegan lifestyle. The following excerpt comes from Chapter 1, "The Seed," and talks about the new beginnings that seeds provide both physically and metaphorically. 

The Seed

Seeds are where it all begins. They promise the start of things. They’re super-concentrated sources of energy. I look at everything growing in my backyard, from my newly sprouted purslane to the ten-foot firebush exploding with firecracker-red flowers, favorite of zebra long-wing butterflies and hummingbirds, to our thirty-foot live oak, which stretches its lanky, leafy limbs out to provide shelter and canopy. They all began as seeds — everyday magic.

Nature makes that kind of magic easy. You drop a seed in the dirt, cover it with soil, give it some water, leave the sun and the seed to make friends with each other, and honey, you’re in business.

But then there’s the fine print. Firebush needs direct sun and can handle shallow, sandy South Florida soil. It’s a tough native. Purslane is supposed to be a weed and thus thrive like a weed, but mine’s anemic, timid, probably suffering from sunstroke. Even weeds have their needs, and purslane prefers filtered sunlight. A seed only fulfills its superhero potential if it gets proper nurturing.

Then there are your more metaphoric seeds (and I do love a metaphor), the new beginnings life offers you — the joy of a new job, a new love, a new home, a new baby, a new year. Such new beginnings endow you with all the energy of a seed. You’re awakening, feeling your way, tentatively reaching your roots into the soil. These kinds of seeds are times of hope; but they’re always times of change, and change is tough.

Here’s what’s even tougher — you don’t always get to choose a new beginning. Losing your job or breaking up with your partner wouldn’t make anyone’s list of top ten fave life events, but suddenly, there you are, in it up to your adenoids. That seed generates an energy of its own — like a tornado, it rips up your life and knocks you on your ass. It takes a herculean effort to roll out of bed in the morning. Where’s the joy in that, ace?