If I had a penny for every time I heard ‘I’m being good’, I’d never have to work again. When I am not trying to save the world, one blog post at a time, I’m working a pretty typical office job for a relatively large retail company. I work alongside people of all ages and backgrounds – but one thing’s for certain, they’re all ‘trying to be good’.
What does ‘being good’ even mean? Well, it looks a little like this:
Ten years ago, you were probably ‘on a diet’. Be it the Atkins Diet, Slimming World shakes, Weight Watchers, cabbage soup diet… the list is endless. In 2017, you don’t go on a diet… you simply ‘be good’. Firstly, I want to break down the etymology of the phrase to ‘be good.’ To me, being a ‘good person’ is about being compassionate to others, feeling empathy, expressing gratitude and striving to improve the world around us as best we can, given the resource we have. However, the phrase ‘being good’ has taken on a whole new meaning in the world of Love Island, protein shakes and pre-holiday ‘cuts’. ‘Being good’ now simply means withholding calories with the aim of losing weight and gaining a flatter stomach.
Taking it to a psychological level, this attitude makes no sense whatsoever. Below is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which was put forward by psychologist Abraham Maslow in 1943, demonstrating what human beings require as ‘basic needs’ for survival.
Take a look at the base level, the ‘physiological needs’ are those which we require in order to stay alive every single day. This brings me to question – how has food, a basic human need, become something which people reward themselves for avoiding?
So if food is such a basic need, then why can’t we consume it in abundance? It would be hard to breathe too much air or drink too much water (it is possible, but definitely not easy to do), yet over-consumption of food is the leading cause of dozens of diseases including Type 2 Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, Cancer and even strokes.
The truth is, it’s the food we choose to eat that is the problem. To prove my point, I visited my local Asda in an attempt to highlight how bad this problem really is.
You could say consumers aren’t making the right choices, but making the ‘right’ choice is about education – people simply don’t know what the right choice is! It is clear from my walk around Asda that it isn’t as simple as ‘making the right choice’, food is marked as ‘high in protein’ or ‘omega 3’, but it fails to mention the casomorphin (addictive substance in dairy), mercury (toxic and present in some fish and seafood), antibiotics (used widely in all animal farming, particularly poultry), and even blood and pus (present in all dairy products).
Making the right choice is about considering what it really means to be human. Why are we on this planet? I can guarantee we are not on this planet to fill the air with noxious fumes, imprison billions of animals and bleed the planet dry of its natural resources – we are here as facilitators to keep this planet alive. As cavemen, we spent our days in search of food and water. Once we found a good source of either, we consumed in abundance – be it a flowing river or an orange tree, we’d eat and drink until we were full… because, at the end of the day, you’d never really know when the next meal would come. Sometimes the next meal would come in the form of a rabbit or a deer, and slaughtering and consuming this animal would come as a result of survival. Can you really claim you are picking up some chicken breasts in Asda in order to survive?
As the caveman eats his freshly picked fruits in abundance, so should we. The concept of ‘being good’ goes against everything this human race has strived for in its 200,000 years or so on this planet. Let’s stop ‘being good’ and start being GOOD – be kind to each other, to animals and to the planet. Consume fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance, stop counting calories and start counting gratitudes. Put life into your body, not death. You’ll feel better for it, I promise!
Thanks for reading 🙂