As a business owner, parent, and seeker of dietary truth, I’m always engaging my critical faculties. But I’ve also learned to find the praiseworthy in almost anything – thanks to my Dad.
During my teens, I went through a cynical stage – until my Dad finally called me out on it. As we drove home one day, I was busy criticizing the place we’d just visited.
Dad stopped me short. He said my fault-finding had taken all the fun out of going places with me. Then he asked if I had anything good to say about where we’d just been
I didn’t have an answer. But did I accept his correction?
Nope! Instead, I reacted with a heated defense of the benefits of being a critic. Dad wasn’t impressed.
During our next excursion, his admonition still weighed heavily on my heart. When I had something disparaging to say, I kept it to myself.
Over time, however, his words whittled away at my psyche. In a few years, I was actively following his advice to look for the silver lining.
During the 100 books in 100 days challenge that began the Plantbased.com blog last year, his advice guided me. I searched for (and highlighted) the most positive passages in all 100 books.
Two Sides to Dietary Truth
Some authors whose books I reviewed positively are highly controversial names. PETA’s founder Ingrid Newkirk comes to mind.
Wonder how I find anything good to say about such polarizing figures? Well, the little talk with my Dad is responsible.
If we take the time, we’ll find positive and negative qualities in almost anything or anyone. But we can choose to look for the bright sides.
The feast of books I devoured in 2020 usually supported a plant-based or vegan perspective. So does my current excellent read, Dr. Will Bulsiewicz’s Fiber Fueled.
It’s a highly positive take on the scientific links between plant-based food and gut health. My nightstand is full of similar books, all presenting their own dietary truth.
But my plans for 2021 also include reading a few books opposed to veganism. The Guardian article, I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly, inspired me to buy one.
As I wrote yesterday, books can change our beliefs. But they can also challenge our world views! Curiosity, not dogma, is what drives me – and curiosity is the ongoing desire to learn new things.
I want to learn everything I can about the human diet and health. Like Sherlock Holmes perusing a clue through his magnifying glass, I seek every opportunity to discover some new dietary truth.
If books opposing my plant-based perspective gift me with new scientific gold, marvelous! Scientific gold is precisely what I search for in my quest to leave no stone unturned.
Dietary Advice Doesn’t Equal Dietary Truth
In the Information Age, finding the truth is a disorienting endeavor. A simple Google search returns a mind-boggling number of dietary perspectives.
Having so many gurus bleat their cases through online bullhorns overwhelms us with unhelpful noise. As a result, most people distrust dietary advice.
So they continue to do more of the same – even though they sense that more of the same isn’t healthy. The longed-for clarity remains elusive.
I would never claim to have cornered the dietary truth. My only wishes are to learn to:
- best feed my body
- buy groceries for my family
- act responsibly towards the planet
and treat all living creatures with compassion!
My approach to every book I read in 2021 will blend natural skepticism with a desire to discover positive points.
Next week, check back for my thoughts on a book that convinced some vegans to start eating meat again!