Cara Ullrich

Cara Ullrich

"With every breath I take and meal I eat, I change, slightly, the makeup of that which I understand as my Self."

Cara Ullrich
St. Paul, Minnesota
Submitted July 5, 2007

My spiritual philosophy revolves around the fact that matter/energy is neither created nor destroyed, It simply moves from place to place. With every breath I take and meal I eat, I change, slightly, the makeup of that which I understand as my Self. Because of this intimate connection to the world around me, I truly believe that my actions and choices affect others as much as what I take into my body affects my self. This understanding of the universe leads me toward a diet that consists only of plants and animals that I believed to have had a good life. I take to heart Christ's words, "That which you do unto the least of them, you do unto me." I cannot support agriculture that neglects the wellbeing of the earth, the plants grown in that soil, or the animals raised on its pastures (to say nothing of factory farms). To the words, "love your neighbor as yourself," Gandhi added, "and every living creature is your neighbor." I truly believe this in my heart, and therefore must support an agricultural system whereby the land, plants, and animals thrive before gracing my dinner plate. I am committed to nonviolence, and I view the mistreatment of animals and neglect of our land as violent actions.

I used to cook primarily for thrift and ease. In my early twenties, I started cooking for personal health and nutrition. Now in my thirties, I welcome the opportunity, every night, to give thanks for my food and where it came from. I take great joy in preparing meals for myself and my partner, knowing that the awareness, gratitude and love mixed with fresh, healthful ingredients will always yield a meal that is tasty, nourishing, and conducive to good conversation.

Voices on the Radio

is a novelist and author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.