you are what you eat

あなたはあなたが食べたものでできている

This is a saying that nearly everyone in the English-speaking world knows. It has a simple meaning. The things that we put ingest are what our bodies are made of. This saying is often used in terms of thinking of food as good or bad for our bodies. We don't often think about how they may be bad or good for the Earth. Those things don't appear out of thin air - there is a process and an industry that produces the food that we consume. If we consume products that were made using unethical methods, does this in turn make us unethical?

これは、英語圏に住む人であればほとんどみんなが知っていることわざ。意味は、簡単。私たちが食べたものが、私たちの体を作っている。このことわざは、私たちの体にとって良い食べ物か、悪い食べ物かを考える時によく使われる。そして私たちの食べるものが地球にとって良い食べ物なのか、悪い食べ物なのかなんて、あまり考えない。食べ物は、どこからともなく現れるわけではない。そこには、私たちが消費する食べ物を生産するための過程と産業があるのだ。もし私たちが非倫理的な方法によって作られた製品を消費することは、私たち自身も同様に非倫理的だと言えるかな。

As a child, I ate voraciously, shoveling food into my mouth as if someone was going to take it from me. At that age, food was enjoyment rather than sustenance. I didn't consider the ecological process of creating food -- raising and slaughtering animals, growing and harvesting crops. I didn't see myself as part of the circle of life that all living things exist within.

子供の頃、私は「誰かに取られる!」と言わんばかりに食べ物をガツガツと口に運びながら食事をしていた。当時、食べ物は栄養素というよりも楽しみだった。私は動物を育てて屠殺*したり、穀物を育てて収穫したりというような食べ物を作る環境上の過程について、全く考えたことがなかった。私は、自分自身が全生物が存在する生命の輪の一部であるとは思えなかった。

*屠殺(とさつ)=家畜など動物を食肉・皮革などにするため殺すこと。

This month of April is a celebration of the Earth and in the reflection of that, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I eat. While most people think of Earth Day as a time of being environmentally conscious, I consider it to be more about our connection to the Earth. When we are disconnected from it, it's easy for us to live without consideration of not only the Earth, but the other creatures that share it - and that we often eat.