My 2013 New Years Resolution: Stop Lying All the Time

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Honesty is a personal characteristic I have always taken much pride in. If you asked me a question and I didn’t tell you the truth I would either give the lie away with my face or feel guilty if you actually believed me and quickly vomit out the truth. I even decided not to become a pastor because I felt like I would have to lie too much about what I believed to both become a pastor, to my professors and candidacy committee, and to stay a pastor, to a congregation. When I was a kid I lied about silly things like the bus breaking down and having to walk all the way home from school, when really I was just out of breathe because I ran up the driveway; sorry it has taken me so long to confess that one, Grandma! Recently, though, I’ve been having trouble sleeping and I could not figure out why until this morning when I awoke after 3.5 measly hours of sleep and started thinking about my new years resolutions. “Lose weight, do a triathlon, go vegan, spend more quality time with my husband…” All of the usual resolutions ran through my head, plus a few extras like, “publish an article or present at a big conference.” Then I realized one thing: if I do not stop lying to myself and other people, which I realized I do all the time, I am not going to accomplish any of these things.

So here is my first confession: I lie every day, all of the time. If you asked me why I was vegetarian my reply was, “Well, there are a lot of reasons but one big one is for health.” That is not true at all, I just said it to avoid conflict or offending you. The truth is, the food system in the U.S. objectifies all forms of life in a way that I consider completely immoral and it makes me sick. It also makes me sick that even when I go vegan I probably will not be able to avoid foods that were made affordable and accessible to me by the exploitation of people. The U.S. food system is not only making people who eat an “American” diet literally and physically sick, it is making the entire world sick by using people and animals as a means to an ends that allows for a privileged few to pay less for the food that will eventually kill them and it is completely corrupting the free market system, making it so that the people who are being exploited to feed us cannot afford to buy food for themselves and their families. I believe all life is sacred, and when life is created, lived, and used for the sole purpose of being a means to somebody else’s pleasure or ease it is an act of blasphemy.  That is why I am a vegetarian, and I am going vegan to step outside that systems at least a little bit more.  There are other reasons, like health, but those are the big ones.

I wish I could say my lies stopped with the explanation of my diet, but they do not, so I am going to keep blogging, one time every week about something I have been lying about. Hopefully, I do not lie about everything and I will eventually run out of things I have been lying about and come up with some other ideas, but until then enjoy these confessions and feel free to make some of your own—even if it is about how you think vegans and vegetarians are smug hipsters who need to get over their snooty ideas about how to eat—I want to hear it. I doubt my confessions on this peon-of-a-blog will ever be as famous as Augustine’s, but I hope a couple of people read them and rather than denying what I say immediately because some of it is hard to swallow, actually think about what I am saying here and argue your own honest opinion if you still disagree, because my opinions change all the time by great conversations and maybe yours can, too. Also, can we please stop being sorry for what we think and why we think it because it might offend someone? That is exactly why I started lying but now I am done lying and I might offend a few people. I’m done being sorry for it though because instead of getting pissy and offended we should be able to have a serious chat about it and clear up any misunderstandings and try to come to an understanding of on another even in our differences. Like I said before, I believe that life is sacred which means that I believe you and your life are sacred, and so is mine. If you believe that too, let’s start acting like it and create deep and meaningful relationships in which we care about one another enough to tell the truth. That is all for now, but stay tuned for more confessions of this perpetual liar.

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About Elizabeth Grace

It's a blooming life... I am a first year PhD student studying Religion, Ethics, and Society with a heavy focus on ethics. I love to cook and my life-loves, which are religion, cooking, ecology, and people, have led me to revere all life and the sacred ground that enables it. Gardening helps me to explore the relationship of my life to the soil and the food that I eat. I'm not really a new vegetarian, but I am beginning to dabble in the vegan life. So, like a said, it's a blooming life...

4 responses »

  1. Nicely said. I’m with you on that lie, “I’m a vegetarian for health reasons.” No, the ballsy Grace would admit that it’s for the very reasons you list and I’m ashamed to admit I don’t go far enough in my food choices. Sigh.

    Sincerely, Grace Pardun Alworth Pastor | Community Care & Development SafeHouse Church | safehousechurch.org 651.212.0048

    • Thanks, Grace! It is so much easier to say things that are partially true and not controversial, but I think life will be more exciting if I tell the truth. Think of all the good, but difficult, conversations to be had. If you are ashamed of not going far enough with your food choices, then make different choices, or find ways around our sketchy food system by getting your eggs/cheese from a local farm???

  2. Oh my gosh, Beth. I feel like I just got to know you a little better. I love your blatant honesty and frusteration. I totally know what you mean, I try and avoid conflict by pretending everything’s fine and my reasons for what I believe and do are very tidy and simple – but they’re not, and they most likely rub up against other’s reasons for doing x,y and z, which risks provoking conflict. But I love how you are willing to take that risk here!! Write more, you are a great writer, even if it sparks conflict, go for it!!

    • I love how encouraging you are, Allison, it definitely helps to hear all of that. I’d like to think it is a “Minnesota nice” thing that I can easily shake off, but I am pretty sure people do it everywhere. It is so much easier to say what people want to hear than what you believe to really be true. I’m glad that I am not alone in this. I hope life is well for you!

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