by Rob Miller
Radical. I am told from time to time that I am too radical.
Eating only raw plant foods is too radical. The way I live is too
My life principles are too radical. They seem to imply that my way of
eating and living is too far out, too extreme, not for the masses, not
today's way of life, and certainly not for the person telling me that I
For a long time I was hurt or offended when I was told such things. I do
what I do out of a sincere desire to live as healthily as possible so
I can be as useful as possible to myself, family, friends, community,
the Earth itself.
I do what I do because I am acutely aware of the consequences of my
actions, especially the daily actions. I am acutely aware that we are at
pivotal point in human's relationship with the Earth, and if my children
and their children are to have a world with breathable air and drinkable
water, if they are going to walk in old growth forest bigger than a few
acres, if humans are going to be part of Earth's landscape 1000 or
years from now, what I do today and every day matters. I am acutely
that an unlimited growth market economy in a world consisting of a
amount of biomass is simply a stupid idea.
So every day I quietly do something about it.
Then why did it give me a twinge when people called me radical? A friend
recently pointed me to the dictionary and alleviated this heaviness of
heart. The first two definitions of radical in Webster's Dictionary are
of, relating to, or proceeding from a root, 2: of or relating to the
Well, I want to get to the fundamental causes and do something about
I don't want to be a surface liver and symptom suppressor. Eat cooked,
lifeless, nutritionless, chemicalized food while living a sedentary
and sickness, dis-ease, unhappiness, and a painful death will follow.
your body with fresh, live, organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds
while living an active life, and vibrant health and happiness will
Makes lots of sense to me. That's been my reality.
Only one species and those that species force-feeds out of tens of
of species does not eat 100% raw foods, and those are the only ones that
lead such disease-racked, stress-filled lives. That seems pretty
fundamental. Only one species believes it is the pinnacle of all
and that the Earth and all things on it were put here solely for its
It is pretty obvious to me that mine is only one of a wide world of
and we each have a right and reason to be here. That seems to "proceed
Everything I eat and everything I use comes from somewhere and has many
costs far beyond the dollar value. Environmental costs. Social costs.
Health costs. Not to mention externalized dollar costs like subsidies,
taxes and toxic waste clean up costs.
Eating as much homegrown and wildcrafted food as possible without the
levels of costs and degradations intrinsic to cooked and processed foods
(pots and pans, ovens and stoves, cooking fuel and electricity,
shipping and trucking, refrigeration, advertising and marketing, medical
and pharmaceutical costs, and much, much more) keeps me consuming in a
that is sustainable into the indefinite future. Pick a delicious ripe
from the tree and put it in your mouth. That seems pretty basic.pretty
Webster's continues with 3a: marked by a considerable departure from the
usual or traditional, 3b: tending or disposed to make changes in
views, habits, conditions, or institutions.
Well. Yes. That's exactly what I have in my life. I am specifically not
doing what I see the majority of people doing because I do not want to
the results they are getting. Working 40 to 60 hours a week at a job
dire environmental, familial and personal health consequences for the
purpose of making enough money to pay someone else to provide for my
plus a vast array of consumer driven wants doesn't seem very practical.
This is especially true when many if not most of those needs can be met
more easily and in less time by my own actions, and then I get more free
time for family, friends, relaxation, and enjoyment of life all the
increasing my level of health and usefulness.
I don't see the American Dream and technological life providing an
abundance of peace, health and harmony for the majority. Have e-mail and
cell phones really improved communication? I saw a flock of geese the
day whose grace and beauty in flight bespoke a level of communication
amongst themselves far deeper than any humans I've met.
I prefer to fairly assess the negative then positive effects of any
technology. If there are real negatives in the holistic sense or if it
not truly necessary than I don't use or buy it. That is certainly a
"considerable departure from the usual" buy the newest thing, disposable
culture mindset so common today. Yes, I would like to "make extreme
in existing views, habits, conditions and institutions" because I am not
impressed with the results they have given. Personally, each "extreme
change" has brought something much better and easier into my life. Every
extreme change enhanced my life and my connection with all life. And if
didn't, I didn't continue doing it.
Eating all raw plant foods I've eliminated virtually all pain and
from my life and stay vibrantly healthy on all levels. I eat a wide
of delicious foods, much better than when I ate cooked processed foods.
never feel deprived, and I am deeply satisfied. Growing and buying
and foraging I eat fresh tasty food with a minimal ecological footprint.
Walking and bicycling I get fresh air, stay fit, and get safely and
enjoyably from one place to the other. I also get peace of mind from
knowing that I buy into the death-wish petroleum economy as seldom as
possible. Composting food scraps and humanure I cleanly and hygienically
return my refuse to the Earth keeping things local and fertilizing for
future growth. Eschewing chemicals, synthetic clothes, plastics, and
genetically modified anything to the best of my ability, I remain
and don't turn my body into someone else's science experiment.
trading, and gifting I remain outside the inherent greed of the money
economy and deal in real tangible values. The little pieces of paper
ancient men's faces on them mean nothing without the infrastructure and
economy to support them. But a basket of oranges, that I can do
with. I strive for happy, loving relationships with real people. I see
reason to have a television, inviting people and values into my home
bear no relation to my life. Giving love and kindness without thought of
return I remain open to the infinite power of LIFE. It always gives me
than I can give it.
Yup. Radical. That's me. Radical vegetarian. Radical raw vegan.
raw Earth-centered human.
Why thank you very much. How kind of you to say so.
C2003 Rob Miller. May distribute freely for information purposes. Any
for profit must have written consent of the copyrighter.
Rob Miller is an accomplished writer, speaker, composer, saxophonist,
flutist, world traveler, avid yoga practitioner, and enthusiastic raw
vegan. In addition to years of intense personal study, experimentation
and introspection, he studied Yogatherapy and Nature Cure with Dr. V.P.
Khanna in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, and the Iyengar system
of Yoga with Yogacharya Rudra Dev in Rishikesh, India. He is a founder
of the monthly Brooklyn Raw Food Potlucks and Support groups, and with
his lovely raw vegan wife, Anna Ruth Miller, runs the Raw Food Vacations
He has given lectures, classes and workshops throughout the U.S.A. and
Asia including Portland's Festival of Raw Foods and the Great Raw Food
Gathering in Ashland, OR. He has helped individuals and groups
dramatically improve their state of health, and consulted
internationally with restaurants and health spas to set up raw health
and healing programs and live food menus. His articles have appeared in
raw food, vegetarian, and environmental publications such as Just Eat An
Apple and SATYA, and he recently had the honor of penning the new
introduction to the 15th edition of Prof. Arnold Ehret's classic
He is a year 2000 fellow of New York Foundation for the Arts in music
composition and has received many prestigious grants and awards as a
musician and composer. He has toured, performed and recorded across the
globe as leader of his world jazz group Prime Meridian, and with
well-known jazz and world music artists.
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