Hungry Haley

it's more than food

Ants in My Pants (just read it, I promise it's good)

Haley HansenComment

You may have seen my post a few days ago about me starting to read The China Study, and if you didn’t see it, well, I’m reading The China Study.

I’ve only gotten through the first two chapters, and already feel overwhelmed with all the wrong and lies and disease hidden within our food system. Maybe overwhelmed is the wrong word to use, because it might carry with it a sense of exhaustion, confusion, and lack of motivation or understanding on my part with regard to what needs to be done in order to change this devastating system in our culture.

Speaking of culture, I was recently asked what my biggest fear is. Last night, actually, my bible study leader brought up biggest fears during our study. It took me approximately two or three seconds to mentally sort through everything I’m scared of - death, spiders, disease, darkness, sin, a world without God, and so on - and find the most pressing one: fear of succumbing to culture.

And as I mentally watched little scenarios entailed within that fear, I was overcome with the comfort and understanding that God is bigger than our culture, and He has saved me. So, do I really have anything to fear? No. I guess I don’t.

However, just because I’m blessed with that safety and comfort does not eradicate the wrong and lies and disease living in our world, especially in our food system. I’ve been spending my free time – a.k.a my time on the bus, walking to class, or running around in the morning gathering everything I need for the day – listening to free eLectures on Dr. John McDougall’s website. So far, I’ve finished this one, about low-carb vs. high-carb diets, and this one, about how eating meat is a choice, not an instinct or necessity. I’m currently making my way through this one, about how unbelievably unsustainable animal agriculture is.

As I dive deeper and deeper into this topic, God’s calling for me to spread this urgent message – the power of a plant-based diet – and His message – who He is, who His son is, and His raging love for us – feels more like a passionate fire under my butt to take action than a gentle invitation to come along on the journey. This is something I NEED to do. I NEED to go. There are countries that are suffering in two of the worst ways: 1) they have never even heard of God because they haven’t been reached, and 2) they are extremely malnourished because of the detrimental effects of our greedy food choices. Emphasis on choices.

While this may seem urgently demanding and serious and scary, I’ve found it one of the most powerfully uniting realizations thus far in my life. Think about it – I know that God is calling me, but I don’t yet know where I’ll go, or when I’ll go, or how I’ll get there. Do you know? How about my bible study leader? No, and no. God knows, which is all the more reason to grab a hold of His hands even tighter and trust Him completely with where I am now and where I’ll be in six months, five years, fifteen years, and so on.

I. Cannot. Wait. I cannot sit still anymore and say that I “stand” for ethical treatment of all animals, respect and care for the entire planet, and healthier eating habits for all countries, races, classes, ages, beliefs, whatever, to reverse deadly diseases. I cannot handle the heartache and guilt that take over when I’m reminded of the numbers of unreached, unsaved lives in other countries as I lie warm and comfortable in my bed (probably listening to a podcast about said topic, reading about said topic, or writing about food, because that’s the usual).

I was going to apologize for this, I don’t know, rant, I guess, but I can’t quite bring myself to do so. God’s calling for each and every person deserves to be shared. If only for the purpose of getting it off my chest, then so be it, but I pray that this will bring at least one person to come to know, or maybe just spark a little curiosity in, who this God, this Creator, this mighty controller and tender, loving Father is.

While I wish I could drop what I’m doing and jump on a plane right now to get started, I’ve shaken myself out of the desire to escape and into the drive and determination to absorb as much knowledge and experience from my current surroundings. My brother reminded yesterday that I’m here, at Cal Poly (sitting in a surprisingly comfortable but horribly patterned chair, actually) in San Luis Obispo, for a specific reason. I can get rid of the “ants in my pants” because he reminded me that I have purpose here, too. In other words, I need to further my education and get a degree. This is my starting point, and maybe it’s my launch-pad, too.

From here, I reach out as far as I can – to my friends, my family, my community, my co-workers, and my favorite and least favorite strangers (not totally sure who those are yet, actually) – to accomplish as much as I can with all that God has empowered me.

Pray with me that God continues to work not only in my life, but in the lives of others, as well. May those with the same passion keep their fire burning, may those who do not understand be taught, and may those who are unreached be embraced.

Let's be excited! And hungry. We should always be hungry :) 

Random picture of baked potatoes + hummus, steamed spinach + nutritional yeast, and my thought-sorter-outer. 

Random picture of baked potatoes + hummus, steamed spinach + nutritional yeast, and my thought-sorter-outer.