Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Super Bowl and Souper Bowl of Caring

Brady's locker, with Ganesh (photo found here).
Okay, I'll just cut to the chase here. I'm a huge New England Patriots fan. What a Super Bowl that was, huh? Unbelievable.

I was interested to learn that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has Ganesh in his locker ("remover of obstacles" from the Hindu tradition). Who knew?

But as much as I enjoy watching football, at the end of the day, it's just a game. The Super Bowl is the most watched television show in the United States, but that doesn't make it the most important thing happening, of course. One of the most important things happening is that there are people right here in this country who need some help getting by. That's why the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring on February 1.

According to the website, this was the 25th anniversary of the Souper Bowl of Caring, which was created in 1990 when a simple prayer (“even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat”) inspired a youth-led movement to fight hunger. Since then, millions of dollars have been raised for soup kitchens, food banks and other charities in communities across the USA.
The UUCiA collection went to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, which (according to the website) has been transporting, storing and distributing food to disadvantaged members of the community since 1991. 

Considering that we decided to do this only days before the Super Bowl, our collection was pretty successful! We'll have to do it again next year, perhaps with an earlier start!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Catching up... Carnism

I have been remiss in posting lately. I apologize. I want to write something about Black History Month, and "30 Days of Love", and even the Patriots winning the Super Bowl! But right now, I just want to share a video: "Beyond Carnism and toward Rational, Authentic Food Choices". It's a TEDx talk by Melanie Joy, who explains the psychology behind eating some animals, but not others.  It is about 19 minutes long, 2 minutes of which are difficult to watch because they "make the unseen, seen". (You can forward through that if you need to; it is hard to watch.) This TED talk explains the ideology of carnism. People tend to think that vegans and vegetarians have a certain ideology or belief system that keeps them from eating meat, and that is true. But as this talk explains, those who eat meat are also operating with a certain ideology/belief system. I don't expect that you will watch this and become a vegan or vegetarian overnight; I don't assume anything about your reaction to it. I just ask that (if you are willing) you watch the video and think about it.