Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fruitarian Community..

I've been following an idea for a while, and keep thinking I need to write a blog post about it, so here I am, finally finding time to get around to it..

Some time ago, a friend of ours from here in Australia, a young guy named Sunshine, decided to give fruitarianism a shot. I'm talking of course, of true fruitarianism, a lifestyle that consists of a purely fruit diet.. no nuts, seeds, greens or roots, and we wished him success with his experiment. - His lifestyle choices were fundamentally steered by ethics, and he felt that the time was right, as was the place and decision he'd chosen to follow, so off he trundled out into the world.

He attended the Fruktifest fruitarian gathering that was held in France in 2010. From reports I've heard, it wasn't entirely what I'd expected it to be, but several like-minded people attended, and together a few of them formed the idea of a fruitarian community. Enthused through their meeting and eager to get something started, I think 7 of them journeyed off together to southern Spain where they lived and shared their lives and fruits together for a while.. I believe they were checking out the possibility of purchasing land there, and although I'm not altogether sure of their circumstances and location there, I like to picture them living naked under some fruit trees, swimming in natural water, and enjoying life.

I'm also guessing, (as the truth is I am filling in the gaps with my guesswork), that they were unable to find anything affordable and suitable enough, some likely became restless or, saw this not entirely as they had planned, and decided to move off doing their own things).. What I believe is correct, is that 3 of the small tribe, up and left Europe altogether, together, in the altogether (OK.. OK.. I just made that last bit up about them being in the altogether!).. And ended up in Africa.. - Kenya to be more precise.

Sunshine, Tanya and Pom. (Pom & Tanya both originate from Italy)

Their discoveries, after having already lived there for several months, is that land is abundant, with rich soil, and most assuredly affordable. Land consisting of acres being available for as little as a couple of hundred euros per acre! (compare that to here, where a simple 1 acre prime block of land, with no structure on it, will cost no less than $100,000 (Australian!))..

Anyhow, it seems that the 3 of them, although remaining in close contact, are no longer travelling as a clan, but Sunshine and Tanya are somewhere close to the coast, where there is more of an abundance of available fruit to be had, while Pom has moved inland.. Initially in search of land, but now I gather preparing and planting out on a spot that he is living on, with melons, and other quick growing fruits, in preparation for the others to join him.

Now for the amazing news.. Being in close contact with the native inhabitants, (they built a mud hut dwelling for him to live in!) Pom's lifestyle has rubbed off on them. They have seen him eating just fruit, and questioned his choices. Pom has explained enthusiastically, and the local Kenyans have simply embraced the idea.. He now has I think 17 friends that are proud to call themselves fruitarian, and keen to get more fruit trees planted. They seem to simply love the idea that they can live on just fruit, as it fits in perfectly with their already established religion and belief system.. One local, recently converted guy, Biti is so excited about the idea, he claims that all of his community may turn fruitarian once they hear of it, and that would be about a 1000 people! (apparently they are against schools, establishments, industries, money and consider such things as unavoidable evils.. They don't believe in medicines, like to sing and pray when they plant, and instead of attending any church or such, gather under a tree in nature to praise the Divine. I've heard they also tend to dryfast every couple of weeks for 2 to 4 days!).

hippo eating a banana
One of Poms recently converted Kenyan friends
eating a banana

This is really quite incredible news, as I doubt I myself would have thought of Kenya as being an ideal place to establish a fruitarian community. My misgivings would likely center more around the potential political instability of that part of the world. I have spent a little time in the country though, and do see it's land and people have potential. - back in the beginning of the 80's, my brother was teaching at a school in a little village called Yala in Kenya, and myself, Helena, my sister, and mum & dad all went out to visit him for a few weeks. The experience had quite an impression on me, especially the week long safari seeing all the animals so close.

Apparently due to underlying corruption throughout the officialdom, it is very easy to get ones visa renewed without actually having to leave the country.. (all it takes is a little under the desk bribery, and papers get stamped, no questions asked).

I'm following the project keenly through the website some kind soul has knocked together for Pom: And if anyone wishes to help him out in any fashion, through donation of tropical fruit seed or with desire to join them in Kenya and help advance their efforts, all help would be appreciated, and you can contact him via: wearefruitarian at gmail dot com.

On the confusing side for me though, despite Pom's apparent eagerness to make things happen there, I spoke briefly with Sunshine on the phone several weeks ago. He seemed very uncertain of whether he truly desired to stay in Kenya, and was asking many questions about land availability and affordability back in this corner of the world, and talking also of the possibility of south America. He gave me the impression of being most undecided.

I have no real idea either, of what Tanya's thoughts are on the whole issue.

Several months ago I sent Sunshine an interview and he's still working on that but as he's avoiding computers, progress is slow.. I intend to interview Pom and Tanya too but so far haven't gotten around to organise those [Update: Pom's interview is now online here].. I get the impression with Pom, that he is one of the few people that really seems to get what fruitarianism is about, and there's a part of me that almost wishes I was younger again, and could get out there and join him on his (ad)venture.. But, no I'm feeling settled where we are, and no genuine desires to be anywhere other than here.. sure, would love for the universe to hurry up and miraculously manifest the place we are waiting impatiently for, but I don't see that place as being too far from here..

Anyhow.. Anyone interested in finding out more, I suggest you visit the website and blog (that can be linked to from the website).. I for one am curious to see how this project unfolds and evolves.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On Grains and green vegetables..

It's been a while since I last post something. I have just not really felt the urge to do so, although at times I have thoughts that filter toward the front of my mind and urge me to put them to paper, I have been neglecting to do so. I don't know, maybe it is some kind of writers block that prevents me from even beginning. Whatever it is, I am not totally happy with it myself, as I enjoy writing, and feel I still have lots that needs to be said.

So where to start now? Well.. I've recently received a fair few emails that have thus far gone unanswered. I'm afraid if you do email me via my website, I may not always find the time to reply, and don't particularly feel that I should be obliged to do so. I prefer if people ask me questions here on my blog, as that way the answers get to be shared with everyone. That's why I try to keep my FAQs page updated, so that people can refer to that first. Like someone recently asked me once more why I don't eat greens.. For sure, I'm likely to go into more detail on that again in a later post, but for the meantime, I suggest you check out the FAQ page, and look at the answer I give there.. anything more specific, you might ask directly on a post that talks specifically about greens..

OK.. Another email question I've received lately I'm going to attempt to answer here:

I am an 18 year old male from London who has had Anorexia Nervosa for 4 years but I'm recovering by myself, and am still struggling to find the right path.

I am a vegan (not raw) transitioning to Fruitarianism as I believe it's the only way to be fully at peace and I'm tired of being dependent on man and not the Earth.

You have really inspired me and I am fascinated by you... Even you're view that it's only 'you who can decide what and when to eat' makes so much sense as opposed to these other RV sites which promote gluttony even on a healthy/natural die. - The 30BaD website helped me, but deep down I knew that forcing myself to eat such large quantities was unnecessary, I really need a balance and not one of over indulging without any true reason that makes sense, if you know what I mean.

Surely this is not at all spiritually different from a Omnivorous diet as it is still calculating etc and is artificial.. You on the other hand go with natural cues, which is why you're so amazing...

I am living off grains and green vegetables currently and seem very calm and comfortable. However, is this ok? I really want to find peace, and you seem to have done that....

I'm not a bad person for consuming grains am I? And I was glad to see your comment that 'noone knows better than yourself' as this really woke me up from my daydream of relying on other peoples routine!

OK.. Firstly I wish to make it abundantly clear that I don't give dietary advice. I basically blatantly state my opinion, which human as we ALL are, I'm aware could ultimately be wrong. This world has too many people in it that are unwilling to take responsibility for their own actions and choices, and I know that cosmically speaking, I am ultimately only really responsible for my own thoughts, choices and actions. And I know the same goes for everyone else, much as when things go wrong they are only too eager to point the finger elsewhere.

But having said that, I shall now state my opinion. Yes, I believe that force feeding oneself, more than the body desires, makes little sense to me, and therefore I cannot accept that a decision to do so is based on any real wisdom. (sure, people will think the same about my choice to eat purely fruit, but well, let them, I say!). I cannot claim to have any in depth experience and knowledge of anorexia specifically, but I do believe that it is just one of a multitude of disorders that prevail throughout the world. The vast majority of people out there have never been truly educated to what constitutes real food, eating all manner of highly addictive foodstuffs which can lead to countless nutritional problems. So I try to maintain a simplistic approach to it all, and view all problems as fundamentally the same, with the same principle underlying causes, and basically the same solution. Sure, you could come up with rare examples that apparently don't fit this pattern, but go back far enough and be observant enough, and I believe that even those cases can be seen to have the basic same origins. IE, not everything can be fixed through the duration of one single lifetime. But certainly improved though!

You question of whether the overindulging of even comparatively good foods can be spiritually any different to that of the standard omnivorous diet. I personally wonder why such a question arises.. I see the 2 as very different, for the basic Low Fat Raw Vegan diet to which you refer, has already made great spiritual progress through avoiding the consumption of animal products and cooked foods, sure they may be still stuck in their rut of classifying foods as carbohydrates, fats and omegas, and bent on counting calories, but for them, they feel a need to be comforted by such, it is not a bad thing, although I do believe fear-based - like they may feel that if they don't do so, they can get their balances wrong, and end up suffering from it. They just do not trust their own bodies yet, and have been mesmerized by the hypnotic numbers quoted by nutritional pseudo-scientists. Hence the overeating too, they feel they need to do that. Depriving them of that will help noone.. Some of them will eventually evolve beyond such a need, but that'll be an individual thing. I hold no attachment to any of it, and wish them all well.

You ask if you are a bad person for consuming grains.. Well, no, that wouldn't be nice of me! I mean, who would I be to judge anyone as bad. That's not for any of us to do. Now I can judge actions as bad, and/or misguided, and I do believe that eating grains is misguided. And my judgements may or may not be correct. That's the way the world is, we have to all make up our own minds about what we truly think is right or not. If you want to perhaps get more of an insight into why I believe grain eating is folly, then imagine yourself growing and harvesting your own grain. Seriously, you don't have to actually go out and do that, just use your imagination. No machinery.. Just picture the work and effort that would be required.. How will you stop weeds growing between the grain? you can't weed without trampling all over it.. How much land do you think you will need to produce grain enough for one loaf of bread? How will you harvest it? Now picture yourself with an apple tree.. sure you may have to wait 8 years for one to grow and give fruit, but meanwhile there are an abundance of other ones around. There is tremendous work effort put into growing rice and every other grain, a good deal of which originates from hardworking underpaid manual workers in underdeveloped countries that have trouble feeding themselves. Their land is very often highly suitable for fruit tree growing which is far more profitable.. Grain is for the birds, out in nature, you could never gather enough to have a serious feed.

Green vegetables are a different story, and can be easily grown in ones own backyard, but the longer you are on a raw vegan diet, I believe you will naturally veer toward increasingly higher percentages of fruit. Especially when available. - Remember demand increases supply!

So, is it OK to be living on greens and grains? well.. it's all relative really.. You could be doing far far worse.. But there's always room for improvement too. That's the beauty of life, perfection may be an unattainable goal but that shouldn't stop you enjoying trying to reach it.

I wish you success on your path, and wisdom in your decision making.

Peace to you all!