Tag Archives: Orthodox priests

The abstemious life

In some parts of the world a person who doesn’t drink alcohol and/or coffee or soda is considered something of a freak. If they are also a vegan, they are a super-freak.

As a confessed super-freak, I am sometimes asked why I don’t drink alcohol or coffee, as if I am missing something from my life. For some reason this makes me very “strange” to some people. Being “strange” isn’t the goal, but being in the best of health is. I just don’t like the idea of becoming dependent on any chemicals, whether it is for mood-enhancement, energy, or to relax. Even in moderation alcohol can be taxing to the liver and other organs(though I admit it may be beneficial for cardiovascular health). I believe very strongly in clean-living, and veganism, and see nothing to persuade me to change my ways.

For this attitude and lack of bad habits I sometimes get labeled the “monk”. In fact this does hit rather close to home, as some of my ideas about drugs and alcohol were formed while training to be a Greek Orthodox priest. Anyone who knows me well enough knows how that training went, but wanting to remain “pure” has stuck with me.

These thoughts of mine still smell of incense. The woods I frequent and meditate in is my cathedral. I preach healthy living. Junk food at times seems to me to have demonic powers. I am normally very religious in my adherence to my vegan diet and to my joggling routine.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world live fulfilling lives without any alcohol, like most Muslims for example. I am not a Muslim, but I feel I can relate to them when it comes to this. So I fail to see what is missing from my life when entire societies are almost entirely alcohol-free.

So if you start eating healthy to lose or maintain weight, don’t worry about what other people think. Never be afraid of being different, for not following the crowd. Most people are followers; only a few can be leaders or monks.