Musings on Meat
Lets not forget that human beings are animals, we evolved and just happened to be blessed with a pre-frontal lobe and opposable thumbs, the two distinguishing features that enable us to dominate other life forms for our own gain. Which in a …way is what all life does, so how can it be bad? That justification of eating animals is dependent on our oneness with all life, and if we are truly different (which we obviously are in many ways) then one would realize that the distinct features we posses, such as our increased brain capacity, enable us to experience higher states of consciousness- compassion, empathy, selflessness, and wisdom. We can transcend instinct and use our ‘superiority’ to reduce the suffering and inequalities in this world instead of violently exploiting the earth and her inhabitants. It is clear the consequences of modern meat consumption. Eating animal flesh contributes to cancer, heart disease, and obesity- while malnutrition and starvation plague the third world. It pollutes and degrades the environment, rendering it inhospitable and lifeless. It takes the innocent life away from a sentient creature, though the ability to preserve life is a choice available to us. Organic, plant-based foods heal and nourish the body, make efficient use of our scarce resources, and embody the virtues of non-violence and humility, both desperately needed in today’s dominating anthropocentrism.
It is a myth that we are ‘meant’ to eat meat in the quantities that we consume today. Though in our evolution an omnivorous diet aided us in our planetary ascent, it is now clear that to continue on the current course is extremely irrespons…ible and inhumane. I’d like to see any human chase down a deer, use their claws to restrain the creature, their sizable canines to puncture their throat and stop their respiration. Then proceed to consume the flesh raw, as all carnivores do. We are designed to eat fruit and nuts, we are, by genetics, frugivores, just look at our closest relatives-apes. Sure they may eat meat (insects mostly) occasionally, they even may cannibalize each other (as chimpanzees do time to time). Should we use their behavior as justification of our own, should we eat other humans? Our bodily make up is set up for plant consumption, our teeth (sharp incisors?), our stomach (carnivores have triple the hydrochloric acid to break down flesh than we do), and our intestines (carnivores have short intestines as their diet is incredibly toxic). Meat is the putrid and decaying flesh of a dismembered animal, it has no fiber, eat it exclusively and you will get colon cancer as it rots in your body. It may be my opinion that killing animals when we don’t have to is wrong, but it is based on irrefutable facts- that meat consumption contributes to global warming, severe pollution, cancer, obesity, worker injustice, animal abuse, and clearly a lack of wisdom and compassion. It is not responsible to eat meat living in today’s, industrialized world- where we can make choices that don’t destroy life, our health, or the health of the planet. 70% of the world’s grain is fed to livestock so a few can indulge in meat, while the world suffers from starvation. A pure vegan only requires 1/6 of an acre to survive a year, while a meat eater requires about 20 times as much. The human population is increasing rapidly, to relieve pressure on our food system we all must change our dietary behavior and lean towards local, organic plant foods. As it is a integral solution to our current predicament, I can confidently say it is the right thing to do, though you can certainly dismiss my claims as opinion, and I ask you to research it yourself and form an opinion on the matter yourself. Until you truly suspend your ego to look objectively at how the world works and our role in it, a personal argument clinging to the notion that we are ‘meant’ to eat meat is simply ignorant. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from future generations.