Animal ‘Foods’, the Emotional Matrix of the Flesh, Carnism, and What We Eat Becomes Us. Literally.
It’s time to pot up the banana trees. They’re root bound already, and I’d like to give them plenty of foot room in order to grow as large as possible during winter. The next question is where to put them. They’ve outgrown the light cart and the windowsill. And I fear that if I try to squeeze them in to the kitchen window, my husband will have me committed.
Saw another good documentary last night called ‘Food Choices’. Nothing really new in this 2016 film, but it’s still good. It speaks of the health, moral, and ecological reasons for adopting a plant-based diet. It reinforces what most of us now know: that animals are not food; that we’ve been conditioned to believe they are; that this conditioning is bizarre and grotesque; that the cost to us all is moral ruin; that animal food products cause a staggering amount of disease, suffering, and death in humans; and that corporate-driven ‘animal agriculture’ is laying the Earth to waste.
What this film also underscores are the psychological effects of eating animal foods. We have been so thoroughly conditioned to feel nothing when we carve into a steak and eat it. We know this was a living being that was killed in a state of terror and against his will. But we’ve been conditioned to have no emotional response to what’s in front of our faces, which is strange and unnatural.
And when we take that animal’s flesh into our mouths, chew it, and swallow it, we take his or her misery, suffering, terror, and death into our bodies and minds. This is not a metaphor. We literally assimilate into our flesh the fear adrenaline in the animal’s flesh, and if you are a believer in such a thing, we also integrate the emotional matrix of the animal’s flesh.
This film observes that mental diseases like clinical depression and anxiety can be and have been cured through plant-based diets. And why not? What we take into our bodies becomes us. Sounds strange? It’s not.
What is strange is that we can bite into the flesh of a cow or pig and grind it up in our mouths and feel pleasure, not disgust, but the idea of grinding in our mouths the flesh of a dog or cat repels us. So, we have edible and inedible animals. We love some animals, and eat others.
It’s schizophrenic, and taught to us from birth. We put pig flesh and dairy into our children’s’ mouths and tell them that it’s good. Then we teach them to be kind to animals. We compartmentalize our thinking so that it feels acceptable to eat a cow but give our dogs birthday parties and Christmas presents. It’s crazy-making.
This film gives this behavior a name: carnism. It’s the mythology that swirls around our killing and eating of some animals and the loving devotion of others. Those animals don’t feel fear and pain, we reason, so we kill and eat them. But those other animals do, so we protect them, buy them birthday presents, and let them sleep in our beds.
It’s a balmy 60 degrees today. It’s been like this for a week, and I’m loving it. It looks like we’re about to get a taste of winter in a few days, though. But hey, it’s November 16, and we haven’t yet seen any significant snow. It may be a bearable winter. The banana trees hope so.
Live in peace.