onsdag 1 oktober 2014

Murder is natural say I, the Carnivorous Vegetarian

Every living entity devours matter to survive. Some of that matter is considered "alive", e.g., animals but not plants or rocks. When a living thing kills another living thing on purpose it is called "murder". Throughout history, animals (including humans) have been killing (murdering) each other in order to further their own agenda (revenge, food, power).

Seen in that perspective, there is nothing wrong with murder. It is just the way life is; survival of the fittest and all that. Without all the murders in history, without something boosting the evolutionary forces, we wouldn't be here.

There are many reasons for murdering another life form: revenge, prevention of aggression, safety, food, sport. Most of these were considered perfectly okay for millennia, if they were considered at all. I imagine they were more like water might be to fish, nothing they think about the least bit.

"how can it be right to keep innocent, thinking and feeling, animals in life-long captivity only to murder them for food at our convenience?"

However, mankind happened to grow conscious and emphatic as well as collaborative (see part of that story here; how motion processing turned into self-awareness and empathy) - and now research shows many animals, in particular primates, show the same characteristics as we do only to a slightly lesser degree. We now understand that other people and animals have feelings; feelings of pain, anxiety and bonding (bordering to friendship and love, according to some oxytocin studies). We simply no longer accept mindless torture, killing for sport or aggression-prevention murders (I elaborate a bit more on rightful violence and revenge in the post My Beliefs).

Hence, if it is wrong to kidnap and murder fellow humans, unless we have a really good reason, how can it be right to keep innocent, thinking and feeling, animals in life-long captivity only to murder them for food at our convenience?

Some cultures don't eat dogs, horses, dolphins and primates (other cultures do all of those things) since they are considered too much like us, too intelligent, too capable of feelings. We didn't know better before, but maybe we do now*. It's just that most of us (not least I) hide behind the food industry and enjoy a nice steak as long as we are spared the gory details of captivity, torture, pain and murder in its history.

Some say farm animals lead a happy life, well fed and cared for. They might, but they are still held behind bars against their will, and end their lives at the hands of an executioner. Some might actually fare better than they would in the wild, and there definitely are more cows, pigs and chicken than there would be without mankind and farming. Many, however live a short life of despair, filth and degradation,... that suddenly comes to a gruesome end.

*maybe we don't; maybe even insects or trees "feel"

I have much belatedly started to come to terms with these things; A couple of days ago I finally decided that I am now a Carnivorous Vegetarian. That means I eat meat, but aim to do it less and less frequently.

First I'll aim for meat-free days, then weeks, then months. I'm going to define meat as land living animals. Thus, for the time being I'll be eating eggs, drinking milk, eating fish, crustaceans, insects, larvae and other unborn or hive-mind like creatures that seem to lack self awareness, memory and feelings. Eggs are admittedly in a grey area, murder-wise, since rooster chicks are considered economically worthless and thus murdered shortly after hatching, either gassed or sliced in high-speed mills. I just hope no research shows fish think and feel much anytime soon, because I can't imagine a life without both land meat and fish meat.

Today is a meat free day. I've lived on eggs (pancakes), dairy products (milk and whey powder) and salmon.

Yesterday was a whole different matter, since I had 500g of perfectly cooked Nebraska beef for lunch at the Stockholm restaurant Vassa Eggen, as well as meat for dinner later the same evening. Carnivorous Vegetarian... and a hypocrite, but I'm trying, it's a direction. I'm doing it in small effortless increments - as with all things I do; one small step at a time turns into a long journey with time, if performed consistently.

9 kommentarer:

  1. Also worth noting could be that there are grades in the hell--pigs brought up in narrow closed confinements or cows walking around freely on the pampas. Their road to being slaughtered differs and for me a Life matters more than the short moment of Death. Thus stop eating pigs from pig farms to strt with! Agree?

    1. Spot on- It's exactly that kind of thinking that lies behind my decision and the post. It's the kidnapping, incarceration and torture that matters most.

      Dying is in itself really inconsequential for the entity being killed.

      However, the animal's friends and family might mind, remember and suffer from its death. hence the postulated difference between lower and higher animals (for the time being)

  2. A good trick is to buy organic grass-fed beef online in bulk. That way you can bring down the price a bit.

    As a bonus, it has a different taste/aroma than regular beef, much more gamey and "fruity".

    1. Do you have any sites you can recommend? Have you tried it yourself?

  3. Hey, I really start to get addicted to reading your posts! Thanks a lot for bringing up interesting perspectives on life, business, health, etc. I regularly pick up the NPR TED radio hour - thanks for introducting that.

    Based on your earlier posts I could never guess that you would ever turn into a more vegetarian lifestyle. It shows that attitude and how to go about things is a lot more important than age when it comes to be open to new ideas and ways of living. A typical 40-50 year old male meat lover stuck in old habits would not even come close to thinking of eating less meat.

    Being very focused on your health I wonder when you will come to terms with your much too frequent binge drinking..

    1. Good question there at the end. I'm getting there too; actually thought about it today, albeit dismissed the idea almost right away. Check in in a few years though and I may be a tee-totaller... :)

    2. I think a logical step for Mike Wayne is to get into juicing... Would be interesting to read his take on that, especially since he can afford to get one of those ultra fancy masticating juicers. I have a centrifugal one myself, which of course doesn´t do kale very well.

    3. Maybe, maybe not. I like the idea of eating things the way they are. In my view an orange, e.g., is always better than any kind of squeezed or juiced orange.

      That said, "juicing" might refer to something much more elaborate than I know.

    4. Today is day 7 in a row of no land-living meat. Last Tuesday I had my latest steak.

      However, I have some already murdered animals in the sub-zero, from before turning "vegetarian", that will be eaten without remorse at some point.