In our Western society, where I was also born, most people believe that a balanced and healthy diet needs to contain a certain quantity of animal products. Be it meat or fish, it has to be there. Most of us were born into a family where this belief still prevails. Basically, we inherited this belief. Being the good citizens that we are, we incorporated very well the teachings we got since we were little.
The culture we were born into and the beliefs which it comprises have a certain weight in our lives and shape our subconscious minds, as well as the collective unconscious of society. Inside this worldview, we feel safe; out of it, uncertainty begins. The funny thing is, for us to be able to have the notion and awareness that the way we think, act and behave is in tune with a certain worldview, we have to get out of it. Everybody says that traveling and meeting other cultures expands our horizons and our consciousness. That is correct. Getting out of our comfort zone makes us grow and evolve. This is what Will Tuttle means by “leaving home” in The World Peace Diet.
To leave our worldview behind is not just about getting on a plane and landing in a faraway country. It’s about questioning our own worldview to the point where we question its’ validity. It’s not an easy task, but on the other hand, it’s so simple.
Should we question?
A friend of mine once told me in a conversation that he didn’t want to know how the meat got into his plate, the whole industrial process. Simply put, he just did not wish to know, for that disturbed and annoyed him. He preferred to be kept in ignorance and not evolve in his choices. He could become really aware of all the process and still eat meat. That’s ok, for I don’t care what others eat. But that wasn’t the case. If someone feels disturbed by this, that’s because there’s an issue, and we better delve into it, or we’ll never be at ease.
Most of us don’t question the old habits we have. We stick to tradition and comfort to justify what we don’t want to adjust. Tradition is a constant in an evolving world, but the only constant that I know of is change.
Why we eat meat
Basically, there are only two reasons why we eat meat:
- Habit (it includes all that was taught to us, as well as the habits of our taste buds)
- Being able to fool all our five senses, like Darryl d’Souza explains very well in this video
As mentioned above, we’re like little sponges when we’re born into this world and we absorb all attitudes from our parents and our culture. This, in the long-term, makes us crave those foods that were given to us. That’s why it’s so hard to let go unless we rise above our instincts and retrain our taste buds.
The senses of all sentient beings will tell them, every time food is presented to them, what is and what is not their food. Fooling our five senses to eat meat is to transform it: it must not look like flesh; it mustn’t smell like flesh; it mustn’t taste like flesh; it mustn’t feel like flesh; it’s best if we don’t hear the animal crying for his life. We can feed the human body food not meant for it, only after we fool its five senses completely.
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.
To stop eating animals is not the end in itself, it’s just the beginning of a lot of wonderful discoveries. In one way or another, many find a way to veganism, whether it’s for health reasons, ethical reasons or environmental reasons. To let go of eating animals is a normal step in our evolution as human beings, who, in its true sense, guide their actions through their hearts. What each and everyone yearns for is to be loved, to feel love. Love is what we’re made of. When our consciousness expands, our love and compassion also expand, not just to embrace all human beings with no exception, but all living creatures, all life forms. This is a new worldview, that includes and transcends its predecessor. Evolution is self-transcendent and it goes to show our true potential and who we are.
I’m a vegetarian because cows scream louder than carrots
If we add to this some comparative data about other animals’ physiology and our own physiology, we easily see that we do not have a body that’s made for eating the flesh of dead animals, although we can digest it (a cow can also digest meat, but that doesn’t make her an omnivore or carnivore – it also causes devastating effects on the body).
We can find many books that deal with the hazards of eating meat, but I’m not going to extend myself on that subject because it wasn’t for a health reason that I stopped eating animals, but for an ethical one. It just didn’t make sense anymore. And yet, while this is clear as crystal for me, other people, especially family, don’t understand. That’s ok because when I was a meat eater, I also didn’t understand. I was still living in the old worldview.
Things change and people evolve.
What’re your thoughts on this?