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Core Values and Dietary Choices

December 18, 2022

I will admit that I have a strong bias for a plant-based whole food diet. Primarily because of these core values I have:  

  • Health and vitality 
  • Truth and awareness
  • Compassion and kindness
  • Sustainability and environmentalism
  • Harmony and balance with the Earth

The Atrocity of Factory Farms Violates these Values

I stopped buying meat many years ago primarily because of where it comes from: The atrocity of factory farms and animal agriculture in the 21st century. Once my awareness expanded out large enough to metaphorically hear the screams that these animals make, living a life of horror, separated from their mothers and kept in small confined areas as if they are a just a resource, it became a natural step to stop taking part in such a destructive, self-centered and close minded activity of buying and eating animal products. In the same way most people wouldn't buy dog meat or eat dogs, as most people have a good awareness of dogs so they naturally won't do it. The reason society doesn't eat dog is due to basic empathy and awareness. Yet society in general lacks that awareness and empathy for farm animals, even though pigs have equal intelligence and personality to dogs. Since people rarely see pigs or have them as a pet, there is little to no empathy or awareness of them. Buying and eating bacon is quintessential example of "ignorance is bliss" and demonstrates a lack of awareness, empathy and or these values I've listed above.

Living by my Values Requires Giving up Buying Factory Farmed Meat

From there I had to learn about nutrition to change my diet so that I can live by my values. I was happy to discover that in the 21st century, there has been so much research on the topic that it's now safe to say that a plant-based diet is an extremely healthy diet, when following a few nutrition based guidelines.

I learned the important role of fiber in diet. The more the better. I also learned that food has an extremely complex relationship with nutrients and absorption of those nutrients, as well as the unexpected benefits of fasting. I enjoy the topics of plant-base eating and how it's so positive in all these categories: Environmental, ethical, philosophical, spiritual and of course: nutritional. 

Overcoming Confirmation Bias and Listening to Doctors who Recommend Eating Meat

I definitely am aware of my confirmation bias, as I really enjoy listening to plant-based doctors. I find meat advocates irritating as their actions demonstrate they don't share my values, even if they seem like reasonable and nice people. A lot of the statements meat advocates make are anti-vegetable, claiming they are poisonous or low in nutrients or they defy the scientific consensus research, claiming that science itself is corrupt and bias.

Advocating eating meat seems to requires cognitive dissidence, or "Ignorance is Bliss" mentality. Despite this, I still take time to listen to people who advocate a meat centered diet. I want to understand them and talk in a respectful way, despite the negative feeling I get from their level of ignorance and callous self-centeredness that is required to eat animal products in the 21st century.

I know about Weston A Price Foundation and Mikhaila Peterson and Dr. Gundry plant paradox. I've listened to the claims, and the modern science that debunks them. Those who believe them often are seeking out their confirmation bias on the side of hoping that eating meat is actually a "good" thing. There is so much good research done that compare meat centered diets with plant based whole food diets for health, such as this article about cancer titled: "Research Shows Plant-Based Diets Are Better Than Ketogenic Diets for Cancer Risk and Long-Term Health"

I have learned a couple of major things from Meat Advocates:

  1. If you treat food and animal products as an addiction, it causes more compassion for those who are addicted and unwilling to put in the effort to shift away from animal products. Change takes effort and people who are addicted just don't care enough about it. Some people rely on comfort food more than they care about being in alignment with compassionate core values.
  2. The human body is amazingly resilient with food. Humans can technically survive of a wide range of food and diets. This includes the potato diet, or fruitarians. Both can live in alignment with core values, so I don't have an issue with those diet. But because the human body is so good at surviving; most poor diets take years before the negative effects are noticeable, By then it can be confusing to why they feel sick. Especially if the person has damaged their gut biome with animal products or refined sugar from process foods.
  3. The Keto and Carnivor diet have some benefits. The human body has a ketogenic digestive mode that taps into digesting fat and running on ketones, even though our primary digestive system is designed for high fiber plant foods and starch. This sometimes make people think that meat is a magical health food, particularly if eaten as an elimination diet, which is similar to fasting. Clogged arteries and less diverse gut biome are some of the negative effects of this diet, but for some people they feel it's worth it for how it makes them feel.
  4. Individuals who suffer from a unhealthy gut biome or food allergies may turn to a meat centered diet because they experience relief, if they can make it past the diarrhea phase of keto flu. Those who suffer from health conditions may feel they must eat meat, even if they have the core values of awareness or compassion, they just make an exception. It's natural for humans to justify violations of values when they feel they don't have a choice and just want to feel normal.
  5. Those who are Christian, or believe they are God's chosen people are much more likely to eat meat, because outdated religious teachings imply animal lives are insignificant and are here specifically as an infinite food resource to be ignored then consumed. Our basic human senses teach us otherwise, but outdated religious are where some people get their core values, which differ from the ones I have started with.
  6. Those who base their identity or culture on eating meat are personally offended by information that shows a plant-based diet is more healthy. It threatens their identity, which becomes personal. Some people will double down on their wrong beliefs when presented with information that threatens their identity.

Eating Meat Require Perpetrating Suffering

Suffering is the main theme I get from the Carnism, keto and carnivore diet, whether the person is aware of the suffering it causes or not, it's inherently required. Spiritually and karmically, it all comes back to the person making the decision.  The person on a meat centered diet may feel good while they are eating, but they require more and more suffering of animals just to "feel good".  The doesn't sound healthy or holistic to me. 

Spiritually, if someone cause sentient being suffering, that suffering will come back to haunt that person, often through oppression, or confusion to why life seems unfair. I've noticed those who eat meat tend to be anti-government. I believe this is because of spiritual and karmic reasons. The concept of the government oppressing citizens is metaphorically the same as citizen oppressing animals as resources and food. If someone oppresses animals on a daily basis, they tend to feel that they are the ones being oppressed most often by the government. By stopping their oppressive diet, they free themselves from the feeling of being oppressed. It's tied in to the spiritual concept: in order to health the world, we much first heal ourselves.

The Meat and Dairy Industry Benefit from Suffering

The meat and dairy industry is an industry that makes money from the suffering of slave animal resources. It's rooted in evil. I get most big corporations are profit driven and destructive, but the animal agriculture tortures animals to increase profits. It's such an atrocity and worth fighting against or at least boycotting. Like all evil corporations they have lobbyists and marketing to change laws and influence public opinion. People have to un-learn a lot to get the awareness, compassion and empathy required to go plant-based based on awareness of the industry and the suffering. Our society is sick because of what this industry has done to manipulate consumers into believing animal suffering is worth overlooking.

Meat eaters and those who buy animal products fund that industry. It's within our power to reduce the power and profitability of this industry, but does require people to live by core values and care enough to shift diet over time.

The Vampiric Curse from Consuming Flesh and Blood

If it turned out that eating dead animal flesh or drink blood gave me super human powers, as if Humans were vampiric, I would still not eat it in it's current form.  This is because of my core values. Factory farms are an atrocity. It's not something I can be aware of, and then pretend doesn't exist just so I can have super human powers. The only justification I can think of is I'd use my super human powers to end factory farming. 

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