Desensitization is Learned, Not Inborn

1 Apr

NEW_Summer_Catskill_P9025781Child&Pig

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we’d all be vegetarian.”

– Paul McCartney

I regularly get asked what it was that made me decide to go the vegan route. After all, being a raving lover and supporter of steak and bacon, how could I make the 180? It seems ironic.

I’m not even going to talk about all the numerous health benefits I believe a vegan diet has. Getting right to it, it was for the ethical side of things.

I ultimately believe that having the idea that we are superior and more worthy of life than another being or race is the cause of all that is wrong in this world. It is when people begin to feel this fictitious superiority that we get things like racism and sexism.

And now, we have speciesism.

Animals are huge to me. And I believe everyone deserves a chance and a right to live. I believe that reproducing animals for the purpose of killing and exploiting is wrong, and not only is it destroying the health of many people, it is destroying whatever is left of compassion and empathy in human beings.

It comes to a point where you have to ask yourself: “At what age did I lose my compassion?”

enfant_avec_mouton

To be quite honest, it seems strange to me when people can see and hear of atrocities going on not only in farming, but zoos, aquariums, “hunting for sport” circuses, fur trade, etc. and turn a complete blind eye to it, or are completely unaffected by the knowledge of it. Since when has killing and hurting innocent beings simply for the sake of taste, “sport”, or viewing pleasure ever been okay?

When I was a kid, I used to go fishing with my dad and brothers when we went camping. One day I caught a couple of small fish (perch, I believe), and was so proud of myself. I put them in a bucket full of water and left them to play. When I sat down to dinner that night, I saw two things: an empty bucket, and a plate of fish.

Putting two and two together, I cried. A lot. I thought I was going to keep them as pets.

I still get made fun of for it to this day by my siblings.

But I didn’t eat fish for quite some time after that. And when I was a kid, steak wasn’t a cow. It was steak. If I would have put two and two together, I would have stopped eating cows too.

Somewhere along the line, although I eventually realized where all my food was coming from, I had been somewhat brainwashed. And of course, this was due to culture and upbringing, but there was a disconnect. If I saw a cow or pig in front of me, I would pet it, feed it, think it was cute, etc. But if it was on my plate, the fact that it was an animal didn’t even cross my mind. I just ate it.

The disconnect was so strong that even though I knew what animal was on my plate, it just didn’t sink it. Not until I really did more research, and realized what went on behind the smiling cow on the front of the milk carton.

Drink your milk, kids! (not)

Drink your milk, kids! (not)

That’s when I decided to make the switch.

(Can you imagine – some people actually are surprised by the fact that cows don’t just constantly produce milk? It’s amazing how dumbed-down society has become due to constant pressure from the dairy industry. We are lead to believe that cows just need to be milked constantly, and if we don’t milk them they will die from the swelling in their udders. What a load of bullshit.)

The funny thing is, while people are so convinced that eating meat is normal for humans, we pick and choose what is okay and what is not okay to eat. What other omnivore/carnivore in nature does that?

It’s funny how animal abuse is justified if it is done on a mass profitable level, but when it is done as a single act against one innocent being, it is an atrocity.

If you saw somebody on the street, dragging a poor and sick animal by a rope around the neck, and beating it every time it fell to the ground from exhaustion, what would you do? Most would say something, or call someone for help. Some would jump in, and some would watch idly. But I guarantee nobody is thinking, “Wow, I bet that will taste good when it’s dead.” Most of you are thinking, hey – that’s really fucked up.

So ask yourself: what is the difference?

Why is eating a dog not okay, but eating a cow is fine?

Why does raw flesh gross us out?

Why does the thought of eating a dead animal – flesh, skin, eyes, ears, brain, feet, tail, and fur – disgust us?

Why do we have to cook our meat to digest it?

Why are we friends with our victims before we eat them?

Why do we become repulsed when we hear about cruelty and the treatment of farm animals, but still continue to eat them?Why does the thought of killing an innocent being make you uncomfortable, but eating one doesn’t?

 

Just some things you have to think about.

“So why not just buy meat/dairy from humane farms?”

There is no such thing as a “humane” farm. There is no way to humanely kill something. What does that even mean? That you cuddled it and read it bedtime stories before slitting its throat? That you allowed it to live 3 years of it’s life (instead of it’s capable 15-20) instead of just 2?

Really. Come on now.

There is simply no humane way to kill somebody, just like there is no way to humanely rape somebody. So don’t kid yourself. Are the animals steroid/antibiotic-free? Perhaps. Are they somewhat healthier? Maybe. But it doesn’t make it any more humane.

A humane farm is a sanctuary farm. Where the animals are able to live their full lives, give birth to and raise their young, roam free, and live happily.

THAT is a humane farm, and the only kind of farm I would support.

That's better. :)

That’s better. ๐Ÿ™‚

So far, my switch has been nothing but positive. My training has been going well, my energy is stable and high, and I feel an overwhelming amount of peace with myself and others.

Oh, and the physique hasn’t suffered anything negative either. I was “warned” about losing muscle and strength, but that certainly hasn’t been the case. If anything, I look better lately. So Suck it, non-believers! ๐Ÿ˜‰

528424_510172759018740_10915220_n

 

(A quick note: I do not force my beliefs upon people. I simply answer questions when asked, but it doesn’t mean I have to be completely silent with my thoughts either. If you are offended by the fact that I post vegan recipes, Facebook updates, or things regarding exposure of animal cruelty, then feel free to just stop following me.

People do not stop posting pictures of meat everywhere. People still make fun of vegans and vegetarians to no end. My fiance still eats meat. I do not self-righteously judge – I simply ignore what I do not care for, and try to help when and where I can.

But just so you know, the whole “needs more bacon” or “oh so cute, I want to cook it” jokes were not funny the first time, and they aren’t funny when they are repeated. So shut the fuck up.)

 

I will leave you all with this final, very wonderful quote:

“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creatures through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion.

We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man.

In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.

They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earthโ€.

– Henry Beston

———

Hope that clears up the “why”!

Eat well, train hard.

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12 Responses to “Desensitization is Learned, Not Inborn”

  1. Tara April 1, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    This really got me thinking. I used to be vegetarian, but it wasn’t by choice. I grew up in a vegetarian household and only started eating meat when I was 18. At first I only had chicken, and it was only once or twice a week, but then I got into lifting and thought that I had to have chicken 6 times a day! I went from one extreme to the other, and grew sick of chicken very quickly. I now eat meat twice a day. It’s so interesting to read that your physique hasn’t suffered. Definitely something for me to consider!

    • thecookiemonster April 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

      I think we have all been a little duped into believing we NEED meat, and lots of it, which is really just what all the people who run the slaughterhouses want us to believe. If we stop eating meat, they stop profiting.

      Did you only switch due to thinking you needed meat?

  2. Kip Nickell April 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Most American will eat about 300lbs of meat per year. This is obviously less than one cow. Many more animals (snakes, rodents, insects, etc) will die from tractor tires in the fields working the land. At some point, we decide animals are more important to other based on size.

    Dog okay? No..
    Bunny Okay? No..
    Mouse Okay? Maybe..
    Snake Okay? Depend on danger
    Spider Okay? Kill..
    Termite Okay? Kill..

    Think about all the animals killed when someone sprays pesticides on their house.

    Somewhere, we draw a line where one animal deserves to die in our mind and one animal deserves to live.

    • thecookiemonster April 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      There are two ways in which you can choose to view something:

      1) I cannot do everything, so I may as well do nothing at all.
      2) I cannot do everything, but I can at least do SOMETHING.

      Itโ€™s not a matter of me thinking any other animal is more important than the other, or that one โ€œdeservesโ€ to die. I donโ€™t think ANY of them deserve it. Unfortunately in today’s day and age, it’s basically impossible to avoid hurting animals in the process of eating. Does it upset me that so many are killed simply due to agriculture? Yes. Can I stop it? No. I have to eat something. I cannot starve myself.

      But what is better? Doing nothing, or doing something? The very least I can do is remove the food that I believe is poison from my diet, and in turn save some lives in the process. Itโ€™s either that or doing damage with the other food I eat alongside meat and dairy โ€“ which I donโ€™t think are that great for consumption, but it is another story entirely.

      Anyway. That being said, I am not expecting to save the world, but I am trying to do my best to live as cruelty-free as I can.

  3. Noriko April 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I truly appreciate your posts regarding vegan ism. I never quite understood it until reading your posts. I like your approach and how you explain your views. Although I still eat meat and dairy, I’m now starting to look at it differently.

  4. myron gheins April 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    Nice post ๐Ÿ™‚ What is your opinion on humanely-raised eggs and dairy?

    • thecookiemonster April 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

      Strictly from a health standpoint, dairy has zero place in a human diet. Period. Milk is made for baby cows, not people. The only time people need milk is when they are babies, and that comes from the breasts of their mother. Not from some other animal’s mother.

      On the ethical side of things, the male calf is still carted off to be made into veal, and all babies are taken away from their mothers after birth. If it was truly a humane farm, the milk would be kept for the cow’s young, and she would not be repeatedly impregnated to keep reproducing the milk. It is very taxing on a cow to be producing milk constantly. They are not machines.

      Free-range doesn’t mean much these days anymore. Male chicks are still tossed into the grinder because there is no use for them. And I just don’t think that it is right to keep animals in captivity for personal benefit regardless of what it is, and regardless if it doesn’t at first glance seem invasive.

      Puppy mills are horrifying, but somehow keeping other animals in captivity for exploitation purposes, is not.

      To be quite honest, any animals that are treated 100% fairly do not product milk/eggs at a fast enough rate to be profitable. So that farm either goes out of business, or they take short-cuts at the expense of the animal for an increased amount of product to fit consumer needs.

  5. John April 4, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    Being a vegetarian or a vegan for moral reasons (like yours) makes a lot more sense to me than just for health reasons. I’m happy that eating that way is working well for your training, because it would suck for you to make an ethical decision to switch to vegan and then have your training go shitty.

    I have zero science, data, or whatever to back me up on this, but I do think it’s much harder for a man to be a vegetarian. I think men’s bodies just need/want animal proteins more. I think the same thing for women following a keto type diet, it just seems their bodies need the carbs more.

    • thecookiemonster April 4, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

      I wouldn’t say it’s totally ridiculous for health reasons. My health has improved I would say, and I think it’s a very healthy way of eating so long as you are doing it right.

      I’m not sure your last statement makes much sense. But then again you said you had nothing to back it up. ๐Ÿ™‚ Plenty of men are doing well as vegans/vegetarians.

  6. Clara E. April 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Hey Lady!

    I’m not vegan and I do eat meat and honestly, I’m glad you’re doing what you feel and still getting results. I have plenty of vegan and vegetarian friends. The lifestyle is not completely foreign to me. How long have you been following the vegan diet? Did you start of vegetarian?

    You look great! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for being so inspiring!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • thecookiemonster April 4, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

      Thank you! Vegan since February, so not super long but enough to know that I love it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been on and off vegetarian for 6 years then finally made the full switch.

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