Earlier this month, Ezra Klein posted tweets linking to his podcast about carnism. Here is the tweet that got me:
The idea behind carnism is not rejecting farming, it is thinking that we are manipulated by society to eat meat. It is forgetting that humans are just doing what their body lets them do. Look, we all know, and I’ve been saying it a lot, that the farming business is nasty and has to be improved. But instead of creating controversies where there are none, could Mr. Klein face hard truths? There is nothing immoral about eating meat. In just one tweet, he just created a worldwide conspiracy: humans eat meat – which they can biologically do – and they are unapologetic about it. Wow. The secret is open. Thank you for making us woke. Sadly, you could replace the word “Carnism” in this tweet with any of Alex Jones’ conspiracy theories and it would hold true.
I replied to the tweet and someone started debating with me. That person was saying that they are fine with humans dying for the sake of progress (e.g.: car crashes) but purposefully killing animals is bad. The thinking behind that is twisted. It’s the same argument that the gun nuts have: “mass shootings are the price to pay for freedom”. We could build safer cars and we could make it harder to get guns. Many human deaths could be avoided. But these deaths happen in a world where we are fine with others’ sufferings as long as we can keep our daily routine. Avoidable Human suffering is happening everyday but it seems like carnism is what’s wrong…
As I said in another post, it is so selfish to be thinking about what the being you’re taking the life from is feeling or thinking. Taking the life of a plant, an animal, a bacteria, an insect is bad. But we kill many of these every day without blinking. Because we need to go to work, because we breathe, because we think they are gross, etc. There is not one living thing which deserves to die. We need to understand that us living means death and suffering for other species. But I’d argue that human death or suffering is more indefensible. We know that people suffer in this country, but walking with a $5 mocha pumpkin spice latte with skim milk from Starbucks in front of a homeless person doesn’t bother anybody. It seems that as long as we are a vegan, it’s fine. All these kids, in poor neighbourhoods, who don’t have good schools, good teachers, parents to take care of them because they need 2 jobs, it’s sad but it’s ok, we are vegan.
Carnism is just another ideology. And the problem with ideologies is that we are so convinced that we “have seen the light” that we forget about the real big picture. Humans have always eaten meat and it’s not gonna stop, because there is no reason to stop. I discovered carnism thanks to Ezra. And I am not gonna lie, it’s just a bunch of BS. The definition on the website is:
“Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals.”
Lions can’t process vegetables, are they ideologues? I don’t think so. We are an omnivorous species, which is a fact, not an ideology. The idea of carnism is as dumb as the idea behind “breathism” – which I just created. If I make the choice to breathe (on their website they seem to say that choices = beliefs), I am part of an ideology which silently, conditions people to breathe and consume oxygen that could be used by many other animals. If less people were breathing, we could save millions of animals!
In the definition, they mention “certain animals”. Implying that “we” don’t eat dogs. Another example that this is just a rich western time-wasting principle. Some Asians do eat dogs. Some Europeans eat horses. Some in the Western world used to eat squirrels, rats, etc. It’s only because of the advance of the food industry that we only eat a certain kind of meat and not another. Let’s see what an anti-carnism do if a catastrophe happens, and the only thing that is left to eat is a dog : will they prefer to die or eat the meat? Once again, I am not defending the food industry, I am defending the right to eat meat, any meat.
I can’t understand how these people dare to compare welfare to animals with social justice. They even dare to compare the fight for women’s right to vote to the fight against eating animals. Are they gonna ask for sentient beings to have the right to vote next? What about plants? We know that plants and trees are living organisms. It is a fact that trees with more minerals than needed share them with trees who need it more. Isn’t that a conscious act? Should we stop eating plants too? Let’s just stop eating and die because we want to avoid the death of things that exist? Isn’t it fucking unfair to plants for us to decide that we should only eat them? Do they know that pesticides for their veggies destroy the habitat of fish and destroy the drinkable water of fellow humans?
Melanie Joy, the person behind carnism, explains how bad it is that we steal the calves of the milking cows. I goddamn agree. But she doesn’t mind to appeal to puppy owners. Pets have parents too and maybe they didn’t want to be separated from them neither? She goes further saying “I don’t feel good eating pork chops while petting my dog”. But is she aware that while she eats her veggies, her dog is eating meat based products? How can you morally fight against human consumption of animals if you have a pet that needs to eat animal products? It’s not part of her “Carnism” ideology though, maybe I should create the Pettism ideology. Where we state firmly that society manipulates us to care about puppies when in fact we are tyrants separating puppy families while making them eat what they are born to eat: MEAT. However, it seems like many vegans found the solution, turning carnivorous pets into vegans too. Even if it is dangerous for their health. Is ideology more important than biology?
The narrow mindedness of these people is insane. Just because Melanie Joy didn’t feel like eating meat anymore, she had to create a whole world of the “other people”. She says it herself in the podcast. She had a food infection because of meat and decided to stop eating it. And then she tried to find an ideology to go along with her new distaste of meat. This is where carnism comes from. Ezra calls the realization that this – fake – ideology is true, the “Green Pill”. But just like the Red Pill, once you ate it, you are too deep in your ideological blindness. They decided to say that carnists are performing a crime which doesn’t exist. Ms. Joy compares human deaths to animal deaths. She equates animal welfare to social justice. I equate carnism to racism. I mean, racism is a minority of people deciding that, just by not being white, minorities have committed a crime. Carnism is a minority of people deciding that people, just by not being vegan, are committing a crime.
This is sick. What would humans not try to create peace in their mind? The thing is that they start from the premise that we are compassionate. But we are definitely not. Most people just walk by homeless people everyday with the feeling that they are a smelly nuisance. Most people don’t even think about the thousands of lives lost everyday all over the world. Most people will drive over a deer and feel worse about their car than about the animal they just hit.
I am ok with the killing of animals for food. Many other animals in the wild do it. Until you find a way to make a lion vegan, I will not stop eating meat. And I will not feel bad for it. The pushers of the carnism ideology make it a “social issue”. Who can take them seriously? It seems like they ask us to remind them that they are white people in rich western countries. We should all go meet what real human suffering is in Palestine, Africa, Bangladesh, or just in the poor neighborhoods of our own countries. It’s not because we live in the blindfold of a democratic and rich country that we have to switch our focus to non issues. Our need to explain and judge every thing we do is making many of us forget simple things. Our only existence made a lot of animals disappear and our expansion forced the extinction of many species. But we can say the same of the spread of wolves in Yellowstone or that the death of dinosaurs allowed other species to thrive.
We almost don’t kill wild animals for food anymore. These wild animals should thrive. But because of the comfort that we think we deserve, many die in vain. Just like many other fellow humans die or suffer in vain for the same reason. The animals that we raise in farms only exist for us to eat them. To me, the death of a wild bird on a landline which exists only to let me tweet from a remote place is much more sad than the death of a cow raised to feed me. Carnism is an ideology which doesn’t make sense. We are omnivorous and if you disagree with that fact, you’re in denial.