I think it comes down to this one very important question: Can you feel compassion for the things that you kill to eat?
My answer is this: Yes.
Of course you can. Humanity has been caring for its food for thousands and thousands of years.
We live in a ridiculous age, when it is easier to buy a candy bar with fifty processed ingredients sourced from several continents than it is to get a local fresh tomato.
We are a ridiculous species — we do ridiculous things and justify our dumb actions in various ridiculous ways.
The fact is, we have been eating other animals for tens of thousands of years.
I already know the protests. “Humans have waged war for thousands of years but that doesn’t make it good!” “Humans have kept slaves for thousands of years but obviously that is a bad thing!”
I’m not talking about how full of shit modern man is. I’m talking about the fact that the vast majority of our existence as a species was fueled by our ability to hunt and kill other animals.
Some have even posited that it is in fact our very skills at doing so that allowed us to become human. Some have theories about how our increased nutrient intake from wild meat helped increase our brain size.
Perhaps these things are true. Perhaps it is our very ability to hunt animals, along with our opposable thumbs and upright stance that allows us to maintain some sort of dominance in the natural world.
I already hear it. “We live in a new age, where we can live peacefully with all of creation.”
We do? That is news to most people on the planet who are not of the white middle-class tribe.
No, we still live in a world that is characterized by things wanting to eat other things. That is literally how the earth operates.
When the mighty oak falls, it is consumed by fungus, which is consumed by ants, which are consumed by birds, which are consumed by other creatures — a never-ending cycle of life and death.
“But we don’t have to kill anymore!”
What are you basing this misplaced idea upon?
All day long we kill things. We kill ants and bugs and worms and ticks and mosquitoes and we run over squirrels and poison our lawns which poisons our bees which poisons our birds and we spread sticky black goop over all sorts of creatures habitats so we can have roads and parking lots and buildings.
We’re constantly fucking shit up for everybody else on the planet. That is almost like the modus operandi of our species: Plow through every other sentient beings life so that we can have a comfortable one.
It doesn’t matter if you are eating a tofu dog on the beach with a mojito in hand — you are fucking everything up for other creatures on this planet.
The sooner you accept that, the sooner you can accept yourself as the apical predator that you are.
But it is true — unlike other animals we can choose our diet. We can make many and varied choices in regards to what we put into our mouths.
One could say that this is our biggest problem, as obesity and heart-related diseases decimate our weakened population of slow fat upright apes.
And that has only happened as chemical farming took over from traditional farming methods in the last hundred years or so.
Chemical farming is evil fucking shit. It’s destroying the very topsoil that makes life on this planet possible. And yes, it is why your Impossible Burger can be relatively cheap.
That’s it — when you eat most foods from an average grocery store, you are eating chemically farmed foods.
Unless you eat organic. Unless you eat local. Unless you grow your own.
Or unless you hunt and gather.
The only real question right now is this:
Do you know your food? Do you fucking understand what the hell you are putting in your mouth?
If not, you’re probably poisoning yourself and your environment. But that is not unusual, right now, so don’t feel too bad. We’re all doing it.
If you accept that truth and try to do better, you will be happier.
If you deny that truth and point fingers, you will be sad and angry.
It’s not the Cow, it is the How.