May 6, 2008

"I Can't Live Without It." Yeah, right.

A not-so-well-known philosopher named Kanye West was once quoted, "What's your addiction? Is it money? Is it girls? Is it weed? I've been afflicted, by not one, not two, but all three." It seems that in modern society, although these seem to be prevalent addictions, a much more distinct addiction is present: to meat. I know I probably talk about this a lot, but really, I have these little periods where I think about it excessively. If I had an addiction (and I know I have a few small ones), I'd be terribly ashamed of it. I'm not targeting you (assuming you eat meat), but I just would like more people to take it into consideration.

When people ask me why I don't eat meat or animal derived products, I ask them why they eat meat, and the most common response I get is, "It tastes SO good. I can't imagine life without chicken." Step back for a second, and think about that statement. Last time I checked, we only needed water, shelter, and food to live. Accounting for the excess of non-meat items available in the aisles of your local grocery store, I'm pretty sure there's more vegetarian food than there is non to sustain yourself. So think again - do you need meat? Is that Big Mac so good that you can't let go of it? If that's the case, I'm sorry for you.

This meat addiction people have is like smoking. The only difference is that it's so ingrained into what society deems "acceptable" that no one sees it as a problem. Any addiction, really, is shameful. It's even worse when people think, "I know the ethics behind not eating meat, but I just can't help it." You can help it. Anyone can help it. The problem is the unwillingness the do something about it.

I speak from experience when I say that it feels freaking good to conquer your desires. Getting rid of an addiction, whether it be meat, bread, the internet, facebook, cigarettes, money, girls, weed, feels amazing. It's amazing because you work towards it, and not caring about that addiction anymore is a huge achievement in your own self-development. You don't want external entities controlling your life. Of course, you don't think meat controls your life, but if you picture not eating it for the rest of your life, you realize that it plays a huge role.

PETA is offering a million dollars to anyone who can successfully produce an acceptable substitute for meat in a lab. Yeah - great idea, but doesn't that just add to the case that people are so addicted? Call me crazy, but I think it's time for a change. Screw lab meat. Go veg.

I know this was a totally aimless rant, but it's frustrating. I'm no extreme animal-rights activist, but I do what I do to not contribute to animal cruelty and the other problems that go along with the industry; I just think everyone else can do the same. Try yourself. You'd be surprised what you could resist.


iwishthereweretenofthem said...

As humans, we are omnivores, specially adapted to eat meat. But I too feel that these omnivoric roots should be loosened when we step back and realize that our modern society has taken our human need for meat too far. We were meant to be omnivores back in times when we took only what we needed. Nowadays, people have been afflicted with this "addiction" as you put it and although I'm not a hardcore vegitarian, I tried it for a week. It felt good but it sadened me to see that kids, just in that one week, kept persistently asking me ,"Why?". I think its great that you're seeking food with a positive background, thus resulting in positive energy gained from it. Keep it up brother.