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  • Have you ever wondered why you might eat chicken's wings, but not swan's wings?

  • Beef burgers, but not mouse burgers?

  • Have you ever wondered why you might drink cow's milk, but not pig's milk?

  • And have you ever wondered why you haven't wondered?

  • I never wondered about these things until I had a shocking experience that changed my life forever.

  • Let me explain:

  • In attempt to understand what had happened to me, I spent years conducting research,

  • which led to a fascinating discovery.

  • What I discovered transformed my worldview, my health, and my happiness, so that today,

  • at 49, I feel better than I did when I was half my age.

  • To help you understand what happened to me, I'd like you to Imagine you are a guest at a dinner party,

  • enjoying a delicious beef stew,

  • and your food is so delicious that you ask your host for the recipe.

  • The secret,” she replies, “is in the meat.

  • You need to use three pounds of well seasoned...

  • golden retriever."

  • Now, take a moment to reflect on your thoughts and feelings.

  • Chances are, even though the meat itself didn't change at all, your experience of it changed dramatically.

  • So, what happened to cause you to have such a strong reaction?

  • That's the question I began asking 25 years ago, after I had a similar experience. Well, sort of.

  • Like many people, I grew up with a dog who I loved, and I also grew up eating meat.

  • And I never thought about how strange it was that while I would never want to eat my dog,

  • I regularly ate the flesh and eggs and dairy of animals who were not terribly different than my dog

  • they, too, had feelings, and lifes that mattered to them.

  • I just never thought about why I ate some animals, but not others.

  • I never thought about the inconsistencies in my attitudes and behaviors toward animals,

  • because when I was eating meat, eggs, and dairy, I didn't actually think I was eating animals.

  • Of course, I knew on some level that these products came from individuals who had once been alive;

  • I had thatknowing without knowing”.

  • But on another level I just didn't make the connection.

  • It wasn't until I wound up hospitalized after eating bacteria-infested beef,

  • that I had a major paradigm shift.

  • After I got sick, just the thought of eating beef disgusted me.

  • In fact, all meat seemed disgusting.

  • And suddenly, I saw meat not as food, but as dead animals.

  • Beef stew seemed no different than golden retriever stew.

  • And as I looked at the world with new eyes, I saw animals' body parts everywhere I turned:

  • lining grocery store shelves, filling trucks bound for the market, spilling off lunch trays,

  • packed in delicatessen freezers.

  • And people everywhere, rational, caring people like myself,

  • were putting these animals' bodies into their mouths as though nothing at all were wrong.

  • I had to understand how I could have gone through my entire life being blind to what was right in front of me,

  • and why nobody I talked to about this was willing to hear what I had to say.

  • It wasn't until two decades later,

  • after I had completed my doctoral research on the psychology of eating meat,

  • that I had the answer.

  • And this is what I discovered.

  • It turns out, that most of us eat animals not because we need to, or even because we truly wish to,

  • but because we have been conditioned to, by a widespread, destructive belief system

  • that operates outside our awareness and therefore without our conscious consent.

  • We often assume that only vegans and vegetarians bring their beliefs to the dinner table.

  • But the only reason many of us eat cows but not dogs, for example,

  • is because we do have a belief system when it comes to eating animals.

  • When eating animals is not a necessity -- which is the case for many people in the world today

  • then it is a choice.

  • And choices always stem from beliefs.

  • So what my research uncovered is that there is an invisible belief system

  • that conditions us to eat certain animals.

  • And I named that system carnism.

  • Carnism is universal; in meat-eating cultures around the world,

  • people typically classify only a tiny handful of animals, out of millions of possible species,

  • as edible.

  • All the rest are classified as inedible and disgusting.

  • So even though the type of species consumed changes from culture to culture,

  • members of all cultures tend to find their own choices

  • to be rational and the choices of other cultures to be disgusting and often even offensive.

  • Carnism is like a vast fog that surrounds, saturates, and shrouds our world.

  • And carnism is a violent system:

  • meat cannot be procured without violence, and egg and dairy production cause extensive harm to animals

  • In fact, today, the egg and dairy industries are arguably the most brutal of all carnistic industries.

  • And violent systems such as carnism keep themselves alive by using defense mechanisms

  • so that rational, humane people participate in

  • irrational, inhumane practices without fully realizing what they are doing.

  • These defenses hide the truth about animal agriculture and distort what little we are able to see,

  • so that we support a system we would likely otherwise find deeply offensive.

  • The primary defense of carnism is denial.

  • Carnism denies the truth by making it invisible.

  • One way carnism remains invisible is by remaining unnamed,

  • so eating animals appears to be a given, rather than a choice.

  • Another way carnism remains invisible is by keeping its victims out of sight

  • and therefore conveniently out of public consciousness.

  • But although we don't see the inner worlds of farmed animals,

  • these individuals are in fact sentient, conscious beings.

  • For example, pigs are at least as intelligent as three-year-old humans.

  • Cows develop deep and lasting bonds with their family and friends;

  • for instance, they may cry and keen for weeks when their babies are forcibly taken from them.

  • Chickens are able to distinguish between 100 different faces of members of their species,

  • and they have 30 different calls to signal types of threats.

  • And scientists have demonstrated that certain fish and crustaceans have intelligence and pain receptors,

  • such that in some places in the world it is now illegal to keep fish in small bowls or to boil lobsters alive.

  • And although we don't see the factories in which animals are turned into food,

  • these so-called farms produce approximately 98 per cent of the meat, eggs, and dairy we eat.

  • In fact 124,000 farmed animals are slaughtered globally not every day, or even every hour,

  • but every, single, minute.

  • But think about it: how many of these animals have you seen?

  • Ultimately, hiding the truth about meat, egg, and dairy production from us

  • is what carnism most depends on.

  • So becoming aware of this truth is essential to freeing ourselves from the system.

  • So, I am going to show a two-minute video of animal factories.

  • Now I know this kind of imagery can be difficult to see,

  • but I encourage you to watch,

  • because I believe the empowerment that awareness ultimately brings, will be well worth your brief discomfort

  • and this is feedback I have gotten from thousands of people

  • who have been willing to see through the fog of carnism.

  • Piglets are castrated by workers who cut into their skin and rip out their testicles.

  • Next, the workers chop off their tail.

  • Once pigs have reached market weight they are send to slaughter.

  • At the slaughterhouse pigs are hung upside down and have their throat slit.

  • Inproper stunning condemnes many pigs to having their throats slit while they are fully conscious and suffering.

  • Because male chicks don't ley eggs and do not grow quickly enough to be raised profitably enough for meat,

  • they are killed within hours after hatching.

  • The Females have it even worse.

  • Workers use a hot blade or laser to remove part of the chick's beaks.

  • At the slaughter plant the birds are dumped from their crates,

  • then roughly snapped upside down into moving shackles by their fragile legs.

  • They are then pulled across a blade which slices their throats causing blood to pour from their necks.

  • Calves on dairy farms are dragged away from their mothers and violently killed.

  • The majority of today's dairy cows are confined on factory farms.

  • Workers subject young cows to painful mutilations and amputations.

  • Unreliable stunning practices at the slaughterhouse condemn many cattle to having their throats cut

  • and their limbs hacked off while still alive and conscious.

  • Massive trolling nets indiscriminately drag hundreds of tons of fish and other animals along the ocean floor.

  • They are then tossed on board where the surviving fish either suffocate or are crushed to death.

  • Thank you. I know it's not easy to see that. Fortunately for us, the hard part's over.

  • In fact, thanks to so many people like you, who have been willing to see the painful truths about carnism,

  • the meat, egg, and dairy industries have begun to be weakened.

  • So animal agribusinesses have scrambled to restore their profit margins

  • by assuring us that we can eat animals who are happy to be our food,

  • that we can eat so-called humane orbiomeat, eggs, and dairy.

  • However, mosthumanelyraised animals live in misery, much as theirinhumanelyraised counterparts do,

  • and all farmed animals ultimately end up in the very same place.

  • And humane meat is a concept so absurd as to be an insult to any consumer

  • who pauses to reflect on his or her choices.

  • For instance, most of us would consider it cruel to kill a happy,

  • healthy golden retriever simply because people like the way her legs taste,

  • yet when the very same thing is done to other animals we are expected to believe that it's humane.

  • And carnism hides the truth about not only the nonhuman victims of carnism,

  • but also about the human victims of carnism:

  • us.

  • An animal-based diet, which is what carnism conditions us to follow,

  • has been linked with some of the most prevalent and deadly diseases in the world today,

  • while a plant-based or vegan diet,

  • which is what carnism conditions us to resist,

  • has been shown to prevent and reverse disease,

  • as well as to optimize health and enhance athletic performance.

  • And, carnism conditions us to block our awareness and our empathy,

  • qualities that are vital to our own wellbeing and to the wellbeing of our world.

  • Another defense is justification.

  • Carnism teaches us to justify eating animals by teaching us to believe that the myths of meat,

  • eggs, and dairy are the facts of meat, eggs, and dairy.

  • In other words, carnism teaches us to believe in the 3 Ns of Justification:

  • eating animals is normal, natural, and necessary.

  • And of course, we've heard this all before:

  • slavery is normal, natural, and necessary,

  • Male dominance is normal, natural, and necessary,

  • heterosexual supremacy is normal, natural, and necessary.

  • And the myths of carnism are institutionalized:

  • they are supported and promoted by all major social institutions,

  • which in turn transmit them to us.

  • So carnistic bias is embedded within the very foundations of society.

  • And when we are born into an institutionalized system such as carnism, we internalize it.

  • We take into ourselves both the myths and the products of carnism.

  • Inside us, carnism creates a fog in our minds, distorting our perceptions of meat, eggs, dairy,

  • and the animals we eat.

  • For example, carnism teaches us to place animals in rigid categories in our minds,

  • and therefore in our hearts.

  • And carnism teaches us to see farmed animals as objects -- as things, rather than beings.

  • And carnism teaches us to see farmed animals as abstractions,

  • as lacking any individuality or personality of their own:

  • a pig is a pig, and all pigs are the same.

  • But the fact that carnism needs to use such elaborate defense mechanisms is actually good news.

  • It shows the true vulnerability of the system.

  • Think about it: we care about animals, we care about justice, and we care about the truth.

  • And carnism depends on our not caring, and the system is built on deception.

  • So carnism needs us to do its job for it,

  • to ignore the truth and to resist the very thing that would set us free:

  • awareness.

  • Awareness is the light that shines through the fog of carnism,

  • illuminating the dark truths the system works so hard to hide from us.

  • Awareness cuts through the cloudy haze in our minds,

  • dispelling the shadow that's been cast on our hearts and releasing the natural glow of our empathy.

  • Awareness is the greatest threat to carnism, because with awareness,

  • we can make choices that reflect what we authentically think and feel,

  • rather than what we have been taught to think and feel.

  • We can make our choices freely.

  • Without awareness, there is no free choice.

  • And while it's easy to feel that the problem is so big that our individual efforts won't make a difference,

  • or that the system will never change,

  • the truth is that every choice we make does make a difference,

  • to others, and to ourselves.

  • And history shows us, again and again, that awareness opens the door to social transformation.

  • When people of integrity clear their vision, they demand change.

  • And powerful change is happening right now, around the world,

  • as more and more people are opening their minds and saying no to carnism.

  • The vegan movement, which is the counterpoint to carnism,

  • is one of the fastest-growing social justice movements in the world today.

  • Carnism, of course, is fighting back, using misinformation, disinformation,

  • and scare tactics in attempt to invalidate the vegan message.

  • But despite what carnism wants us to believe, veganism is healing for all of us.

  • The goal of the vegan movement is to create a world based on compassion rather than cruelty,

  • empathy rather than apathy, authenticity rather than dishonesty, justice rather than oppression.

  • So, with awareness we can create a better world for all beings, human and nonhuman alike.

  • With awareness, we can move beyond carnism.

  • We can reduce and ideally one day eliminate our consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy.

  • We can learn more about carnism and veganism,

  • to become more informed consumers and empowered citizens.

  • And one simple thing you can do right now is to share this video with everyone you know.

  • Regardless of what you ate for dinner last night,

  • you become a part of the solution simply by clicking on "share".

  • Thank you for helping make carnism visible and for helping make carnism history.

Have you ever wondered why you might eat chicken's wings, but not swan's wings?

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B1 meat dairy awareness eating farmed system

The Secret Reason We Eat Meat - Dr. Melanie Joy

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    VoiceTube posted on 2016/07/09
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