Stop eating now!

Mexie spells out the complexities and contradictions of food. This is very distressing information! We’re mostly vegetarian here at Chez Myers — we’re not strict sticklers, it’s more a matter of avoiding meat in our daily diet — but even buying locally grown produce has its problems. One of the ways we’re undermining capitalism, at least, is that we avoid prepared foods even more. I’ve been getting hunks of raw vegetables and doing all the cooking myself.

If you watched the whole thing, you got the general message: you can stop exploiting animals right now as a step in the direction of the ultimate overthrow of capitalism, but we have a long way to go yet. Don’t give up just because we haven’t achieved perfection.


  1. says

    “Leave politics out of this! You’re being divisive!”

    Funny how those are refrains heard as often in Atheism™ as they apparently are in Veganism™…

  2. says

    This is something I realized years ago. My vegetarian girlfriend was living off a diet consisting almost entirely of Morning Star. I have a BS in food science so I habitually read labels for fun. I read the list of ingredients for the Morning Star breakfast sausage and was a bit horrified. Even since, I’ve had an ax to grind against the “Fake Meat” industry.

    There’s tons of delicious food out there that is vegetarian just because it’s vegetarian. It doesn’t need to pretend it’s meat. You ever heard of this stuff called bread? You should try it, it’s delicious. Especially if you bake it yourself. Beans, soy or otherwise are a great source of protein and there’s a thousand ways to prepare them. Beans on toast got me through some rough times in my mid 20s.

    Another great protein source during my lean times back then was eggs. Eggs may not be vegan, but they can be harvested ethically. I’ve always had friends who raised chickens in their back yards and when laying season happens they have more eggs than they know what to do with.

    Really the conclusion I’m drawing is “vegan does not equal ethical”. Not all the time. Again, I realized this conclusion a long time ago.

  3. says

    Being a diabetic I have to watch breads.
    There is some interesting work being done with continuous glucose monitors. I’d be interested in seeing the effects of high carbohydrate foods on people with a family history of type 2 diabetes, before they develop the condition.

  4. says

    Right. Just plain unprocessed food. Also a plus: my wife has started an herb garden, so we’ve got lots of fresh flavors to spice things up.

  5. whheydt says

    Re: robertbaden @ #3…
    Same here. My wife has it worse. She has to avoid nearly all carbohydrates to keep from sending her glucose level through the roof. I can get away with some…but not a great deal.

    The “just eat bread” is fine…if you’re a 20-something (and aren’t diabetic, of course), but for us that was 50 years ago.

  6. says

    If you are eating a ton of bread it might be a problem for anyone.
    We didn’t evolve with constantly available food.
    One result of a CGM study was that cornflakes with milk spikes most peoples’ blood sugar.

  7. says

    My apologies. I forget about diabetes. Although, the highly processed fake meats and such are probably even more dangerous for a diabetic. There’s a lot of different names for sugar these days. My personal favorite is “blue agave syrup”. Sounds nice and sexy, but it’s still refined sugar.

  8. lotharloo says

    It was a very good video, I loved it in fact, but I also found it depressing as fuck. Because when you think about it, there is no way the human race can live without a major environmental disaster in the next 60-70 years. That’s the next generation, those are our children. There are so many things that are going to shits that it is impossible to find the political will to fight them all.

  9. says

    Ray Ceeya.
    No problem.
    I’m from a family of diabetics, so I am quite interested in the biology of it.
    My mom’s parents’ generation lived into their nineties, my mother’s generation all developed diabetes. I’m 64. So this has been going on for a while.

  10. says

    Many excellent points were made in the video but this statement: “…what’s behind carnism is a disrespect for the bodily autonomy of other sentient beings…” triggers flashing warning lights for biologists, especially anyone who works with animals, even model systems.

  11. says

    Coincidentally, Rebecca Watson has just posted a video on the topic of food; specifically, discussing recent studies that have linked a diet high in processed foods to poor health:

    As Watson points out, what exactly counts as “processed” is a bit of a fuzzy category, but it kind of links up with the original video insofar as it demonstrates that our modern methods of food production are not good: not for the planet and the creatures we share it with, and not for us.

  12. alixmo says

    “…and the lion will lay down with the lamb, and the wicked carnists will see their evil and throw away their meat, and the Vegan will see their evil and throw away their fake meat, because they saw the light of the Grains and Pulses and, lo!, it was good. And then peace ruled on earth forevermore, humankind seeing the error of its evil ways, rejoicing gratefully in the generosity of the Grains and Pulses, transformed, cleansed from all wicked carnist’s and consumerist’s lusts, foibles and malice. Hallelujah!”

  13. jack16 says

    @6 robertbaden

    Check the sugar content.
    Cheerios (General Mills) 1g/serving, Fiber One 0g/serving.

    There are many hot kinds of cereal that have low to zero sugar.

  14. pipefighter says

    I grew up around hunters and farmers (the non trophy variety and small time family farms) and I have to say, seeing the industrial stuff, and the rich dentists flying off to Africa and the industrial slaughterhouses was pretty jarring, but it wasn’t the first thing to make me uncomfortable with the whole arrangement. I went hunting a few times myself, (and may in the future, but I may not) and I remember thinking that I know nature isn’t some wonderful ideal place necessarily. I’ve heard “pitiless and indifferent” used as an apt descriptor, but it didn’t change the fact that I was the reason that dear was hanging in the garage, not disease, age, the elements, or a bear. Now I get it, subsistence hunting is as old as people, and having walked through an industrial chicken farm in the Philippines, I can say that it certainly doesn’t feel as bad (a place the owners were quite proud of, as they had been small subsistence farmers only a generation ago, I can’t think of many instances were I had been more uncomfortable in my life). So, I started avoiding the processed stuff, then I started incorporating more veggies and what have you, and as I learn new recipes, it gets easier. When I first suggested it to my wife, she was not down with the idea, but as time has passed, she’s become quite open to it. As long as I eat meat I consider hunting to be morally equivalent, but I’m finding vegetarian options faster than I ever expected, so who knows, it might be all changed by Christmas. I’m glad I never bought expensive rifles or fishing gear, because then I might feel inclined to continue out of some BS pride/sunk costs thing. I find the post capitalist stuff pretty cool, that was never brought up when I was a kid (except in the show “dinosaurs”, but that went right over my head). I came out of an oil and gas family in Alberta, and I’m presently 2000 km away in the Yukon. This blog has been part of my go to (several times a day) for at least 6 years. Thanks for the post PZ.

  15. mountainbob says

    “If it grows on a plant, eat it. If it’s made in a plant, don’t.” An old maxim of some value when menu-planning or shopping. Another one might be, “Don’t let notions of perfection be the enemy of the good.” It isn’t “all good” but life can be pretty darn great.