Melanie Joy on Carnism

Melanie Joy on Ted Talks and Carnism

Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M. beautifully delves into the psychology of what we eat and why. I remember in college learning about how we have learned to more easily kill our enemy from a distance. This thought has resurfaced time and time again as I think about people who eat meat and dairy, what Melanie Joy calls Carnism “The invisible ideology that disconnects us from our rationality, our feelings and our values. And which enables a massive global injustice.”

Melanie highlights concisely yet thoroughly the pure integrity of being vegan. She furthermore delves rather deep into the inherent violence with carnism and the inescapable cognitive dissonance associated with this invisible ideology. She sets the premise for explaining this “invisible ideology” with saying “We tend to assume that only vegans and vegetarians follow a belief system. When eating animals is not a necessity, which is the case in much of the world today, then it is a choice. And choices always stem from beliefs.”

After becoming ill from eating a burger with Campylobacter bacteria Melanie quit eating meat. She described her diet change as a paradigm shift. When she explains the experience of seeing the world differently I could really relate. Now when Melanie witnesses others eating meat she sees  “people putting the bodies of dead animals in their mouths as if nothing at all were wrong”. So she set off to figure out “how rational caring people, like myself, could just stop thinking and feeling.”

Melanie does an amazing job explaining the belief systems, choices, and ideology of veganism and Carnism, a term she coined. She boldly confronts us with the violence meat and dairy eaters are in denial of which totally conflicts with core values. She follows this up beautifully saying “Our pain is the mirror in which we can see the reflection of our humanity.” Then she delineates various ways in which we pay for our carnism and enable it through denial, justification, and cognitive distortions.

Melanie even explains that the mentality which enables all violent ideologies (racism, sexism, etc…) are the same. She says “It’s the mentality of domination and subjugation, of privilege and oppression. It’s the mentality that causes us to “turn someone into something. To reduce a life to a unit of production. It is the might-makes-right mentality that makes us feel entitled to wield complete control over the lives and deaths of those with less power-just because we can…” “And so if we fail to pick out the common threads that are woven through all violent ideologies, then we will recreate atrocities in new forms.”

Check out the great video of her speech at TEDx Talks to learn more!

“If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.”

As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.
~Leo Tolstoy

National Geographic Superfoods Issue

I was Grocery shopping the other day and stumbled across this issues of National Geographic on Superfoods. It’s subtitled “Eat Your Way to Health and Longevity” accompanied by a collage of fruits, nuts, veggies, etc. on the cover, so I just had to get it!

Right away I could tell this is going to be a great read. The first few pages introduce the reason for a plant based diet. They emphasize how far science has taken our knowledge regarding all the evidenced that a plant based diet is better for not only us but our planet, how nutrient deficient so many Americans are, and how easy it can be to really eat healthy.

Getting to the premise of it “This magazine is filled with up-to-date, evidence-based information on 91 foods-vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, whole grains, and more- to help guide you toward better health”.

Each food item they discuss explains in awesome detail what the food item is, where it comes from, minerals and nutrients in it, a bit of science around it, and more. Information is organized well highlighting things like recipes, ways to prepare and consume raw, pairing items, and how it can benefit you and your planet.

As far as I can tell it’s all vegan. I thought Sarah noticed one small item in a recipe when I first showed it to her. But, looking back I can’t find it. I honestly haven’t had a chance to read it all yet, but so far it’s great! I wanted to get this out there quick because it’s available until April 6, 2016.

It’s so great seeing more and more honest information being put out there. Great job National Geographic!

You may be able to find in where magazines are sold near you easy enough. Here’s a link to the issue in the National Geographic shop: National Geographic Superfoods Issue