So after some personal reflection and constructive conversation with a friend, I came to the conclusion that I’m a hypocrite. I actually struggled to fall asleep the other night because I realised that there are such gaping flaws in the way I think I act and the way I actually act. My previous post was on the logic of being a vegetarian. I may look harshly on someone who denies the facts of the benefits to self and society of a veggie diet, just like I judge someone who smokes, for various reasons. But there are other similar things in my life which I don’t do, but know I should, or visa versa. Which means I am a hypocrite. I also know that the reason we do these things is quite simple. We engage in ‘risky’ behaviour because we do not see the immediate consequences of those behaviours. Or we do not do positive behaviours because the consequences are not immediately visible. I have been trying for the past 8 years to lose weight. I am still not 1kg closer to my goal, even though I have tried, and tried, and tried. What’s my problem? Whatever exercise I do today will have zero visible effect. Denying myself that chocolate is not going to make me lighter on the scale tomorrow. It is exactly the same reasoning as someone saying that the steak on his plate is not going to kill him, or have any effect on saving the planet. It seems there is work to be done.
Ok, so my fist post will probably not be a Pulitzer prize winner, but I thought I’d start with the thing that I find creates the most cognitive dissonance among clever people. Especially those who stand in favour of climate change and believe in science. I guess it is proof again that cultural patterns are of such a strong nature that we sometimes cannot comprehend a world where certain practices and behaviours do not exist, never mind what science says. We do readily engage in confirmation bias, clinging hopelessly to the few straws that prove that our behaviour is correct. “My great aunt Bella lived to the ripe old age of 98, and she smoked 2 packs a day.”, or “She lived to 98 and ate her steak every day.” Both are equally stupid assertions. We all know that in science there are levels of evidence, and one one-sided case study does not make an argument. Fair enough. People do not go out to disprove and change their most treasured habits. If that were the case we would be living in utopia already. I guess my biggest gripe with the issue of meat eating is the level of ignorance among people who should know better. Sure, there are those that know, and decide not to act, living with their cognitive dissonance (quite willfully and uncomfortably). But unfortunately there are those that should know, but know nothing. Just yesterday a student asked me how I am able to be a vegetarian. He could not fathom what I eat. Really? Then the more shocking question came: “Why are you a vegetarian?” I promptly gave a list of reasons, and I could see the glaze settling over his eyes like some primal coding kicking in and taking over – no, you will not listen to reason, you cannot live without it, refocus. Ok, so how are things with Miley Circus.
Here are just two facts among the hundreds. If they are true we should be rioting because of the inaction in the world. (1). We have 7 billion people on this planet, it takes between 10kg and 20kg of food to produce just 1kg of meat. (2). The only food that contain cholesterol are animal foods. There is no cholesterol in plant food. I rest my case.
(Don’t worry I’l definitely have more to say on this later)