In Defense of Omnivorousness
Anarchist literature tends to be saturated with vegan and vegetarian propaganda, and I don’t think our canon should be so singular and I’d like to present an idea that is not necessarily in opposition of those ideas, but is a better alternative. So I’ll share with you my ideas on nutrition and the ethics and politics of putting food in our faces, and maybe I’ll even give reasons for why I hold these opinions. First though a bit on my credibility — I’ve never tried veganism for its own sake (occasionally I notice that I’ve gone many days without animal products, but I don’t go and eat steak tartar and veal as a response!) So I’m sorry I can’t speak from experience here, but I have read a lot about veganism and vegetarianism and have talked to many people about it, and was never sufficiently motivated to try either. I respect the people who practice them and agree with the reasons for why they do it, the conventional meat industry is absurdly destructive to people and nature.
First off my maxim on nutrition, “If you hunger for it, find it tasty, and it is natural, then you will do no harm to yourself or the environment in eating it, and you probably should”. Obviously that is a bit naïve when applied to people that have potentially fatal food allergies. Those are a problem of civilization like asthma or osteoporosis or suicide, car accidents, and testicular cancer being the main cause of death in my demographic. So I won’t worry about it because civilization will soon shrivel and die because I am aborting and many others soon will.
If you hunger for it. We are animals, and we have instincts just as strong as every other life form. Animals have ethics too: they don’t systematically exterminate their competitors — lions do not kill or injure hyenas unless they are invading a kill inappropriately- animals do not systematically exterminate the competitors of their food supply — deer do not cut off and spit out undesirable plants because they are competing with the desirable plants. However civilized human do and these are pathological traits that will lead to the destruction of the civilized human and will and has caused the extinction of many life forms in the process. Farmers kill “pests”, coyotes, wolves, raccoons, weasels, mink, and ‘possums to protect the animals and plants that have been artificially selected to be too weak to protect or provide for themselves. Gardeners and farmers kill “weeds” that are in competition with the food supply.
Our natural instincts will guide us to eat properly when we choose from natural foods. “Primitive” people 15,000 years ago were healthier and often lived longer than we currently do even without complex vitamin charts and nutrition textbooks. This is because they listened to their natural instincts (and because they partook from about 1500 species of plants, and most species of animals, insects, amphibians, and reptiles) with that amount of variety they couldn’t help butget all their “vitamins and minerals”, and I think their bodies told them what foods contained elements that were most essential at any given time. You can call it hunger, or craving, or anything you like, the important thing is that their lifestyle was motivated by the intense primitive emotions that have taken civilization 10,000 years to learn to repress. More specifically the society thinks it has oppressed them to keep us weak , docile, and hungry for its continuation depends on these — but it isn’t perfect — I still feel them and I think you do too! Therefore civilization cannot go on forever emotions are too powerful to suppress. Go and live in the real world unmediated! It is profound and dangerous! Do not accept the surrogate emotions from television, video games, movies, books, consumerism, political power, or spectator sports! Make real experience.
and find it tasty -Your taste is how your body informs you what you do or don’t need, and when you’ve had enough. If it didn’t work for that purpose then the human species would have died out before we had specialists to tell us what is good and what us not, what is banal and what is gourmet, and what is healthy and what is unhealthy. In defense of omnivorousness, I find meat and insects to be very delicious and so did every tribal society that has been studied by anthropologists (if you trust those specialists). I think you would find it delicious too!
Then you will do no harm to yourself or the environment in eating it I consider natural synonymous with wild, beef is not natural, chicken is not natural, milk products are not natural — these not part of a primitive or aboriginal diet. Those animals did not exist 15,000 years ago and there is no method for getting milk products from wild animals. Obviously the precursors to modern domestic animals did exist, and they lived wild and on their own terms of survival. Modern polyploid grains and vegetables are not natural and they are nutritionally inferior to their wild ancestors. Modern wheat is 12% protein while wild wheat is 24% protein. Protein is for growing strong healthy bodies, whereas the remaining grain is made of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are fuel for doing work (or making fat reserves if you aren’t working at the same rate you are eating). Which makes sense when you consider that hunter/gatherers of the world do only 2–4 hours of work a day and us smart civilized people with our “labor-saving devices” work about 12–14 hours a day (unfortunately women in our society work significantly more than that) so we need that unnatural excess of carbohydrates to do all that extra labor.
Veganism and vegetarianism is only possible in the civilized world of B12 shots, vitamin supplements, strict and scientific dietary regimens and heavily processed soy products. These are dependant on the very system that exterminates life forms at an astonishing rate, which is a contradiction of the vegan ideals. I do not believe that these harmful effects can be eliminated from civilization; the entire package must be dumped to solve those problems.
What is the fundamental difference between killing a plant, an insect, an animal, an amphibian or a reptile anyway? Some people say plants don’t feel pain or comprehend their death. We may be more or less perceptive or empathetic of the changes they go through in anticipation of death, but all life forms go through those changes and they could all be called pain. Plants shrivel and wilt and their roots are slowly consumed by soil bacteria when they die and they send out chemical signals to alert nearby plants of danger (so they can boost their immune systems in case the danger is a disease). How can we discount the importance of their analogous screams and convulsions just because we can’t easily perceive them as such?
I do not condone eating conventional, domesticated animal products, or even plants products because they are raised in a manner disgraceful to life on earth, and often in ways that cause death row life forms that do not provide sustenance for the killers: coyotes die, “pests” die, soil bacteria doe, wolves dies, waters are poisoned, the atmosphere is polluted, “weeds” die, forests are cleared of ultra-productive ecosystems to make room for our paltry fields of grains, vegetables, and pastures. I propose we receive from the earth what is provided for us, rather than forcibly stealing land to use as we see fit and incarcerating animals to abuse and eat. Let’s minimize the amount of all life that we take rather than minimizing the death of an exclusive category of life that we artificially deem more important. Here is a scale that in my opinion accurately represents the amount of earth and life harmed in the production of a food source:
The further left you go on the chart, less damage is done to the environment and life in general. I’m trying to go all the way, but the milieu makes it quite difficult. Please everyone do the best you can! Stop raping the earth and taking from it whatever you desire, relax and trust that your needs will be met and trust yourself and you will be provided for free of charge. The earth is generous!