Steak and Empathy

This is an odd thought to ponder while finishing a delicious steak, but regardless of whether we reincarnate, humans as a whole do receive reciprocal negative treatment as dished out to animals. E.g. the logistics and ethics behind a system of confining, force-feeding and arbitrarily terminating animals are mirrored in the degree of freedom, health and personal dignity of citizens/subjects vis-a-vis “the rulers”. Cue the side-by-side images of Holocaust-bound Jews and slaughterhouse-destined cattle. So far there’s nothing unique about these notions.

What I’ve seen less of, on the other hand, is a picture of what the corresponding political-economic order is to the “be kind to animals” vegan/vegetarianism ethic. Just look at the way agriculture has shaped civilization. In a way, the way we get nutrients into our bodies guides the way we govern, play, trade, make war and – if you believe the archaeological theories – even pray. 

Examples abound. It’s easier to farm as a community/family than alone. Slaves/peasants grow food for feudal lords, while destroying food production is the best way of crushing an enemy’s resistance. Women sell their bodies to feed themselves or their families. Outer space colonization depends on the ability to grow food beyond Earth.

Given all this, it seems the shift away from eating animals would require an amazing and radical new matrix of technology, communication, empathy, climate, etc. – if not also “reprogramming” human biology.

That’s why I think some form veganism/vegetarianism is an evolutionary *possibility*. It’s possible that when sufficiently feeding the whole of humanity no longer requires meat, we may have progressed beyond other limitations as well.

Until then, I really enjoyed my steak with avocado, mango and oyster sauced kale.

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