Has carnism gone too far?

Social IssuesCulture

  • Author Denis Jalsovec
  • Published August 27, 2021
  • Word count 1,046

Society and environmental conditioning have been causing significant pressure and impact on our decisions, as well as the eating norms, so it’s not uncommon that people give up their ideas, succumb to peer pressure, and blindly follow what the majority does, without ever questioning it. Over the last few decades, due to the farming industry and media propaganda, society has been favoring carnism which has been making a lot of people unaware that there are better dietary options to consider.

This high-level human and non-human animal exploitation has caused clear-cut moral and empathy issues in humans, severe agony, pain, and death for non-human animals, as well as pollution and climate issues for our planet.

How did all this go unnoticed?

In short, the law approves the killing of animals, and because of its acceptance, people feel like it is completely fine to support that, at least for food. Media is propagating and advertising whitewashed commercials funded by the animal agriculture industry which are designed to show the animal products in the best light, while frantically hiding the bitter truth of the production process. People are also linked to their favorite meals and food preparations by cultural habits and tradition, and that's why tradition is one of the main influencing factors of our diet preferences.

All that influence is passed down to our grandparents, parents, friends, teachers, or any other authority that have a direct impact on our diet preferences. The last thing is one's own mindset; beliefs, attitude, empathy, openness, willingness to change, and the extent to which one allows oneself to live according to other people’s beliefs.

However, we all like to have a sense of belonging and enjoy being accepted by the environment, especially by our families and friends. Although it's a beautiful and positive thing to leave carnism, it also brings with it certain issues that are usually linked to society's perception of a vegan diet.

The problems start when people cannot perceive a reason for the transition to a vegan lifestyle, so by comparing themselves with vegans, they attempt to justify their own bad beliefs and actions by guilt-tripping or using another manipulative move to disprove the harsh truth and gain their own moral victory.

When changing our eating habits, sometimes our loved ones may see us as outsiders who are not complying with their moral guidelines, and they may subconsciously wonder why we don't want to be like them.

Unfortunately, transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is provoking severe cognitive dissonance in many individuals that may be our parents or friends, and to avoid being rejected, some codependent people may find challenging to make this transition and rather choose to stay in the crowd.

The reason for adhering to social norms is usually a sense of safety and protection within the crowd, but also fear of rejection, ridicule, negative judgment, self-doubt, loss of social recognition and acceptance.

While conforming is not always a bad thing, what happens when you conform to carnism?

By conforming and adopting the wrong behavioral patterns, we become part of a society whose engineering is to change perceptions about diet, maintain a low level of awareness, and drag others down into the same system. In other words, we participate in the unnecessary killing of animals while sending a toxic message about the acceptability of torturing animals without remorse and convincing others to do the same.

Despite that, the majority still mechanically follow the behavioral patterns of society instead of utilizing their own thinking and reasoning skills that they already possess.

Frankly speaking, conformity is positive in certain situations, but to obey the exploitative social order that approves the unnecessary killing of animals absolutely loses all meaning.

If we have friends or family members that are doing something unethical, that’s not a reason to copy them. We have control over our decisions, and we can choose to be ethical no matter what others do.

How to keep your cool?

In order to successfully resist social pressure and other environmental influences, it is very important to understand why you are introducing such a change in your lifestyle. If your reason is ethics that is based on a hard truth, there is nothing that could manipulate you into thinking that killing and torturing animals is necessary.

To begin with, it is imperative to know that the decision of the majority is neither a moral guideline nor a measure of validity! When it comes to dietary ethics, you are following the truth, not society.

If you feel that exploiting animals for human benefit is not the right thing to support, take a firm stand on it and don’t let the current social norms create obstacles in your lifestyle. It is important to understand that most people have an irrational view of food ethics, so have patience while speaking to carnists as you are encountering different beliefs, opposing views, and sometimes, extreme behavior.

Guard yourself with knowledge and don’t let small-minded people hold you back. When some individuals sense their own lack of ability to understand a positive lifestyle like veganism, they may easily become burdened by cognitive dissonance, especially when dealing with fixed-mindset individuals. These closed-minded individuals usually have a huge disconnect between loving animals and eating them, they only stick to their beliefs with low motivation to change. In this case, you may even reconsider entering any ethics-related conversation because very often, it just leads nowhere.

Sometimes, one of these closed-minded people could be our parent or friend, and being surrounded by them won't really offer you genuine support. Typically, under the veil of good intentions, they attempt to pull you down to their level so that they could feel superior, achieve their own moral victory and dominance. If you are dealing with toxic “crab mentality” people, try to surround yourself with optimistic, supportive, and positive people who have the ability to understand your positive shift.

However, mind yourself that veganism is based on truth rather than beliefs so it is much more important to convey social truth and help to create a better society for everyone's sake. Take a firm stand about it, ignore the naysayers, speak the truth, and educate others as this is the best way to make a positive change in society.

Hi, my name is Denis. I am helping to create a better world.


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