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Every day we engage in a behavior that is completely contrary
to how we would optimally function.
And I'm not talking about a modern technological practice
such as posting embarrassing snapshots of one's unsuspecting partner on Facebook.
I'm talking about an integral human behavior.
I'm talking about a deeply intimate behavior.
Every day we engage in a behavior that requires us
to distort our thoughts, numb our feelings
and act against our core values,
and which enables a global atrocity
that can make even the most stoic of us weep in sorrow.
And every day we could choose not to engage in this behavior,
except we don't realize that it's irrational.
We don't see that it's destructive and we don't even know we have a choice.
How can some of the most frequent and important choices we make,
appear not to be choices at all?
How can the irrationality and destruction of a widespread behavior
be virtually invisible?
These are the questions I asked when I began my nearly two decades of research
on the psychology of eating animals.
And what I discovered was not at all what I had expected.
As it turns out, there's a distinct underlying factor
that both drives our behavior and prevents us
from recognizing its irrationality and the destruction it causes.
I identified and codified this factor
and I'm here to share my findings with you.
And the good news is that simply becoming aware of this factor
enables us to reclaim our rationality and freedom of choice
and become more active participants in creating a humane and just world.
My journey of discovery began in 1968,
25 years before I set foot in my first Harvard lecture.
And nearly fifty years before
I received the Ahimsa Award at the British House of Commons
for my work on global non-violence.
I'm 48. Thank you.
My family adopted a puppy we named Fritz.
Now, Fritz was my first dog and he was also my first friend.
We did everything together.
We played together. We napped together.
And we even vomited together once during a sickening road trip.
And Fritz was also my first heartbreak
when he died at the age of 13 of liver cancer.
What I didn't realize back then was that my connection with Fritz
would lead to a discovery that would transform my worldview.
So I cared about Fritz and I'm not unique.
Most of us care about animals.
We teach our children to be kind to animals.
Our hearts leap when we witness them at play.
We recognize the injustice and feel outraged when they are abused.
We empathize with animals.
We share their fear, their joy, their sorrow.
And how many of you have cared about a certain animal in your life?
Just raise your hand.
Now look around the room.
That's a whole lot of caring.
So to explain how my connection with my dog
led me to this stage, I'd like to do a thought experiment.
Imagine that you're a guest at a dinner party
and your host serves you a dish that looks like this.
Consider whether you find this delicious or disgusting.
For those who would find it delicious,
imagine you find it so delicious that you ask your host for the recipe.
And she replies the secret is in the meat.
You use three pounds of well-seasoned -
Golden Retriever.
Now take a moment to reflect on your thoughts and feelings.
Chances are, what you had just thought of as food,
you now think of as a dead animal.
What you just felt was delicious, you now feel is disgusting.
Chances are, your experience of the meat dramatically changed.
Even though nothing about the meat itself actually changed.
So what changed?
Well, what changed is your perception of the meat.
When it comes to eating animals our perception is shaped
largely, if not entirely, by our culture.
In meat-eating cultures around the world,
out of over seven million animal species,
people tend to classify only a handful as edible.
All the rest are inedible and disgusting.
So the question is, why are we not disgusted
by the select species we have learned to think of as edible?
And why don't we ever ask why?
Have you ever wondered why you might eat certain animals but not others?
Have you ever wondered why you haven't wondered?
For much of my life I never wondered about my choice to eat certain animals
because I never even knew I had a choice.
No one had ever asked me if I believed in eating animals.
Eating animals was just a given.
So, I never thought about how strange it was
that I could pet my dog with one hand, while I ate a pork chop with the other.
A pork chop that had once been an animal
who was at least as sentient and intelligent as my dog.
And frankly I didn't want to think about this contradiction;
it was just easier not to.
It wasn't until 1989 that I started asking why.
I had been hospitalized after eating what would be my very last hamburger.
A burger that was contaminated with the dangerous bacteria Campylobacter.
After being so sick I swore off meat.
And then something interesting happened.
When I stopped eating animals I had a paradigm shift.
In other words, I didn't see different things,
I saw the same things differently.
Beef stew seemed no different than golden retriever stew.
And everywhere I turned I saw people putting the bodies of dead animals
into their mouth as though nothing at all were wrong.
So I became very curious as to how rational caring people, like myself,
could just stop thinking and feeling.
Well, two advanced degrees later, I had my answer.
And this is what I discovered:
There is an invisible belief system or ideology
that conditions us to eat certain animals.
And I named the system: Carnism.
We tend to assume that only vegans and vegetarians follow a belief system.
But 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.
Now carnism is a dominant ideology.
Meaning that it's so widespread,
its doctrine is seen as a given rather than a choice.
Eating animals is just the way things are.
And it is a violent ideology.
Meat cannot be procured without violence.
And egg and dairy production cause extensive harm to animals.
Ideologies such as carnism run counter to core human values.
Values such as compassion, justice and authenticity.
And so they need to use defense mechanisms
that distort our thoughts and numb our feelings
so that we act against our values without fully realizing what we are doing.
Now, the main defense of carnism is denial,
which is expressed largely through invisibility.
The ideology itself is invisible
and so are its victims.
For instance, 1.2 billion farmed animals are slaughtered globally every week.
So in one week more farmed animals are killed
than the total number of people killed in all wars throughout history.
But how many of these animals have you seen?
Where are they?
Approximately 98 percent of the meat, eggs and dairy we eat
comes from animals who were raised in factory farms.
Windowless sheds in remote locations
that are virtually impossible to obtain access to.
Yet, although these animals are treated as commodities,
they are in fact sentient, intelligent individuals
with lives that matter to them.
In a moment I'm going to show a two-minute video
of animal factories which can be difficult to watch.
So I want to remind you that my intention is simply to raise awareness.
So I have to make the invisible visible.
I've selected material that I think is sufficient to inform you,
without traumatizing you.
But if it's too difficult to watch, just close your eyes and plug your ears.
Piglets are castrated by workers who cut into their skin
and rip out their testicles.
(Piglet squeal)
Next the workers chop off their tail.
Once pigs have reached market weight, they are sent to slaughter.
At the slaughterhouse pigs are knocked in the head with a steal rod,
hung upside down and have their throats slit.
(Pig squeal)
Improper stunning condemns many pigs
to having their throats slit while they are fully conscious and suffering.
Because male chicks don't lay eggs,
and do not grow quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat,
they are killed within hours after hatching.
The females have it even worse.
Workers use a hot blade or laser to remove part of the chicks' beaks.
At the slaughter plant, the birds are dumped from their crates,
then roughly snapped upside down
into moving shackles by their fragile legs.
They are then pulled across a blade which slices their throats
causing blood to pour from their necks.
Calves on dairy farms are dragged away from their mothers and violently killed.
The majority of today's dairy cows are confined on factory farms.
Workers subject young cows to painful mutilations and amputations.
Unreliable stunning practices at the slaughterhouse
condemn many cattle to having their throats cut,
their limps hacked off while still alive and conscious.
Massive trawling nets indiscriminately drag hundreds of tons
of fish and other animals along the ocean floor.
They are then tossed on board,
where the surviving fish either suffocate or are crushed to death.
Melanie Joy: Thank you.
I know it can be painful to see that.
Fortunately for us the hard part is over.
But before we move on I want to just point out
that this footage focuses on standard industry practices
including in so-called humane or bio facilities.
And I also want to point out that there is a gift in our pain.
Our pain is the mirror in which we can see the reflection of our humanity.
So, clearly the animals pay for our carnism.
But we are also victims of the system.
We pay for our carnism with our health,
as eating an animal-based diet can lead to serious disease,
while eating a plant-based or vegan diet can optimize health.
And we pay for our carnism with our hearts and with our minds,
with our dampened empathy and diminished objectivity.
But, of course, invisibility alone cannot maintain the system.
Hints of the truth surround us.
So another defense is necessary:
And the way that we learn to justify eating animals is by learning to believe
that the myths of meat, eggs and dairy are the facts of meat, eggs and dairy.
These myths are expressed largely through what I refer to as:
The 3 N's of Justification.
Eating animals is - What do you think?
You're good. That. Great. Okay.
Natural - and -
And haven't we heard this somewhere before?
Slavery is normal, natural and necessary.
Male dominance is normal, natural and necessary.
Heterosexual supremacy is normal, natural and necessary.
And as with other dominant violent ideologies,
the myths of carnism are institutionalized.
So carnistic bias is embedded within the very foundations of the system.
And when we are born into an institutionalized system, such as carnism,
we inevitably internalize it;
we learn to look at the world through the lens of carnism.
And carnism uses a set of defenses
that distort our perceptions of farmed animals.
For instance, carnism teaches us to see farmed animals as abstractions,
as lacking any individuality or personality of their own.
A pig is a pig and all pigs are the same.
And carnism blinds us to the absurdities of the system.
Voltaire was right.
If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.
And carnism is but one of the many atrocities,
one of the many violent ideologies,
that are an unfortunate part of the human legacy.
And although the experience of each set of victims
will always be somewhat unique, the ideologies themselves are similar,
the mentality that enables such violence is the same.
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 to feel justified in our actions
because they are only:
It is the mentality of meat.
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.
But if we identify these common threads,
then we can unravel atrocities in all forms.
And so, this brings us to our final question.
What is the solution?
How can we lead more authentic and freely chosen lives
and bring our optimal selves into the world?
Well, it turns out the solution is already in our grasp.
Seventeen minutes ago you may not have been aware of carnism,
the invisible ideology that disconnects us
from our rationality, our feelings and our values.
And which enables a massive global injustice.
You couldn't see carnism.
Now you can.
Now you are aware.
Your awareness is the first step of the solution.
And acting from your awareness is the rest.
And awareness has always been the antidote to violent ideologies.
Virtually every atrocity was made possible
because the populace turned away from a reality,
they felt was too painful to face.
And virtually every revolution,
every social transformation, was made possible
because of those who chose awareness
and who acted on what they had learned.
And the good news is that there is an alternative to carnism.
The vegan movement, which is the counterpoint to carnism,
is one of the fastest growing
social justice movements in the world today.
And the good news is also that we can make minor changes
that will have a major impact.
We can reduce and ultimately eliminate our consumption of meat, eggs and dairy.
To start, we can eat just one vegan meal a day,
or one vegan day a week.
And we can spread carnism awareness,
which is the mission of my organization: Beyond Carnism.
It's simple.
If each of us shares this talk with everyone we know,
and they do the same,
carnism awareness will inevitably reach critical mass,
and will bring about a global paradigm shift.
So we have the potential to change the world,
if you believe that carnism awareness is an idea worth spreading.
Thank you.


【TEDx】摒棄肉食主義,迎向理性 - 真誠的食物選擇 (Beyond Carnism and toward Rational, Authentic Food Choices | Melanie Joy | TEDxMünchen)

16402 分類 收藏
林曉玉 發佈於 2015 年 4 月 29 日
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