Food Rules For Eating Animals

There are many rules for eating, most of them surrounding the consumption of the flesh or reproductive secretions of non-human animals. The psychology of carnism is a very interesting topic with many puzzling and often discomforting nuances concerning food, clothing, “pets”, and all of our other exploitation of non-human animals. Humans, in general, seem to be very confused about their relationship to non-human animals, and in being so, construct all types of arbitrary rules and guidelines of what to avoid and what to ingest based on the morality and cultural acceptance of certain “foods” made from dismembered non-human animal parts and secretions. Many grey areas emerge. This is the enigmatic psychology of carnism. Defined narrowly, carnism is the ideology behind our decisions to eat, wear, or love some animals, and not others.  Broadly defined, and how the word will be used throughout this examination, is that carnism is the ideology that it is morally acceptable to exploit non-human animals as resources for humans. Basically, carnism is the opposite of veganism. This examination will concentrate on the subject of food in the western world and the ethics and culturogenic speciesism surrounding the choices stereotypical groups of eaters make, the rules they formulate concerning their diet, and the moral and logical inconsistency within those choices.

Carnists

Carnists eat foods that contradict their values to avoid unnecessary suffering. For this reason they mostly base their food choices on arbitrary species or cultural distinctions, though some try unsuccessfully to align their values with their diet, and some don’t have values pertaining to diet at all.

The Foodie Carnist- The foodie carnist is the least selective of those who hold the carnist ideology.  They are pretty much willing to try anything – any part of any plant or non-human animal, sex organs, brains, tongue, placenta, stomach lining, eyes, ears, nose, rectum, etc. They are like the garbage disposals of eaters. Only bacteria outmatch foodies in their desire for diversified gluttony; their insatiable appetite for rotting carcasses, fermented placenta and embryotic fluid – just a few of the “delicacies” ingested by these strange folk. No matter the extent of suffering inflicted to the meal – foie gras, veal, live sashimi – it is the duty of the foodie to disregard the violent past of their foods, and to only experience the present – no matter how unpalatable. There is no species too taboo for this scavenger-group. Cannibals are the only group that eats with less discernment than foodies.  Most of them, while they wouldn’t eat their dog, would eat dog. The Anthony Bourdains of the world (who very well could be closet cannibals) are only interested in the pursuit of individual pleasure, a totally self-centered world view that demonstrates the height of conceit present in modern human society.

Foodie Rules

  • (None. Maybe don’t eat humans or pets. Maybe.)

The Standard Carnist – The standard carnists’ diet consists mainly of edibles that are acceptable to the general population. While standards vary greatly from region to region, the carnists who follow them don’t. If mainstream society has deemed something or someone edible, they will eat it. If mainstream society has deemed it or him or her inedible, they will not. They leave it up to culture and tradition to decide their diet. For americans, this usually entails eating mostly the muscle tissue of a select few species of dead and dismembered non-human animals, the reproductive secretions of a few mammals and birds, and a somewhat diverse amount of non-animal matter.  For many standard eaters, leaving a non-human animal carcass physically intact, i.e. with the head attached, is unacceptable and the internal organs, facial organs, marrow, connective tissue, or cartilage are not consumed, but mainly for disgust reasons. However, the disgust is likely a reaction related to the ethical aspects of identifying with certain parts of the carcasses being similar to human parts, the empathy that is a natural biological response to the thought of the once living animal now butchered on the plate for the eater’s pleasure, evidencing in the form of cognitive moral dissonance that requires dismemberment of non-human animal carcasses to facilitate the enjoyment of the flesh consumed. Western standard eaters usually only find it morally acceptable to eat only a few species of animals – pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys, fish – maybe the occasional deer, rabbit, elk, or limited bird species; and most species are morally off-limits – dogs, cats, horses, all apes, dolphins, whales, zebras, manatees, etc. However, different parts of the world have completely different ethical rules about eating species that most standard westerners would find worthy of not-eating. The rules have become very complicated when deciding which animals are “okay” to eat and which are “not” for standard eaters of different regions, religions, or cultural backgrounds thanks to our global travel capabilities, but in every different culture, there are the standard eaters that consume whatever everyone else does, with very little thought about why they do or whether they should. Of all the ideologies of eating, the standard eater is the lemming. They let other people choose what they will eat. Sheep. Baa. (No offense, sheep.)

Standard Rules

Morally/Culturally Acceptable to Eat:

  • Plants
  • Fungi
  • The muscle tissue of pigs, cows, buffalo, chickens, sheep, goats, turkeys, a few species of fish, a few species of shellfish, a few species of crustaceans, a few species of mollusks, and maybe some  “game animals” like deer, elk, rabbits, pheasants, quail, etc.
  • Reproductive secretions of chickens, cows, goats, and sheep.
  • Secretions of bees
  • Processed bones, connective tissues, organs and intestines of chickens, turkeys, ducks, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses. (gelatin/hotdogs, etc.)

The Grey Area:

  • Veal
  • Foie gras
  • Snakes
  • Alligators
  • Frogs
  • Snails
  • Gizzards of chickens, turkeys, and ducks
  • Unprocessed livers of chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs, and cows
  • Unprocessed hearts of chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs and cows
  • Unprocessed hooves of pigs
  • Brain
  • Bull or buffalo testicles (Rocky Mountain oysters)

Not Morally (either superficially, or due to a physical disgust/empathy response) or Culturally (due to culturogenic disgust) Acceptable to Eat:

  • Pets
  • Muscle tissue of any mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian not mentioned above
  • Reproductive secretions of any mammal or bird not mentioned above
  • Reproductive secretions of reptiles and amphibians.
  • Testicles of any animal not mentioned above
  • Secretions of insects other than bees
  • Insects
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Noses
  • Lungs
  • Rectum
  • Penis
  • Vagina
  • Anus
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Tongue
  • Entrails

The “Conscientious” Carnist– “Conscientious” carnists have themselves convinced that torture and killing are conscientious, but excessive torture and the prolonged agony resulting in death are not. They are a little bit more involved with their food than standard carnists, but still rely heavily on cultural influence to dictate what is or is not edible for the most part. Baa. These extremely confused carnists have all the same cultural rules of eating as standard carnists, with the exception that they prefer the non-human animals that are exploited for their flesh and secretions be treated slightly less-torturous than the absolute maximum torture. This group coined the concept of and term “humane slaughter”, as if this is not as oxymoronic as “friendly fire” or “civil war”, and as if anyone with an iota of critical thinking ability could not see the flaws in. This group of carnists includes religious carnists who base their rules of slaughter on some notion of supernatural laws of “sacrifice” (as if the animal in question is a willing participant) or “respect” (Respect means killing in a certain way to these people) such as kosher or halal – which actually just turns out to be barbaric ritual slaughter in the tradition of the inhumane practices that took place in the horrific temples of bloody sacrifice called churches the members of Judeo-Christian religions have demonstrated throughout their history. Some eschew some species because they are “unclean”. Some religions eschew the flesh of non-human animals they consider sacred, while finding it morally acceptable to exploit those sacred animals for their reproductive excretions, but take no ethical issue with consuming the flesh of non-sacred non-human animals. While the non-human animals exploited “humanely” (it is unclear how one accomplishes this) might have a slightly better – though equally and disturbingly short – life than others, cows exploited for their secretions are still fisted in the rectum, their vaginas entered forcefully, their newborn babies stolen from them after a day or so. Turkeys still can’t reproduce through natural methods, forcing “humane” farmers to rely on force-insemination. Breeding is the lifeblood of farming, and every female farm animal’s reproductive cycle is manipulated against their will. For some reason these “conscientious” carnists think that a cow’s vagina is less important to the cow, than a human female’s vagina is to the human female, insofar as both animals want to be free from forceful reproductive violation. Why female carnists exist is a mystery in itself. Male chicks are still ground up alive, suffocated, or “disposed of” in another way. Male calves still get sent to veal farms. Pigs are still castrated. Regardless of what happens during life, they all meet the same deadly fate in the slaughterhouse, and this is the issue “conscientious” carnists avoid. No matter what the adjective is describing the farming method, all farm animals are born slaves and will die slaves. There is nothing “conscientious” about that. Many of the proponents of “conscientious” carnism who advocate “humane” slaughter, if asked to describe the “humane” slaughter of a dog, cat, or dolphin for food, come up short for replies, relying on an arbitrary species difference.  Never questioning our use of non-human animals – our exploitation of them for their flesh and secretions – the “concientious” carnivore is only worried about treatment – and only enough to prevent themselves from experiencing the suffering empathy causes them.

Mark Twain said it best:

“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can stand the pain of another creature straight along, without discomfort, until it’s pain gives us pain. Then we become immediately and creditably merciful. I suppose it is a pity that we have no higher motive for sparing pain to a fellow creature, still it is the cold truth – we have no higher one. We have no vestige of pity, not a single shred of it, for any creature’s misery until it reaches the point where the contemplation of it inflicts misery upon ourselves. This remark describes every human being who ever lived.”

“Conscientious” Rules

Morally/Culturally Acceptable to Eat:

  • Plants
  • Fungi
  • Muscle tissue of pigs, cows, buffalo, chickens, sheep, goats, turkeys, a few species of fish, a few species of shellfish, a few species of crustaceans, a few species of mollusks, and maybe some  “game animals” like buffalo deer, elk, rabbits, pheasants, quail, etc., labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”, “pastured”, “pasture-fed”, “grass-fed”, “free-range”, “cage-free”, meaning the animals were subjected to only slightly less torturous conditions before being decapitated, shot, clubbed, electrocuted, slit at the throat, gassed, or suffocated.
  • Reproductive secretions of chickens, cows, goats, and sheep labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Secretions of bees
  • Processed bones, connective tissues, organs and intestines of chickens, turkeys, ducks, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses. (gelatin)

The Grey Area:

  • Foie Gras labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Veal labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Gizzards of chickens, turkeys, and ducks labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Unprocessed livers of chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs, and cows labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Unprocessed hearts of chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs and cows labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Unprocessed hooves of pigs labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Brain labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Bull or buffalo testicles (Rocky Mountain oysters) labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Snakes labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Alligators labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Frogs labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…
  • Snails labeled “humanely raised”, “humanely slaughtered”…

Not Morally/Culturally Acceptable to Eat:

  • Pets
  • Muscle Tissue of any mammal, bird, fish, crustacean, shellfish, mollusk, reptile or amphibian mentioned above who was subjected to gratuitously inhumane treatment before being decapitated, shot, clubbed, electrocuted, slit at the throat, gassed, or suffocated.
  • Reproductive secretions of any mammal, bird, fish, reptile or amphibian mentioned above who was subjected to gratuitously inhumane treatment before being decapitated, shot, clubbed, electrocuted, slit at the throat, gassed, or suffocated.
  • Muscle tissue of any mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian not mentioned above
  • Reproductive secretions of reptiles and amphibians.
  • Reproductive secretions of any mammal or bird not mentioned above
  • Testicles of any animal not mentioned above
  • Secretions of insects other than bees
  • Insects
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Noses
  • Lungs
  • Rectum
  • Penis
  • Vagina
  • Anus
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Tongue
  • Entrails

The (Lacto-Ovo) Pescetarian – This group of carnists’ rules are generally the same as the standard carnists’, except with a more limited view of which non-human animals are acceptable to exploit. Curious is the allowance of one, and only one type of flesh, flesh from the sea. It is likely the ethical reasoning behind this dietary choice is based on the misinformation that fish do not feel pain. There is no evidence to believe this is true. Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and shellfish have all the necessary parts for feeling pain and suffering that humans that other animals do. They feel pain and it makes absolutely no sense to believe otherwise. While they usually include shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other “fish-like” species, pescoes don’t eat all of the sea flesh available – they usually refrain from consuming animals such as dolphins, whales, manatee, etc. on moral grounds. Maybe because these species are mammals, and under the assumption that fish don’t feel pain and mammals do, they refrain from consuming them? Do these people even know that dolphins are mammals, or is the choice another arbitrary species distinction? It is somewhat understandable for an uneducated person to draw a moral distinction between flesh and secretions, under the assumption that exploiting non-human animals for their secretions does not result in the death of those animals, but to single out an entire class of animal…wow. In any case, of all the sects of the cult(ure) of carnism, these profoundly speciesist members are the most perplexing.

Pescetarian Rules

Morally/Culturally Acceptable to Eat:

  • Plants
  • Fungi
  • Muscle tissue of a few species of fish, a few species of shellfish, a few species of crustaceans,  and a few species of mollusks.
  • Reproductive secretions of chickens, cows, goats, and sheep who, after years of reproductive exploitation, all end up decapitated, shot, clubbed, electrocuted, slit at the throat, gassed, or suffocated.
  • Secretions of bees

The Grey Area:

  • Cheese made with sheep’s rennet
  • Processed bones, connective tissues, organs and intestines of chickens, turkeys, ducks, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses. (gelatin)
  • Muscle tissue of amphibians

Not Morally/Culturally Acceptable to Eat:

  • Pets
  • Muscle Tissue of any mammal, bird, or reptile
  • Reproductive secretions of any mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian not mentioned above
  • Secretions of insects other than bees
  • Insects
  • Eyes
  • Offal

The Lacto-Ovo (Secretionist)– This group of carnists’, the secretionists, adds one more rule to the list of no-no’s present in the different sects of dietary speceisism. No flesh. Assumedly under the false notion that exploiting non-human animals for their secretions does not result in the death of those animals, lacto-ovo carnists eschew flesh of any kind. What secretionists seem to fail to realize is that all the animals they support the exploitation of end up in the same slaughterhouse as the animals they don’t support the exploitation of. Further, the consumption of cow’s milk, or rape juice, is directly responsible for the veal industry. Steer’s genitals are often sexually mutilated or removed to provide farmers with testers for the breeding readiness of cows. When cow’s milk prices go down, entire herds get “culled” to drive production down, and therefor prices up. These are just a few examples of the atrocities these self-proclaimed, and so-called “vegetarians” support. There is no moral distinction between flesh and secretions, and no vegetarian would eat a secretion from an animal. Vegetarians eat vegetables.

Secretionist Rules

Morally/Culturally Acceptable to Eat:

  • Plants
  • Fungi
  • Reproductive secretions of chickens, cows, goats, and sheep who, after years of reproductive exploitation, all end up decapitated, shot, clubbed, electrocuted, slit at the throat, gassed, or suffocated.
  • Secretions of bees

The Grey Area:

  • [Cheese made with] sheep’s rennet
  • Processed bones, connective tissues, organs and intestines of chickens, turkeys, ducks, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses. (gelatin)

Not Morally/Culturally Acceptable to Eat:

  • Pets
  • Muscle tissue of any animal
  • Reproductive secretions of any mammal or bird not mentioned above
  • Reproductive secretions of reptiles and amphibians.
  • Secretions of insects other than bees
  • Insects
  • Eyes
  • Offal

The Traveller– Travellers have a hard time knowing what the rules are. When in Korea, eating dog is acceptable. In Japan, whale meat is still consumed. From 100-year eggs to Rocky Mountain oysters, seals to insects, the rules are always changing. For some the rule is “when in Rome”, similar to a foodie carnist. For others, the rule is “go with what you know” similar to a standard carnist.  Because of the cognitive dissonance in every day carnism, it is especially hard to determine what’s edible on the road.

Of course there are other groups, such as the “conscientious foodie”, or the “Non-Lacto-pesce-sometimes-steak-itarian”, but they’re retarded.  Or more retarded, rather.

None of the ways in which humans exploit non-human animals are necessary in any meaningful sense of the word, including for food. The majority of members of these groups share the same universal moral value that animals should not be killed, or made to suffer unnecessarily.  All of these groups contradict that universal value by exploiting non-human animals for the taste of their flesh or secretions.  Many of the members of these groups have non-human animal companions they consider members of the family, who refuse to eat some non-human animals like dogs, cats, or dolphins on moral grounds, but eat the flesh and secretions of other equally sentient non-human animals, purely on the arbitrary basis of species membership. The decisions to eat some animals and not others, to include some as members of the family and eat others, to consume the reproductive fluids of mammals into adulthood, shows how ridiculous and arbitrary cultural and moral decisions about carnists’ diets are. Foodies, are the least confused about their moral and cultural rules for eating in that they have none; they treat most non-human animals equally by consuming any non-human animal, or any part or secretion of any non-human animal, they don’t personally know. Pescetarians have to be the most confused and illogical – choosing habitat, species membership and cultural inclinations to guide their choices. And then there is another, less confused group:

Vegetarians

Vegetarians eat foods that correspond with their values to avoid causing unnecessary suffering. For this reason, they eat only plant-based foods.

Vegetarian Rules

Morally/Culturally Acceptable to Eat:

  • Plants
  • Fungi

The Grey Area:

  • None

Not Morally Acceptable to Eat:

  • Any parts of any animals or any of their secretions.

Many people think it is hard to be vegan. According to these lists, it seems as though carnists are the ones who make it hard for themselves. It is easy to live a compassionate, healthy life where the only rule is to boycott suffering. ‘Nuff Said.

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