In a fast-food world and a meat consuming global culture, everything around us promotes food quantity over food quality.Growing up in a Mediterranean city, I’ve always tried to consume thoughtful portions of food, and to balance my plate. I always linked eating healthfully with identifying both the right portions and the right components. I stopped eating meat 7 months ago, after travelling abroad and spending the entire summer with a vegan friend, who found both the courage and the right recipes to shift to Veganism.
While participating at The 2017 Nexus Global Summit, that was held from 26-28 July in New York City, I was glad not only because the topic of animal welfare was included, but also the food served at the catering was vegan friendly.
One of the talks that resonated with me was Dr. Melanie Joy’s talk on Carnism. Dr Melanie is an American social psychologist and vegan activist. The name of her book was catchy and controversial, she’s the author of the book ‘Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows’, in her book she introduces Carnism, as an atrocity, and a dominant violent ideology of eating meat, so dominant that it seem as a given rather than a choice.
Carnism is institutionalized, and embedded in our mindsets. The need and necessity of eating meat, teaches us to see farmed animals as abstractions.
It was so interesting to watch the video of the campaign; First European restaurant to serve cats:
The video introduces meat as an integral human behavior, that requires us to distort our thoughts, numb our feelings and act against our core values. The question Dr Melanie asked was how some of the most frequent and important choices we make, doesn’t seem as choices at all?
The day after Nexus, I participated at my first vegan luncheon ever. It was organized by Nexus and Dr. Melanie in a Vegan restaurant. She wanted to talk further about the topic with us and answer questions that we had from her talk on the topic. We shared more thoughts about the sexual politics of meat eaters, the global atrocity, the psychology of social change and Vegan awareness.
Nexus isn’t just a global conference, it’s a global movement. At the end of the day we all dream of sharing a world of empathy and compassion. but what are we actually doing to shift social conscious towards such meaningful values?
Dr. Melanie Joy’s TEDx Talk Beyond Carnism and towards rational food choices: