In ancient Greek mythology, the three Furies (the Erinyes) were goddesses of retribution who punished human beings for committing crimes against the natural order. It is long past time for us to awaken to the basic fact that our enslavement, sexual abuse, and killing of billions of cows, chickens, and other fully sentient animals is a dreadful and massive crime against them, against the Earth and the natural order, and, ultimately, against ourselves.
It is time for us to realize that we are indeed being severely punished for this ongoing crime of animal agriculture. Animal agriculture is the hideous spinning fury at the core of our culture, sowing seeds of disease, exploitation, and conflict that we can see erupting as tyrannical oppression and as mental, physical, and social disease virtually everywhere in our world. To free ourselves from this ongoing punishment that we inflict upon ourselves and each other, we are called to liberate animals from human maltreatment. This is the essential and hidden pre-requisite to peace and freedom.
The consequences of failing to understand this basic lesson are multiplying exponentially. As we reduce animals to livestock and as we track, force medicate, and exploit them, we inevitably face retribution for these crimes and find ourselves similarly tracked, coerced, and exploited as mere livestock. As the old saying goes, the punishment fits the crime.
Although we’ve all been given the gift of physical bodies that don’t require any animals to suffer to get all the nutrients we need, the problem is that we are all born into a culture where we are compelled from infancy to participate in meals that include the flesh and secretions of severely abused animals. We are all thus wounded in profound and intractable ways. As discussed in The World Peace Diet, meals are actually rituals that inject into us, without our permission or awareness, a toxic narrative that erodes our compassion, intelligence, and self-respect. Because our meals are our most intimate connection with nature and with our culture, with every meal we effectively disconnect from discomforting implicit realities, and practice ritually dismantling our inherent capacities to look deeply, listen deeply, care deeply, and understand deeply.
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