The Importance of Understanding Carnism for Meat Eaters

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The Importance of Understanding Carnism for Meat Eaters

[Ed. Note: It is absolutely a question of violating our personal integrity when we eat animals. For more about this issue, read Carnism - FAQ.]

From Carnism Awareness & Action Network

Most of us who have grown up eating meat don’t realize that every time we sit down to our food, we are acting in accordance with an invisible belief system that has shaped our thoughts, preferences, feelings and behaviors. We aren’t aware of how we have been conditioned to eat animals without considering the implications of our choices on ourselves or on others - or to even realize we are making choices at all.

If you eat meat, you need and deserve to know the truth about carnism so that you can make your choices freely, because without awareness, there is no free choice.

When we eat animals, we violate our personal integrity. Integrity is the integration of our values and practices. For most of us, our core value system does not condone gratuitous violence toward other sentient beings, so when we consume the products procured by their bodies we are acting in opposition to our deeper values.

Most of us who have grown up eating meat don’t realize that every time we sit down to our food, we are acting in accordance with an invisible belief system that has shaped our thoughts, preferences, feelings and behaviors. We aren’t aware of how we have been conditioned to eat animals without considering the implications of our choices on ourselves or on others - or to even realize we are making choices at all. This invisible belief system, carnism, has created the illusion that when we eat meat we are making our choices freely. But carnism is structured to enable humane people to participate in inhumane practices without realizing what they’re doing, to block our awareness so that we unknowingly act against our own interests and the interests of others. If you eat meat, you need and deserve to know the truth about carnism so that you can make your choices freely, because without awareness, there is no free choice.

How Carnism Impacts You and Your World

Eating is one of the most frequent and meaningful behaviors that we engage in. Our food choices have a direct and profound impact on our body, our mind, other humans, billions of animals, and our planet:

Carnism is a dominant, entrenched system; for better or worse, we are all participants in the system. Our choice is not whether we participate, but how we participate. With an awareness of carnism we can choose to be active witnesses rather than passive bystanders, informed consumers and empowered citizens. With awareness we can make choices that are in the best interest of ourselves, animals, and our planet, and live more authentic and freely chosen lives.