Cognitive Dissonance Vol. 3 – I Told You So
NOUN psychology cognitive dissonance (noun)
the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.
One of the most common manifestations of cognitive dissonance in our day and age is our treatment of non-humans. Although there is now a clear and present shift in consciousness toward unlimited compassion happening in the world, as evidenced by movements like Veganuary, as well as by the popularity of brilliant documentaries like Dominion and Seaspiracy, most of us still continue to casually ignore the atrocity of animal agribusiness. Well, nobody ever accused The Truth of being easy. But as we stand on the precipice of what scientists are calling The 6th Mass Extinction, with animal agribusiness leading the charge against nature itself, it has never been more important for us to face The Truth.
Perhaps the most difficult burden that The Truth puts upon us is the call to action. To heed the call. To change. To modify our behavior into a state of harmony with what we now can no longer deny. Unfortunately, in our day in age, it is not uncommon for people to be:
· Standing for the well-being of “pets” while ignoring the suffering of “livestock”
· Standing against human exploitation while supporting non-human exploitation
· Standing for human freedom while paying for non-human slavery
· Standing for justice for humans while ignoring the injustices against non-humans
· Standing for humanity while living in the inhumanity of violence against non-humans
· Standing for “humane slaughter” while ignoring the fact that no one wants to become someone else's meal
· Standing for health while ignoring the fact that animal product diets are the leading cause of death in America
· Standing for human health at the expense of non-human health
· Standing for the environment while paying for the most environmentally destructive industry
· Standing for compassion while limiting that compassion to humans and “pets”
· Standing against violence while paying for it at the dinner table
· Standing against simulated violence in media while paying for real violence at the grocery store
· Standing for understanding while refusing to bear witness to the truth
· Standing for love while paying for murder
· Standing for spiritual enlightenment and healing while constantly consuming unnecessary suffering
· Standing for Black Americans while paying for their homes to be sprayed with pig feces
· Standing for female empowerment while violating the lives and reproductive systems of non-human females
· Standing for workers’ rights while paying for an industry that exploits them for doing traumatic, unnecessary work
· Standing for pandemic safety while paying for pandemic-producing “products”
· Standing for non-human rights as long as they can still have their cheese
I am no stranger to this state of being. I lived with this cognitive dissonance for 48 years (and yes, I am most certainly including the 25+ years I thought my being vegetarian was helping). I am intimately aware of the power that the animal agribusiness narrative has over one’s choices. I know how hard it is to leave The Meatrix. I wasn't always making life choices in consistency with the truth about factory farming. I carry the truth of my cognitive dissonance with me because I recognize the power of humility.
As a refugee from that internal battle, my heart and my door can only remain open to all who will find their way out of this cognitive dissonance. Once you let The Truth in, you will discover that the only thing now missing from your life is your participation in unnecessary, world-destructive cruelty. You don’t have to give up anything else that you stand for to stand for non-humans, Mother Nature, and the future of human existence. In fact, veganism is the perfect complement to every progressive movement (see my article Veganism is for YOU!). And let me tell you: the food is delicious and nutritious.
I wish it were enough to simply tell you...to share the cold, hard science with you. But if it were that simple, we'd all be vegan already. As a wise character once said, "No one can tell you what the [Meatrix] is; you have to see it for yourself." Once you let The Truth in, you will see:
· There is limited mental/physical/spiritual health OR vegan
· There is limited compassion OR vegan
· There is animal abuse OR vegan
· There are zoonotic pandemics OR vegan
· There is global warming OR vegan
· There is global extinction OR vegan
I will be here, on the other side, waiting for you. Just so I don’t spoil that moment for you when you arrive, I’ll get this out of the way now: I told you so. Not because it gives me pleasure to do so, but because it may help you to see why the hardest thing about being vegan is trying to understand why everyone isn't.