Oh, yes the glorious battle of englightment- awaking from the beverages of medieval times. If only history was that clear cut.
It turns out coffee send some shizos into revolutionary overdrive, supresses anxiety and thus allows a mumbling bundle, to develop into a paranoia-ignoring, revolutionary zealot, capable to incite others- even though there exist no plan, not strategy and sometimes even quite progressive kings or queens, battling with trader aristocracys who want to keep the peasants uneducated.
TL,DR; New substances have funny side-effects.
PS: Also alcohol is my favourite suspect when it comes to the question- why did humanity settle down? Harvest the wild wheat and move on like a true nomad- or stay and grow it..
Nothing that ingenious and labourfull then a unwillingly sobber alcoholic. But it does not make for nice museum texts:
"Here we see the first settlements- men settled down, because they where thirsty and needed the wheat and barley, and a nomadic existance was cumbersome with all those earthen kegs to move around."
One of the things that bothers me most about modern food culture is the lack of reverence for the animal that was slaughtered for you to enjoy. With that said, I actually think he did a good job showing gratitude for the animal in that docu-series. Its the least meat eaters can do for themselves.
I'll respond to your tu quoque with some very relevant quotes.
Charles Darwin: "There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties . . . The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery."
Leo Tolstoy: "A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral."
Carl Sagan: "Humans–who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals–have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us."
Well, we can’t really eat raw meat without getting sick and I don’t think raw meat is appetizing to many people. We’re kind of in a class of our own.
Another relevant quote:
Plutarch: “There is nobody that is willing to eat even a lifeless and a dead thing even as it is; so they boil it, and roast it, and alter it by fire and medicines, as it were, changing and quenching the slaughtered gore with thousands of sweet sauces, that the palate being thereby deceived may admit of such uncouth fare.”
I suspect raw would be fine if the meat was actually fresh but there's always days between slaughter and plate, so the meat is effectively decomposing by the time we cook.
Another point is that the more you cook red meat, the higher the chance you'll get cancer.
My personal anecdote also tells me that the rarest the steak, the easier the digestion and the greater the benefits (muscle gain, workout performance and appetite control). I usually eat low-carb and near zero grains and cereals though. As always with personal anecdotes, YMMV.
Nothing of that answers what do you do to show gratitude for the plants you kill for your enjoyment. It's the least plant eaters can do for themselves. (A little step beyond that reverence would be trying not to be self-righteous).
Oh, don't be mistaken, I have plenty of vegetarian and vegan friends that aren't self-righteous. It wasn't an assumption based on putting you in a category, rather a commentary of the way you look down on others.
Slaughtering or mutilating the plants you raised yourself doesn't look like revering them too much. Looks like just raising them for your own satisfaction of tasting their flavor.
This got me thinking... How do we determine which organisms feel pain? Presence of a central nervous system? What about jellyfish or octopi or lobsters? Kingdom animalia? Why not bacteria or plants? They reproduce and have some sort of consciousness. Plants bend towards sunlight.
I used to consider myself Buddhist so I still don’t kill any living beings as a habit... not even mosquitos. But now that I think about it, I have no problems killing bacteria or viruses. I consume a lot of pea protein powder - mainly for aesthetic reasons - am I being unethical?
It's not a great solution, but it's the one that mostly sort of works for me: I tend to think of the evolutionary divergence tree as a bit of a family tree.
I absolutely would never eat our brothers/sisters in the hominids and apes/chimpanzees.
I've been growing increasingly concerned about our relationships with and our eating of our first cousins, the other mammals (pigs, cows, etc).
I'm less concerned about our second/third cousins the avian dinosaurs (chicken, turkey), and fish/crustaceans.
I don't worry about distant cousins in the plants, and fungi families.
Bacteria, viruses, insects are pretty far removed from us on the evolutionary family tree.
It's certainly complicated to think of it as a moral spectrum, with no easy/black-and-white answers, but that certainly seems to be the case. At some point I suppose you just have to make rules of thumb, and live with what makes you most comfortable/happy as best you see fit. Minimizing others' suffering is certainly a lofty goal, just don't mistake the perfect of "eliminate all suffering" with the good of "eliminate what suffering I can as best I am able".
I think that’s the conclusion I ultimately reached. At one point I have to choose my principles, or rules of thumb, and realize that objectively, they’re going to be arbitrary, and intimately connected to my own set of circumstances most of which I had no control over.
That's the thing though. The behavior change is to not eat meat. If I care so little for this thing that I'm willing to have it enslaved and slaughtered for my mild culinary amusement, what is there realistically to do other than pay hollow lip service? If we gave enough of a shit to do anything of substance, we just wouldn't eat the animals.
ha yea the fungi really dont get enough credit. they did a lot to make the planet habitable back in the day before much else existed on land and then much later on you have mushrooms entering the early human's diet causing all sorts of eh, "trouble"
It's not like people suffering from celiac's disease and eating gluten fail to thrive in our society. They still reproduce and raise families, most people do. How is evolution going to improve that situation?
The evolutionary selection pressure found in modern society is not the same as for most of human history. Celiac's was not a issue before agriculture (no wheat) and the genes responsible have been under negative selection since the rise of agriculture in Europe until about 100 years ago.
Agriculture was so recent that non-adaptive genes have not been fully removed from the population, nor have adaptive ones (like digesting lactose in adulthood) fully spread through the population. Humans were part way through a massive selective sweep (adaption to agriculture) when the industrial revolution happened. If this had taken 100,000 years rather than 10,000 years then Celiac's would have become almost non-existant.
In addition to lacking wheat pre-agriculture there's a reasonable amount of evidence that the modern increase is due to the elimination of gut parasites - previously the increased immune activity in the gut was beneficial (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4403024/).
> It's not like people suffering from celiac's disease and eating gluten fail to thrive in our society. They still reproduce and raise families, most people do.
I think that's an interesting empirical question. The question is the degree to which their genes propagate vs people without celiac disease. There seems to be a generic component to celiac disease, so obviously the effect can't be strong enough to wipe out the disease (and also worth remembering that there may be positive effects of those genes), but does it actually affect their evolutionary fitness to some degree? (and I think you'd find many people with celiac disease would say that it makes it difficult for them to thrive, in a more everyday use of the term 'thrive')
There are interesting world maps depicting [in]tolerance of various common foods: wheat, milk, alcohol, etc. Humans are adaptively omnivores - those intolerant of one food (when identified) can avoid it via plenty of alternatives.
Hypothetically we've weakened the selection pressure against those traits, but they still have some impact.
A celiac who continues to eat gluten will not be at their best or healthiest. They will have an uphill battle in life compared to everyone else.
A celiac who stops eating gluten might spend more on food than other people, minorly impacting their life. (Or, maybe they eat more vegetables than average, and thus being celiac becomes an advantage!?)
On a massive population scale, they will on average have some fitness modifier, and their genes will still be selected for or against- just more slowly.
Just think of more severe conditions. There are many once-fatal or severely-debilitating conditions where we've enabled people to survive and possibly even reproduce- but the deck is still heavily stacked against them, and they do not on average tend to have large families with lots of successful kids. So a once-fatal trait becomes less severe, but it's still selected against.
Evolution doesn’t work like that, it’s not a force with goals except reproductive fitness. In this case our society compensates for their issues, and their reproductive fitness is maintained. In the wild they would disproportionately starve and die, and that would also be a valid evolutionary response. It may also be thst gluten intolerance doesn’t particularly matter to rates of reproduction before it kills you, outside of civilization. If what kills you does so after you pass your genes along, evolution doesn’t even notice.
There might be some hidden benefit too, such as with sickle cell and malaria, or more commonly the defective genes are part and parcel of a critical system.