24 June 2018

Diet as a Religion

Purposes of a Diet

One can simply look into what one consumes on a daily basis, and then question why one would consume those particular items rather than other things. For example, one can wonder, “Why am I having bread in my breakfast every morning?” One then might ponder, “It’s been how I’ve been having my breakfast since I ever remember.” Therefore, one can conclude that way of eating, similar to language, is taught. One has learnt to have bread in the breakfast, and there is no point in not having it if such act is not thought through or maybe unlearnt.

What one once learnt can be unlearnt, but that’s no easy. It requires destruction of old teachings to make room for new ones. However, it could be approached differently: keeping the old ones, and carefully overriding them with new ones. Following a diet plan other than the normal diet that one has learnt in childhood, requires the same process of unlearning, though at least a purpose is needed. Otherwise, why should one unlearn (for example) bread in the breakfast? What purpose would it serve?

Purposes vary for each individual for learning a new way of eating. It could fall into the health category, style, ethical reasons, etc. So, one simple reason can change the answer to “Should I have bread in the breakfast?” Sometimes an answer to such a question could lead to performing a modification to what one once has learnt. Now, let’s say the answer to that question would be a no, and a modification is really acted out. So, a new diet has been formed that is originated from the standard diet except there’s no bread in the morning. Sticking to the no-bread-in-the-breakfast diet is difficult in the long run, though. Thus, a good mentality should be developed based on reasons. But most importantly, the diet must work for the person.

Diets are mostly formed and followed for any of these two factors: A) health benefits. B) ethical reasons. In some culture-based diets, for example, pork is not consumed for ethical reasons, and in some cultures alcoholic drinks are not consumed for both health issues and ethical reasons. The reason people would follow such diets is nothing but acknowledgement of the rules that are given to them. The rules are accepted either blindly or knowingly. A diet is simply a set of rules. No Bread in the Breakfast diet, for example, consists of one single rule which is stated its title.

Sticking to a diet plan is the most crucial part. Besides having a good mentality based on reasons, one should be religious about it so that one can stick to a diet. Otherwise, what would one do after breaking the rules? Someone once said to me, “If you slip once, you will slip again.” I’m not quite sure if that could be the case in different situations. But what that really means is that one should not permit oneself to break the rules, and for that kind of royalty, rules must be viewed in a sacred manner, thus one will not dare break them, because not respecting sacred things would bring undesirable outcomes. A diet is just like that. It consists of a set of rules that should not be broken. The consequences of breaking the rules of a diet could include health problems, and even worse, getting back to the previous way of eating which one had a reason to unlearn. For example, cheat meals have a place in some dietary plans. But in some other diets it’s absolutely not advised to cheat. On a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet cheating could cause unpleasant bodily reactions alongside getting out of ketosis (which is the metabolic state of being on such a diet), and recovery might take days or even weeks.

Holiness of a Diet

Some people are more religious about dietary rules than others, and some people are religious about the whole concept of a diet. Fanatic vegans are a good example of the latter.

Dietary plans could serve the function of a god, in a sense that there could be found good values in them. So, one would follow a way of eating, then perhaps find the good in it, and gradually start advocating it when its place has been established into one’s life. By then, it’s no longer a way of eating but worshipping of a holiness, something of great value. One would then obey the holiness, perhaps even blindly, for disobedience brings with it consequences. What if we were to imagine almost everything we are passionate about functions in our lives in the same way? A good example could be one’s taste in music. Obsession with a genre of music could be seen in any society. You perhaps, dear reader, prefer some genres more than others. You might even dislike the others because they are not like the ones you prefer. Books, music, diets, films, or anything one can find good values in, could be the holiness for one. Then there comes the issue of identity. One is identified with one’s holy way of life, and accustoms to a community of a similar holiness.

Endless Battle Among Gods

One would fight for the holy god one worships. One would even fight, for god demands it.

Religious wars have been taking place for centuries, so everyone is familiar with the concept: whose religion is superior, or in other words, whose god is the most powerful god of all. Something similar has been happening about regimens, also. Unfortunately, fanatic vegans could help me give an example: vegan protests. In their protests, bizarre, narcissistic words could be heard, maybe because they haven’t taken a biology class. One thing that lies behind their protests is similar to religious wars: fighting for the good. (Though it’s more complicated than that.)

Such battles happen partly because each side benefits from it. It could be order, wealth, power, or anything. But sometimes it’s associated with the community to witch one accustoms. Motives could vary. Though one important motive could be making the community bigger through converting others into a community member. Therefore, well-being of the members are more guaranteed. For the same reason strengthening of the community is always desired by social animals. They are desperate for union.

However, the ridiculousness of regimen-based protests can be seen if careful attention is paid. It’s nobody’s business what one eats as long as no violations occur against law. The same way it’s nobody’s business with what religion one is identified. The same way it’s nobody’s business to what sex one is attracted.

Many of those “animal rights warriors” who advocate a vegan regimen are not concerned about animals at all; they are mostly undergraduate people whose stupid ideologies are likely to be inherited from classmates or professors. Care for other animals requires a very deep understanding of them. How can a human sympathise with a cow without knowing anything about the cow and its nature? Assuming such understanding is feasible, and love and care are shed upon living things. Then how can one eat plants? Plants are organisms, too.

Humanity will soon observe replacement of plant-based foods with artificial ones that raises a propaganda against veganism in the same way the veganism propaganda was raised by those who benefit from selling plant-based foods and supplements, though through the help of naive undergraduates.