A Dis-Ease of the Heart

Most people care about animals and don’t want them to suffer, particularly when that suffering is so intensive and so utterly unnecessary (psychologists have discovered that we are actually hardwired to feel empathy for others). And most people’s core values include compassion, reciprocity (the Golden Rule), and justice. Yet most people also eat animals on a regular basis – not because they need to, but because they choose to. So carnism, like other violent ideologies, must use a set of social and psychological defense mechanisms to enable humane people to participate in inhumane practices without fully realizing what they are doing. In other words, carnism teaches us how not to feel.

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