There is clearly a relationship between the amount of energy someone puts in to their own body and the amount of energy they must demand others exert on their behalf. Once someone falls below a certain threshold of nourishment, their collectivist mentality is inevitable. Try discussing the virtues of free market capitalism with a vegan and you’ll quickly see what I mean.
There is also a link between malnourishment and the will to hit socially mandated targets. Revealed by figures for anorexia among top-tier students, I suspect this aided social cohesion during prehistoric famines. But serious questions should be asked about how our evolved behaviour is being hijacked with detox chai lattes and yoga-bunny shakes.
The relationship between hunger and socialism is well known, but diet can be a means of central planning, rather than just its ends. As a First World recession threatens meat prices, the ideological hucksters are lining up for their blessings.
Global warming, fair trade, disease-prevention, animal rights, producers’ rights and economic doomsday theories: those familiar with this territory won’t be surprised to learn that meat-eating is now also a patriarchy issue. No doubt the black and trans-sexual grievances will mobilise in due course. That these diverse narratives issue from cloisters of public funding and converge on the same policy proposals should tell you that the cart is before the horse.
It is now practically illegal to raise, slaughter and eat – let alone sell – your own cattle in Western Europe and the United States. Parts of our economies are still productive enough to subsidise those which are puppeteered by the bureaucracy, but getting a steak from cow to plate now owes to red tape, subsidies and rebates which simulate the prices of a free market while having nothing to do with supply and demand. To the administrator’s office, the path of least resistance is always to pay out as little as possible in the name of efficiency and get people to consume as little as possible in the name of reducing pressure on supply.
It once took a farmer to put a steak on the table. Now it takes a farmer and a dozen bureaucrats to put a steak on the table. Soon, there will be no steak on the table because you’ll have to tighten your belt to feed the farmer and the bureaucrats while gleaning approval for your herbivore credentials.
Cubans know this. Until about 1960, the Democratic Republic had as many cows as it did people. The Communists then outlawed the private slaughter of cattle, which pretty much defeated the point of animal husbandry in a subsistence agriculture economy. The number of cows fell until beef was so scarce that the official state slaughterers themselves had to be supervised to prevent corruption. The penalty for private slaughter of cattle in Cuba is now similar to that for murder and the price of a small beef burger consequently stands at about three days’ wages in Havana. Seeking virtue in their self-induced necessity, it became citizens’ patriotic duty to content themselves with soy mincemeat fattened with ears and tripe.
“It makes your stomach turn,” says Osmel Ramirez Alvarez of the Havana Times, “but it has the protein and the calories needed to show the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation that Cubans are well nourished.”
Is it just me or does ‘well nourished’ evoke the shadows of ‘nuclear deterrent,’ ‘prescribed narcotics’ and ‘moderate Islam’? One never hears adequately prosperous people described as ‘well nourished’ unless they are under observation for anorexia.
Convoluted efforts to circumvent normal agriculture and diet have opened lucrative markets for expensive supplements, exotic imports and, ironically, byproducts of intensive meat-farming. The manufacturers of one oat-based dairy-substitute use green and vegan civic action as a marketing ploy for the thin gruel extracted from dehydrated pig-pellets. Products whose chic packaging bombards you with passive aggressive tracts on conventional farming lead you on to websites that promote e-petitions demanding market branding controls. The grassroots vibe is phoney but, as a command economy’s true client is the state, it is only natural that that producers should flaunt a loyal consumer base for whom expensive frugality is a life decision; those consumers have become the product. Thus, the society which doesn’t farm steak ends up farming its own people.
People don’t behave like lions when they eat like Gazelle. The successful neolithic hunter derived his elixir of burst energy from red meat. His providership, in turn, gave him dominion over the village. Put simply, if you want any sort of independent social agency, you need steak.
You should be very frightened to live in a society which does not eat meat. Under one premise or another they will take everything from you surplus to your immediate requirements while their client watchdogs repeat the party line that you are the ‘well nourished’ citizen of a wealthy society.
The question is not ‘how much of this can carnivores take before they rise up?’ But rather ‘how much can they take before they are unable to do so?’