I really love banana smoothies. I’d go so far as to say that I am obsessed with them. If someone told me I could never have a banana smoothie ever again – that someone would be risking their life in telling me for starters – but I would most definitely as a consequence transition through the 5 stages of loss and grief that are experienced by people when someone they know dies [that’s right – not being able to have a banana smoothie ever again would be the same as someone facing the death of someone they love].
This is how I see it going down:
Person: “So turns out that you can no longer buy a banana smoothie anywhere in the world, and also, it’s now illegal to make them yourself, and even if you didn’t care about breaking the law, apparently we’ve dried up our source of bananas and they are now extinct forever. So if you didn’t quite get it yet, let me be clear – you will never ever be able to have a banana smoothie ever again.”
1) Denial – I’ll immediately begin to run away from Person, then run back and say, “You’re wrong!” I would then return to running away towards an isolated corner and once reached said destination would begin talking to myself saying, “whatever, banana smoothies DO still exist and I’m going to go and get one RIGHT NOW even!”
2) Anger – When I try and order a banana smoothie and no one knows what I’m talking about [because apparently banana smoothies have also been wiped from the memories of everyone else around me] I’ll run back to Person and punch them in the face. I would then feel guilty about having punched Person in the face, which will make me more angry and just looking at their face will make me angry anyway because I’ll connote their face with the bad news about banana smoothies, so I might even be inclined to also kick them in the shins. I’ll pull an angry face too. And then I’ll cry about the fact that I’ve become a violent person.
3) Bargaining – I’ll then apologise to Person about having taken my anger out on their face and shins, and then plead with them to verify their statement and take it back because surely they must have read this in the daily mail or something and it’s not actually true. I’ll then also run away again and start pleading with everybody to find a way to bring bananas back so that we can once again have banana smoothies.
4) Depression – When I’ve realized that all the pleading and begging is doing nothing, and I’ve also began suffering banana smoothie withdrawals (evident from the profuse sweating, pacing and development of Tourette Syndrome where I randomly shout “BANANA SMOOTHIE!” at people’s faces), I’ll go to my bed, get under the sheets and cry myself to sleep, and never again get out of bed due to the weakness that has set in from all the crying and feeling sad. I’ll want to stay asleep forever, because in my dreams, banana smoothies would still exist.
5) Acceptance – hmmm, ok so maybe I would only go through the first 4 stages of the grieving process, because there is no fucking way I could never accept not ever having a banana smoothie again. Just, no way Jose.
If you think I’m being dramatic, you clearly don’t love anything as much as I love banana smoothies. And if you retort to that statement with sentiments regarding the fact that you do love a thing as much but that said thing is a person and therefore the love you have for the person is more special and important than the love I have for banana smoothies, then I would call you humanocentric.
Yeah, you heard me.
Actually, the reason why the word humanocentric came to my mind [apart from the obvious fact that you would be humanocentric if you thought love for humans is more important than love for banana smoothies] is because humanocentrism (also known as anthropocentrism) is something that has been on my mind a bit lately. That is, when I’m not thinking about where and when I will get my next banana smoothie fix from.
It often comes up [humanocentrism that is, not banana smoothie cravings] when one considers the relationship between the environment and humans and in dealing with the belief that humans have dominion over plants and animals to serve their needs as a human – because obviously humans are the most supreme of all living things [italics used for the purpose of conveying sarcasm – explanation used for the purpose of conveying that I like to over explain things].
The idea of humanocentrism states that humans are the sole bearers of intrinsic value and all other living things are there simply to sustain humanity’s existence. Thus, and because this belief has been, and is, so widespread (often due to religion), human’s treatment of the natural environment is altering the ecosystem and we now face many environmental crises as a result of human exploitation and abuse of the natural environment – so obviously acting on a human-centred system of values rather than nature-centred is going to be better for humans in the long run [resisting the urge to want to explain use of sarcasm italics again]. It’s funny, because if you are truly humanocentric, then shouldn’t you actually be ecocentric so that you avoid human survival being threatened…??!!
Anyway, I got side tracked there, because, although I do care about
banana smoothies the environment broadly, I’ve been thinking more specifically about humanocentrism in the context of being a consumer of animals [excluding humans – you can continue being my friend without the concern that I will attempt to purchase and eat you].
I get that humans have developed in such a way by having been meat eaters, and that we’re not the only animals that kill and eat other animals – however, the difference on that latter point is that, we don’t just kill when and only what we need to eat. Humans have created a commodity of other animals – their wellbeing considered important only insofar as it effects productivity and profit.
This issue has been something that has bothered me for years, but often, I just try and push the concern I have to the back of my mind, particularly when I have been served with a plate of meat. Even early on in my life I can always remember feeling ‘bad’ about eating meat whenever I consciously thought about the fact that my piece of meat used to be an alive animal. As a consequence I learnt to separate the piece of meat on my plate with the animal that it came from so that I could eat guilt free.
I wonder what gives me the right to think that I matter so much as a human being to act like it doesn’t matter how the animal was treated that I am now eating, or how many animals needed to die unnecessarily for this one piece of meat I am now eating… It makes me sad to think that I form part of a species that gives themselves such supremacy above all other living things to the extent that we think it is ok to separate our food with what it once was in order to make ourselves feel better, or worse, not even feel bad at all when they hear about the way humans regard other animals as a commodity.
I think the difference between humans killing and eating other animals, and animals in the wild that do it, is that they aren’t cruel in the way they go about it, and they aren’t wasteful or greedy like humans are either.
The idea of eating meat that only comes from family farmers does help my guilty conscience, but the reality is, I don’t have the time to go out to a farm and make sure I’m buying the right kind of produced meat, and going day to day about your business, it’s generally impossible to really know where the meat has come from.
To be honest, even if I got my meat from an anti-conglomerate source, I’m still left with the question about why we eat some animals and not others – people would probably vomit if I served them cat for dinner (at least in western cultures), but they would be perfectly ok with me serving them rabbit (even though my own pet rabbit would be sitting just metres from them). I also feel like a hypocrite because I know that no matter what, personally I just have to separate my piece of meat from the animal it used to be to not feel bad – if I’m personally not ok with seeing a sheep roaming free in a farm, and then seeing it killed and cut up so I can take my family farm fresh meat away with me (I’m not ok because I would feel bad about the sheep that has just died, when I could have just eaten veggies and not caused any animal to die), then maybe I shouldn’t be eating meat at all (the notion of ignorance is bliss doesn’t seem right for this situation).
The way I’m yapping on would probably make you think I have a completely vegetarian diet. Alas, this incorrect. I’m gluten intolerant and so it seems difficult to me to go strictly vegetarian, and so, I often do go about life being blissfully ignorant in this respect. I feel it is only a matter of time, however, before I make this leap.
But I’m also hypocritical for another reason, because although the undertone of the most part of the post has been that people should aim to have a nature-centred system of values and hold ecocentric views, respecting all living things – I think it’s pretty clear that if anything, I’m in fact bananasmoothiecentric (and going by my actions, this would be followed closely by gincentric).
At least no animals died in the process of making banana smoothies (and gin) – and if they did and you proceed to relay this news to me, then I refer you to the beginning of this post – you will be left with a sore face and I will be left depressed in my bed – I think neither of us want that.