I have made fun of the noted transhumanist, George Dvorsky, on more than one occasion–most notably after listening to him advocate “uploading” animal consciousnesses into computers to eradicate the suffering caused by predation. But I am not making fun of him now. Dvorsky has returned to eating meat after years of abstaining. From his Sentient Development blog post, “So I Started Eating Meat Again:”
Yes, this from the guy who once said that meat eaters are bad people. I guess that must make me a bad person. Well, unlike many other carnivores, I’m at least cognizant of the fact that I’m exploiting animals for my own well-being. While I have made the move to a diet that contains meat, I am not completely at peace with it. I am fully aware and respectful of the fact that the meat on my plate comes at at price, that being the life of another animal.
It was a mistake to call meat eaters “bad.” But yes, we should all be aware that our diets come at the cost of animals’ lives–including that of vegans, since millions of mice, snakes, birds, etc. are killed, often in a horrible manner, in the planting and harvesting of grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruit. So no, eating meat doesn’t make one “bad.” It merely means one is eating the biologically healthy and normal diet that we evolved/were designed/created to consume.
But I have my reasons. My decision to eat meat again was driven by health concerns. I was a vegetarian for over ten years and I did so primarily for ethical reasons. It was in the last several years of being a vegetarian, however, that I grew increasingly concerned about my health. An increasing number of studies started to point at the importance of meat protein and animal fat—not to mention the perils of soy (which was a staple for me). Moreover, my performance at the gym was stalling. My energy levels were consistently low and I was making very little gains. This was an indication to me that something wasn’t right. So, after a decade of avoiding meat, I was curious to see if a reintroduction to animal protein could change the situation. I switched to the Paleo diet and within three months my BMI went down from 17% to 12% and I gained nearly ten pounds of muscle mass. I was astounded. And add to that an improved sense of well-being, mental clarity and energy— I was sold. My experiment with eating meat exceeded even my own expectations.
Yes. A normal diet will do that.
Dvorsky makes the case that eating vegan/vegetarian is not healthy and notes:
A vegetarian’s choice to avoid meat for ethical or environmental reasons is truly noble. They are willing to sacrifice their own health in order to mete out as little harm as possible. I bow down to these people in deep and profound respect.
Yes. That is part of human exceptionalism, an essential aspect of our natures that transhumanists seek to deconstruct and obliterate.
Dvorsky has become an animal welfare advocate, humane meat, etc. He concludes:
Lastly, as a bioethicist who has strived to walk-the-walk, I am increasingly coming to grips with the fact that I cannot live an ethically or morally perfect life and that I should stop trying. I’ll continue to do my best to put out as little harm into the world as possible, but existential perfection is no longer my goal.
Utopian no more. Now, that’s really healthy.
Hopefully, this shift will bring him greater joy and fulfillment–and perhaps lead to some other salutatory adjustments in his thinking, too. I wish Dvorsky good health and joy as he changes his way of living in accord with his adjusted worldview.
HT: Jeff Bliss