This week we took a break from making bread, milking goats, and moving chickens to sit down and talk about how our traditional ways of thinking about ourselves have a direct affect on the food choices that we make. It has been forced upon us since birth to think of ourselves as autonomous. Our whole society (science, government, business, academia, etc.) is structured around this thought process. We believe that we are independent from the outside world and we have complete control of what we allow to affect us. Kate used the example of individual marbles. I am a marble and you are a marble. We may have a close relationship, but my marble is in no way affected by what you do with your marble. We take this concept and apply it to the foods that we eat. If I am an independent marble, I can act however I want to towards the outside world because it is not affecting my marble-ness whatsoever. This leads room for self-justified violence and oppression. I do not need to worry about the living conditions of the cows and chickens of industrial farms because the world is just an outside agent, solely to use for whatever I please.
It is silly to think that the relationships that we have, and experiences that we obtain have no part in making up the people that we are. It is impossible to be completely autonomous because every aspect of living is somehow connected with other lives. Whether it be the farmer that grows the food that you eat, or your family who took care of you for the first half of your life. It is the interrelatedness that shapes us. Instead of thinking of ourselves as marbles, we are more an interconnected web of relationships and experiences. When I come into contact with you, it is the exchange of friendship and experiences that make us who we are. When you take this model and apply it towards our food, we will suddenly begin to make different choices of what we eat. If suddenly the animal, or food that we are eating has an influence in making up whom I am, I am going to think twice before buying eggs from chickens who have never seen sunlight. In order to break our bad habits related to food, we must take a look at ourselves, and our view of how we fit into the world.