We learn sayings as children and often without thinking accept them as being right. We then incorporate them into our own thinking and even use them in our everyday lives.
One that concerns me is “Everyone has the right to their own opinion”. Now, I don’t disagree with this, of course people can have opinions, what bothers me is the credence we give to opinions, simply because we have accepted that people have the right to them.
The fact is though; opinions are the lowest form of human knowledge. They require no accountability or understanding. Anyone can say whatever they like and justify their right to spout utter nonsense simply because of their “right” to an opinion.
Opinions are often no more than an extension of our egos, which in turn are more often than not inflated “opinions” of our own importance. This borders on narcissism, which is a major hindrance in the quest for social justice.
I may have made the leap from someone who is opinionated to a narcissist more quickly than is reasonable, but if you think of the characteristics of a narcissist which include, superiority, arrogance, self-absorption, self-admiration, exploitative, entitled and power hungry, you can easily imagine these characteristics in a stubborn, highly opinionated person.
I do want to be clear that there is nothing wrong with having opinions; they contribute to how we learn, can stimulate debate and can define trends of thought when groups are questioned. They are only a judgement though, a statement and are not conclusive. They are not facts until proven to be so.
From the point of view of an environmentalist and an animal rights activist, opinions are the enemy of the truth. When questioned, people with absolutely no experience in the relevant field suddenly become experts in nutrition, human anatomy and planetary science amongst other things.
They will argue as if their lives depend on it that we need to eat animals to survive, that we need it for protein, that cow’s milk is good for us, that our teeth are designed to rip apart the flesh of an animal, that climate change is a myth created by the Chinese and so on and so on.
All are opinions based on core beliefs learned as children, their fear of change and their stubbornness.
The highest form of knowledge is empathy. It requires us to forget about ego and to live in the world of another. If we empathise with the animals in the factory farming, or any farm situation, we will be unable to live with the horrors that are carried out in our name and will turn away from it.
Put yourself in the place of a mother having her children taken from her and killed. Imagine being forced into a cycle of perpetual pregnancy until your body can no longer take it and then being dragged off, killed and cut into pieces.
Imagine living your whole life in a filthy dark shed with nothing to do other than eat and drink. Imagine that the first day you ever feel the sun on your back being the day you die.
Imagine living your short six week life in a huge shed with 10,000 others, being fed a cocktail of drugs to make you grow unnaturally quickly until you are dragged off and your throat is cut.
If you can imagine these horrors happening to you or those you love then the only option is veganism. If you can’t, you don’t want to, or in your opinion it would be a waste of your time, then you probably need help. You have narcissistic tendencies as did Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussain.