Opportunity cost, something hard to face.
Life is finite, the day is finite, energy is finite, even if we have time, and most people don’t have much free time it seems, then being honest we can only do high quality work a certain extent at a time. We all have our own limits, but we all have limits.
That concept is part of economics, I graduated without ever taking economics.
I had no idea economics was the study of choices, I thought it was money (accounting). Which if you know me, wouldn’t have been bad to take either.
But I had no idea economics was the study of everyday people, the choices they make, where they get their income and how they use that and other resources.
Even though I didn’t study economics I have been struggling with the concept of opportunity cost for a very long time. It’s wanting more than you need because of that temptation of what you can’t have ie wanting all the candy at the candy store, when you don’t even enjoy candy. Wanting to date both the cute boys at school, though you actually don’t like either one’s personality.
A few falls ago I was introduced to the idea of mental bias and started logging a mental bias journal. Studying how loss bias, love bias, hate bias, authority bias affected me.
I could have gone on, but I felt that to constantly do that is to live a little bit less. I think it’s great to examine your own bias, yet reflection and action seem to cost a lot of energy, so sometimes I choose the one and at other times the other.
When you are buying something a low price is fair, when you are selling a high price is fair, though the item doesn’t change in real value. But because it’s yours you give it more value. Not always, but as a general phenomena. One place that is uncomfortably so is my children, I consider myself more rational than average (as the average person does, ha ha) but I know very well that 1. My children are actually worth the same as any children and 2. I am completely unable to act as if my children are worth the same as any children. Not only I spend more time, effort and love on my children, but also my thoughts, my concerns. I’m going to keep my children out of public school so I won’t be spear heading the check points schools in my areas should probably install to keep students safe from shootings in our very populated area. Some part of me sees the potential in all children, but it would be very hard to deny my children something that in all reality another child deserves more. Hate bias, I couldn’t vote for a racist even knowing they were the best at the job, because I hate that particular message, it goes against my personal values and essentially most of my core ethics at the same time. It’s irrational if I knew that they wouldn’t able to act on the racism and they could do a better job, but I just wouldn’t vote for them even if I didn’t vote for anyone for the position, I couldn’t.
Some of our biases are a deep part of us, all could be changed, but at what cost?
Vegetarianism is a good example for me. My dad is Japanese, they went without meat for hundreds of years because Chinese monks told them it was immoral, then trade opened up and they found the Chinese had been eating meat and fish. In an instant the ethics changed.
I prefer to eat meat. But I know I can survive without it, it’s been done in war time in Europe, all over the world by Buddhists, and by people who can’t afford meat, have allergies or just don’t prefer it.
I was casually discussing deaths from plastic surgery (not hare lip or burns, but improving normal to “let’s say improved”) and I find it sad that people are lost like that. I’ve shadowed a surgeon and seeing the consultations it seems as if the people who get repeated surgery are chasing something they can’t get by surgery with surgery and it seems like an unnecessary loss of life to loose the ones who don’t wake up again.
The woman who I was talking with, who I respect and who is a vegetarian, told me she believed everyone just has a time to go and that can’t be changed despite struggle.
Ethos vs Pathos?
Struggling against fate vs accepting fate…
I too believe that on a normal day, so it doesn’t make since to be sad about the people lost to plastic surgery if it was their time, and for vegetarians it doesn’t make sense not to eat animals because they are being killed (if you believe in death as a part of fate).
So, possibly I’m wrong or possibly she is wrong, or both of us, but we all function as a collection of mental inconsistencies.
I don’t want to attack her vegetarianism, I don’t think one needs a reason to be vegetarian. I’m more exploring myself about the ethics on my end.
I don’t believe in eating a lot of meat, I almost always eat two meals without and one with some meat, not always a lot. For a very long time we have eaten meat, it’s been a part of humanity, it connects me to the Earth in a spiritual way, I enjoy it better than being vegetarian, which I have done twice for 6 months each time.
There are a few body types, I am a mesomorph, the people I know who enjoy being vegetarians have been ectomorphs and endomorphs, other than the body type the gut has different kinds of biomes. I know for me, I have trouble digesting a lot of grains, and I feel fine with meat. I support anyone who feels better or doesn’t want to eat meat to not eat it, but I sometimes feel attacked about eating meat, which works for me physically, mentally, ethically.
I’m not sure if it’s valid, but I remember watching a show about Aboriginal people who were sick with type 2 Diabetes returning to their traditional diet of lizard (Goanna) meat and returning to health faster than other study groups. It’s small scale, so perhaps it’s a fluke, but it rings true to me that different bodies obtain optimal health with different food choices.
I enjoy tofu, just the way it is, not fried, not turned into meat.
I have all my life.
Last year I learned my father went through a food allergy issue like I had, and he had to survive solely off tofu. I went through something similar about four years ago and survived off rice and water for a few months, but it was intensely stressful because I was pregnant so the pressure to eat much more was intense, but impossible anyways.
Elizabeth Pennisi wrote an article explaining how viruses when they don’t become an extreme problem actually reset gut health sometimes in a similar way to friendly bacteria. I have no way of knowing, but I think E. coli food poisoning actually fixed my gut after a few unhappy weeks last year, if so it was worth it in the end.
Eating tofu was always welcome and special for me, my father just diced it and served a small dish of soy sauce with it, but it counted as a home cooked dish in my mind. I know for many people, it’s gross. But I’ve always loved it. For me hummus is gross (the texture) even though my sister and many other love it. So I could easily be vegetarian, but though I want animals to be treated with respect and given good conditions I still don’t mind the idea of eating them.
Yes their life will end, but also so will mine, maybe with old age, maybe before, but all of us face the end and some plants may be capable of feeling pain, so the question to me is not what I can do to kill nothing, but how I can myself survive in a balanced way with the planet.
Part of the problem I have with vegetarianism is that it isn’t so easy in my area, there are some options of course, it is also not hard, I would say it’s medium, but if I lived somewhere where there were already good vegetarian restaurants and precooked food I would probably just go along with it. When society is changed I will not protest, yet I have other things to champion that actually resonate with my values, so I will not be an enemy, but also not a champion of that movement.
I know the whole world, all eating a lot of meat is bad for the environment, but if a small portion who is healthier that way, eats a little bit, that’s no longer black and white.
I enjoyed the “Don’t Panic – The Truth About Population” documentary with Professor Hans Rosling. I share that same basic belief that the world population will level off when the worlds technology level levels off and that although warming is a reality, I am optimistic we will have ingenuity to cope with it in some way, I hope without catastrophe, but one way or another, necessity is often the mother of invention. Life is always in flux and although serious and real, change is and always has been the hallmark of life on this planet.
Of course I could be wrong on all accounts. But I think if there is fate (and death is part of fate) then not eating meat to prevent the death of the animal is moot. However I have no idea if there is fate or not, it feels that way, but I have a brain that likes to draw connections where there are no real connections. The only way to be however is to draw the connections to the truth as best I can, knowing many will be wrong, but without having any other way to move forward.
There was a time I didn’t want to eat meat, because I was sad about the animals death, but not that they died to be eaten, because they died at all, I can’t stop that. There was a time I didn’t think the sanitation was adequate, but that’s kind of all food, even my own veggies have slugs that have parasites, I wash the veggies twice to avoid the rat lung worm, but if that’s my own garden I know it’s the other veggies too. Life has risks and valid ethical struggles, but one person can only fight a certain amount of battles in a day and for me I would fight for education, for human children, my sister would fight for dogs, I think we all seek to create positive impact and harmony with the Earth in the way that we can connect to with our soul and also our circumstance. 🕊️