Many ancient philosophers presented philosophical arguments against the consumption of animal flesh and for the adoption of plant-based diets in one form or another, among them Plutarch, Ovid, and (at least according to long-established tradition) Pythagoras.
In one of his surviving treatises on the subject, Plutarch argues that resorting to the consumption of that which is (in his words) "contrary to nature" is a form of slander against the gods and the earth, implying that they cannot support us with their bounty. He asks:
Why slander the earth by implying that she cannot support you? Why impiously offend law-giving Demeter and bring shame upon Dionysus, lord of the cultivated vine, the gracious one, as if you did not receive enough from their hands? Are you not ashamed to mingle domestic crops with blood and gore?
A previous post from 2012 noted that, while Plutarch was applying these arguments to the consumption of flesh in an age long before the direct injection of foreign DNA into foodcrops, the same arguments could be applied with equal force to the creation and distribution of genetically-modified organisms for human consumption, a practice that has appeared only in the past two decades of human existence but which has increased exponentially since these GMOs were first introduced into the food chain.
Not only is it questionable and completely unproven to assert that the earth and the gods simply could not support human life without these newly-devised GMOs (and, Plutarch would say, slanderous and impious to say so, as well), but in light of data being presented by credentialed researchers, it may be that those who have been pushing GMOs into the food supply are also mingling domestic crops with, if not "blood and gore," a widespread increase in terrible neurological diseases and health problems.
Here is a link to a talk given on May 24, 2014, by Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT who has focused her research in recent years on correlations between nutrition and health. The talk is long but critically important. In it, she presents evidence arguing that the sudden introduction of new, genetically-modified, herbicide-resistant corn and soy crops into the US food chain in 1991, and the corresponding massive increase in herbicide application on top of these food crops (see chart above) correlates almost one-to-one with the rise in autism diagnoses in the US (the red "line graph" or "mountain chart" line represents chemical herbicide applied to soy and corn, in thousands of tons, and the yellow "bar graph" columns represent the rising number of children identified as having autism).
Her data further indicate a potential harmful synergy between this newly-prevalent herbicide and the increased exposure to aluminum, primarily through vaccines.
This previous post examines some of the powerful forces at work to marginalize anyone who questions the safety of the increased vaccine regimens for children, and the possible connection vaccines may have with autism.
Early in her talk, she also states that the lack of exposure to sunlight among children who now for various reasons may be spending too much time indoors and staring at screens instead of running around outside may also be a contributing factor, leading to dangerous deficiencies in natural vitamin D production from sunlight exposure on the skin and through the eyes. Interestingly enough, the health benefits of basking in the sun were known to the ancients and written about by various ancient authors and philosophers as well.
Dr. Seneff states that she has spent the past several years examining possible environmental factors that may be contributing to the rise in autism shown in the chart above. She notes that there is an argument that autism is only genetic, and a contingent of people who apparently do not want to take the time to examine hypotheses which include possible environmental contributors to this and other health problems. Beginning at about 0:00:40 into the talk, Dr. Seneff says:
So, people keep saying "Oh, yeah -- it's genetic; autism's a genetic disease." They're not spending the money they should be spending looking for environmental factors. And as much as you could try to think of increased diagnosis or whatever, you've still got a huge part that's unexplained, unclear, and that is almost surely environmental. I don't think this audience would disagree. So, I've been studying autism for about seven years now, reading extensively in the literature, and looking one by one at all the different environmental toxins and all the environmental factors that might be involved in autism. And I've identified several. Certainly sun, insufficient sunlight exposure to both the skin and the eyes, was something I identified early on: people in northern latitudes have increased autism, for example. And poor diet I think is something that people are aware of. Nutritional deficiencies. Vaccines is something this community's very are aware of. But there's another factor that I didn't recognize until about two years ago. I went to hear a talk by Don Huber, who's a professor -- retired professor -- from Purdue, expert on plant physiology and plant pathology, who's been going around the world talking about the dangers of this, Roundup, and the damage that it's doing to our nation's health. And once I heard his lecture, I became a changed person, and I spent nearly all of my time studying this chemical, and understanding how it works biologically, and linking that to very many diseases and conditions that are plaguing us today: things like diabetes, and Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, various cancers, and you can see a very strong connection between this chemical and those diseases.
Immediately after this, Dr. Seneff says that it is her hope that everyone listening to her will be convinced to investigate the evidence for himself or herself. This approach is a major differentiating factor between those who are encouraging real analysis (which I argue here and here to be an antidote to mind control) and those who argue that there is nothing to investigate, the issue is already settled, and their interpretation is the interpretation that must be accepted -- on faith, without doing your own research (which is the kind of argument that typifies those who seek to control others, exemplified in the original 1968 Planet of the Apes movie by the characters of Dr. Zaius and the orangutans).
The safety of the food supply, and the application of honest, open-minded analysis of the evidence regarding the safety of the modifications and ethicality of giving genetically-modified foods to people largely without their knowledge, their consent, or their awareness of the potential health hazards that may be associated with such foods, is a subject of such fundamental importance that it demands all of our attention. I hope that everyone will take the time to listen to Dr. Seneff's presentation linked above (here's the link again).
We simply must engage our critical thinking and do our own analysis when we see data such as that shown in the graph and discussed in the talk, or we risk "mingling crops with blood and gore," as Plutarch puts it.
No one who does military analysis before a military operation would ignore such data points or dismiss them as not worthy of further investigation. No one who does stock analysis before investing in a stock would see so many red flags in the data and argue for buying it anyway. When the health and safety of others is on the line, we do not have the luxury of just sleepwalking forward with our eyes shut.
Dr. Seneff has bravely presented evidence and a hypothesis, based on seven years of research and a host of data -- of course, those who wish to offer a different hypothesis can and should do so along with their arguments of why their hypothesis might be a better fit for the data.
Here is an article from October of 2014 discussing Dr. Seneff's research.
Here is another article, published yesterday, also discussing aspects of Dr. Seneff's research.
For those who might ask what this topic has to do with the topics usually discussed in this blog, the answer is: plenty.
First, and perhaps foremost, there is the question of natural law (or, as it might be better labeled, natural universal law). The doctrine of natural universal law argues that the prevention of violence to another's person is fundamental, that we always have the right (and in fact the duty) to stop violence being done to ourselves or to another human being, and that it is for this purpose that governments are established.
Related to the question of natural law is the important subject of "mind control" -- used in a broad and general sense in this case (there are other, narrower, and more technical uses of that term which are also valuable but not necessarily in view here). In this broad usage, we can define mind control as the propagation of illusions and ideologies which are primarily designed to mask or even try to legitimize the violation of natural universal law, often on a grand scale. In fact, some have argued convincingly that mass-violation of natural universal law is always necessarily accompanied by forms of mass mind control.
Further, as intimated in the opening paragraphs of this post, this question is by no means unrelated to the questions treated by the ancient philosophers, especially those prior to the arrival of literalist Christianity, who clearly saw food as a proper subject for philosophical discourse, and a topic with deep moral implications.
Finally, the debate over this subject, in which there is a consensus view being promoted and a clear marginalization of those voices which challenge the consensus view, directly parallels the pattern found in the subjects most-often examined in this blog and in my research. There is a clear failure among conventional academia to seriously consider the overwhelming evidence pointing to ancient trans-oceanic contact between the "Old World" and "New World," for example, or the abundant evidence that consciousness may in fact be independent of the physical body, and many more subjects which are just as critical to our health and well-being as is the question of what foods are best and most healthful and safest for us to eat.
The question of the safety of our food is one we really do not have the luxury of ignoring. I believe that for various important reasons, the others discussed on this blog are equally pressing.
The possibility that the creation of what came to be known as "the west" (and that is today embodied in governments and other institutions that can be seen to be descended from the western Roman Empire) might have involved the deliberate creation of illusions and the adoption of ideologies that now threaten the entire food chain and entire ecosystems such as the Amazon rainforest (see for instance the discussion in this previous post) is certainly one of those issues. It may well be that this ideological pattern, which I believe began with a mistaken literalistic approach to ancient scriptures, which led to a deliberate rejection of the ancient wisdom as well as a false separation between human beings and nature, is directly related to the adoption of agricultural practices that could turn out to be very harmful to nature and to ourselves.