Untangling The God Complex of Carnists Towards Non Human Animals

Caffeinated Thoughts
8 min readMay 31

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Unpacking the God complex of carnists for what it really is.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

[TW: MENTION OF VIOLENCE AND GORE.]

Introduction

“Have you seen how Komodo Dragons and Hyenas hunt their prey? They literally eat them alive!”, retaliated one of my hardcore meat eating friends as we were discussing the cruelties meted out by the meat industry to farm animals one night. Meat eaters have, over the decades, come up with some of the most vague absurd arguments against veganism that straight up border on irrationality and foolishness. And one of the most popular ones that I keep coming across is the provider or gatekeeper fallacy.

“Animals live a comfortable life in human made enclosures far away from the brutality of nature.”

— A carnist with a God complex.

Meat eaters love showing how much they love and care for animals right up till the point they stick a knife in their throats to slaughter them for food. They profess that animals live a much more dignified life in enclosures and pens far extracted from the vagaries of nature; starvation, the elements, and the risk of being hunted by the bloodthirsty beasts of the jungle, for example.

This line of thinking is problematic for exactly three reasons:

  • First, it supposes that humans are the default gatekeepers of animal lives, a position that reeks of narcissism, superiority, and entitlement.
  • Second, it looks at the situation from an objective viewpoint, which is a narrow and selfish one that doesn’t even consider the animal’s subjective thoughts and feelings.
  • And third, it paints a very inaccurate picture of our treatment of those animals inside the pens and enclosures we confine them to before slaughtering them for food.

The fact of the matter is that all of this so-called concern and worry that carnists harbour for animals in the wild is nothing but their lust for flesh disguised as genuine concern for their health and well being. If carnists actually cared about animals, they wouldn’t be eating them in the first place.

Let’s peel back the illogicalities built into this line of thinking one after another:

Acting as the gatekeepers of animals lives

Neither humans nor animals are born for each other. We humans did not come into this world of our own accord. We never even consented to being born. And neither did animals. So to say that animals suffer significantly less when confined to human-made dwellings as opposed to life in the wild places humans right in the uncomfortable position of ‘Gods’ or ‘God like beings’ towards “lesser beings”, which in this case are the animals. It assumes that humans have and will always be around to take care of the animals and their needs.

No animal requires the intervention of humans in their lives except those whose surroundings and habitats have already been destroyed by them. (A certain section of nihilists are against human interferance there too).

Have you ever come across one of those viral videos where a vet is seen pulling out plastic waste from the stomach of a sea bird, or a piece of rubbish lodged deep inside the nostril of a turtle? Those are the only situations where we should be “interfering” with animal lives, well because, we’ve already interfered with their lives in the first place by allowing trash to pollute their surroundings haven’t we? Other than such extenuating circumstances, we have no business playing God and calling the shots on who suffers more or less out in the wild.

It is not our place to anthropomorphize a situation and try to bring animals out of it, i.e. judging the ways by which animals such as Hyenas and Komodo Dragons hunt, and sympathizing with their prey. We love taking morality into our own hands when it comes to these defenseless creatures, don’t we?

I’ve seen videos online of Komodo dragons eating the stillborn of deers after ripping them out of their wombs alive and then going on to feast on the heavily bleeding mothers. I’ve seen Hyenas go straight for the scrotum, the limbs, and faces of wilderbeest as they slowly devour them bit by bit fully alive and conscious. I’ve seen similar videos where herbivorous prey animals are seen trying to escape from their pursuers with half a limb, a broken limb, or their intestines dangling out of their bodies.

Such is the brutal nature of the natural world.

As brutal and gory as it sounds, we humans have no business interfering with and pretending to be the “saviour” of these immaculate beings with our God complex towards them. Not when we too harbour the very same intentions; to satiate our gluttony and lust by savouring and feasting on their flesh. The means to get there might be different, but the end goal is the same.

To feast on the body of an innocent being who didn’t want to die.

Regardless of whether we’re going to eat them or not, we have no business altering the living conditions of wild animals just because it looks gruesome and horrific to us.

This logic is easier to understand once you flip the script, where the animals take the place of the aggressors and humans are the victims. Imagine wild animals like tigers, leopards, and bears capturing humans from the city and fencing them inside enclosures to “save” them from all the bus, train, plane or car accidents, and lifestyle diseases they could potentially die from. Sounds weird right? Now you know exactly what you as a meat eater with a God complex sound like.

Looking at the animals life from an objective standpoint

A pig languishing inside a slaughterhouse for years together couldn’t care less about the hunting methodology of Hyenas or how brutally a Komodo Dragon devours its prey. All it cares about are its immediate needs. And when its immediate needs are being heavily restricted by humans, the human takes the form of the potential Hyena or bloodthirsty predator.

Being confined to 4 metal grates in a space not much larger than an aeroplane seat all its life, barely unable to turn around or even walk, nothing would feel more liberating and freeing than being set out loose onto an open grassland or forest. A captive pig, chicken, cow, or goat doesn’t know that it is immune to all the sickness, starvation, and disease it could contract out in the wild. It has no idea about the ferocity of the elements; flash floods, thunderstorms, or forest fires, the feeling of starvation, or the barbarity and viciousness of being dismembered alive by a predator.

It’s only you and I who do.

It doesn’t lie in its crate all day thanking its stars for the good fortune of being born into human-made dwellings away from the monstrousness and brutality of nature. No pig or cow thinks to himself “Oh wow boy oh boy, lookie here! I’m all safe and sound in this cosy beautiful metal crate far away from the bloodthirsty beasts of the jungle who are all out to get me!”

You know why? Because for the captive pig, cow, or chicken, the human has taken the place of the cold blooded killer that could spell its end in the wild. Unlike humans, animals live in the present moment and not inside their heads. The average cow or pig doesn’t care how much it’s being protected from the wild and all the elements. All it wants to do is get out of the clutches of the evil slaughterhouse to stretch its limbs, run around in the open grasslands , and feel the sun on its back. It wants to bathe in the pureness of mother nature while doing what mother nature intended it to do. Things like playing and socializing with friends, forming factions, fighting with enemies, procreating and starting a family and taking care of its young, and such.

When we assess an animals life from an objective viewpoint we are completely dismissing its subjective experience.

The collective delusion of meat eaters

Meat eaters live under the collective delusion that farm animals live in vast open grasslands with the opportunity to run around, feel the sun on their backs, and breathe in fresh air every single day. They are also under the impression that cows and hens produce milk and eggs naturally without being subjected to any artificial procedures by humans. They think it is natural for female cows to be producing milk all through the year.

But most importantly, the majority of meat eaters live under the collective delusion that meat arrives to their dinner plates in the most humane and natural ways possible: Animal is born naturally in the wild, we pick up said animal and its family….you know…..to “save” it from the savagery of the wild, and then house it within the safety and security of human-made dwellings….until….you know….. its last days where it is finally killed with a swift beheading. No screaming, no crying, no broken limbs, no being eaten alive, and no pain of a slow agonizing death which would have been the case had it been left to fend for itself in the jungle.

But nothing, and I mean nothing could be further from the raw insufferable truth that we treat these defenseless beings in the most despicable and abhorrent ways possible, committing atrocities against them that you wouldn’t subject even your worst enemy to. We mete out cruelties to them on par with what they would have faced in the wild, if not worse. For starters, we don’t even get these animals from the wild. They are artificially bred in pens from one cycle to the next, never seeing or getting to know what a forest is. They cannot live out their natural lifespans as they would have in the wild. The only time a domesticated cow or pig will ever feel the sun on its back or fresh air in its lungs is on a concentration camp truck delivering it a slaughterhouse to be murdered. So, not much “saving” going on there.

Next comes the cruelty part.

We boil them alive, we skin them alive, we castrate them, we clip their beaks and tails and pluck their feathers forcefully off them, we force feed them, we brand them with hot iron rods, and we even cook them alive while they are fully conscious and breathing. Entire generations of adults have been brainwashed as kids to believe that cows “give” us milk, and that pigs, chickens, goats, cows, and ducks are all plucked from the wild to save them from predators and are provided a cosy comfortable living till old age, and are only then slaughtered for food.

Final Thoughts

Dear human supremacists, its high time you stopped deluding yourselves and the rest of us. You claim that farm animals lead much more dignified lives in barns and pens. But the funny part is that they wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the meat, cheese, milk, and egg industries.

All those animals were artificially bred into existence solely for the purpose of consumption. So, it isn’t enclosure life versus living in the wild. It’s enclosure life versus the void. The void of non-existence.

So where’s your God complex towards the animals now?

Instead of comfortably sitting inside human dwellings arguing with vegans about the ethics of meat consumption, shouldn’t you be out there rescuing them from the horrors of the meat industry?

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Caffeinated Thoughts

I write about lifestyle, veganism, trekking, and overpopulation.