Dr. Will Tuttle: Cattle culture has weakened our minds

We continue with a brief retelling of Will Tuttle’s PhD book. This book is a voluminous philosophical work, which is presented in an easy and accessible form for the heart and mind. 

“The sad irony is that we often peer into space, wondering if there are still intelligent beings, while we are surrounded by thousands of species of intelligent beings, whose abilities we have not yet learned to discover, appreciate and respect …” – Here is the main idea of ​​the book. 

The author made an audiobook out of Diet for World Peace. And he also created a disk with the so-called , where he outlined the main ideas and theses. You can read the first part of the summary “The World Peace Diet” . A week ago we published a retelling of a chapter of a book called . Today we publish another thesis by Will Tuttle, which we denote as follows: 

Pastoral culture has weakened our minds 

We belong to a culture that is based on the enslavement of animals, which sees animals as nothing more than a commodity. This culture originated about 10 thousand years ago. It should be noted that this is not such a long time – compared to hundreds of thousands of years of human life on Earth. 

Ten thousand years ago, in what is now Iraq, man first began to engage in cattle breeding. He began to captivate and enslave animals: goats, sheep, then cows, camels and horses. It was a turning point in our culture. The man became different: he was forced to develop in himself qualities that allow him to be ruthless and cruel. This was necessary in order to calmly carry out acts of violence against living beings. Men began to be taught these qualities from childhood. 

When we enslave animals, instead of seeing in them amazing creatures – our friends and neighbors on the planet, we force ourselves to see in them only those qualities that characterize animals as a commodity. In addition, this “goods” have to be protected from other predators, and therefore all other animals are perceived by us as a threat. A threat to our wealth, of course. Predatory animals may attack our cows and sheep, or become pasture rivals, feeding on the same vegetation as our slave animals. We begin to hate them and want to kill them all: bears, wolves, coyotes. 

On top of that, animals that have become for us (speaking definition!) Cattle completely lose our respect and are seen by us as something that we keep in captivity, castrate, chop off their body parts, brand them.

Animals that have become cattle for us completely lose our respect and are seen by us as disgusting objects that we keep in captivity, castrate, chop off their body parts, brand and protect them as our property. Animals also become an expression of our wealth. 

Will Tuttle, we remind you that the words “capital” and “capitalism” come from the Latin word “capita” – head, head of cattle. Another word widely used by us now – pecuniary (the adjective “money”), comes from the Latin word pecunia (pecunia) – animal – property. 

It is easy, therefore, to see that wealth, property, prestige and social position in the ancient pastoral culture were entirely determined by the number of heads of cattle owned by a man. Animals represented wealth, food, social position and status. According to the teachings of many historians and anthropologists, the practice of animal slavery marked the beginning of the practice of female slavery. Women also began to be considered by men as property, nothing more. Harems appeared in society after pastures. 

Violence used against animals expanded its scope and began to be used against women. And also against … rival cattle breeders. Because the main way to increase their wealth and influence was to increase the herds of cattle. The quickest way was to steal the animals from another rancher. This is how the first wars started. Brutal wars with human casualties for lands and pastures. 

Dr. Tuttle notes that the very word “war” in Sanskrit literally means the desire to get more cattle. This is how animals, without knowing it, became the cause of terrible, bloody wars. Wars for the capture of animals and lands for their pastures, for sources of water in order to water them. The wealth and influence of people were measured by the size of herds of cattle. This pastoral culture continues to live today. 

Ancient pastoral customs and mentality spread from the Middle East to the Mediterranean, and from there first to Europe and then to America. People who came to America from England, France, Spain did not come alone – they brought their culture with them. His “property” – cows, sheep, goats, horses. 

Pastoral culture continues to live around the world. The US government, like many other countries, allocate significant funds for the development of livestock projects. The degree of enslavement and exploitation of animals is only increasing. Most of the animals no longer even graze in picturesque meadows, they are imprisoned in concentration camps in extremely harsh conditions of tightness and are subject to the toxic environment of modern farms. Will Tuttle is sure that such a phenomenon is not a consequence of the lack of harmony in human society, but is the main reason for the lack of this harmony. 

Understanding that our culture is pastoral frees our minds. The real revolution in human society took place 8-10 million years ago when we started capturing animals and turning them into commodities. The other so-called “revolutions” that took place after that – the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, and so on – should not be called “social” because they took place under the same social conditions of enslavement and violence. All subsequent revolutions never touched the foundation of our culture, but, on the contrary, strengthened it, strengthened our pastoral mentality and expanded the practice of eating animals. This practice reduced the status of living beings to that of a commodity that exists to be captured, exploited, killed, and eaten. A real revolution would challenge such a practice. 

Will Tuttle thinks that the real revolution will be first of all a revolution of compassion, a revolution of the awakening of the spirit, a revolution of vegetarianism. Vegetarianism is a philosophy that does not consider animals as a commodity, but sees them as living beings worthy of our respect and kindness. The doctor is sure that if everyone thinks more deeply, they will understand: it is impossible to achieve a just society based on mutual respect of people where animals are eaten. Because eating animals requires violence, hardness of heart, and the ability to deny the rights of sentient beings. 

We can never truly live positively if we know that we are causing (unnecessarily!) pain and suffering to other sentient and conscious beings. The constant practice of killing, dictated by our food choices, has made us pathologically insensitive. Peace and harmony in society, peace on our Earth will demand from us peace in relation to animals. 

To be continued. 

Leave a Reply