Saturday, August 5, 2017

Judging People - It Can Be a Good Thing


The religious lesson not to judge other people can be valid when people are catty and unfairly pick on someone. But judging people and situations is very important in life. The modern way of being spiritual instead of religious has its flaws, especially since some of the old rules have seeped into the spiritual beliefs. “Spiritual” people tend to think that “anything goes” and they practice being loving and having inner peace by ignoring what is bad in life. They equate spirituality with remaining calm and serene at all times, and shut down confrontations with “Don’t judge me.” The words “You are judging me” are uttered as a very effective and accepted defense, because it stems from the old religions and makes a person who is judging feel sinful. But the outcome is that it enables the person doing wrong to continue, without any more criticism. Between the spiritual people who ignore problems and the fundamentalists who believe ancient, outdated rules are “absolute,” we have a system where change, if it happens at all, happens at a snail’s pace. How can you change someone if you are not allowed to talk about it?

I recently had a brief discussion with a yoga instructor who was not a Hatha yoga instructor, but who instead was an Ayurvedic instructor. Ayurvedic instructors practice a lot of pseudoscience in the name of yoga. This woman calls it “ancient science” and claims I know nothing about it. Well, it only takes looking at about ten Ayurvedic websites to see that their “ancient science” is outdated and inaccurate and never was run through any scientific method! Some of the statements made on their websites are absurd, but I will not repeat them here. After all, I was not criticizing the woman about all the inaccuracies; I was just responding to a claim she put on her post about milk.

Ayurvedic yogis claim that raw, whole milk is the best to drink (although I bet most of the students and teachers purchase regular or organic milk from the grocery store), and they even believe that a baby can be fed regular milk if a mother cannot nurse. This is horrible! There are strong links to Type 1 Diabetes from giving a baby under one year of age regular cow’s milk. Further, whole milk is full of fat, and children in America all have striations of fat on their hearts by age three due to what we feed them.

Here is what led to my comments on her post, which I kept up just long enough for her to read and respond. This woman went to a vegan dinner, posted pictures of the lovely food, then put in her status that “she was not vegan because Ayurvedics ‘need’ milk.” Does anyone else see the absurdity of a philosophy of peace that not only causes animal suffering, but also the claim that a person needs to drink milk in order to be spiritual?! The woman probably drank milk a good share of her life, but drinking it never was spiritual until she started doing Ayurvedic yoga and mindlessly following all the rules.

The websites make a claim that milk is the healthiest food and that whole milk is best and that milk opens up pathways in the body. No! Whole milk closes arteries and cow’s milk leaches calcium from people’s bones! I bet this woman feels she absolutely has to believe in the magical milk properties because her income is probably tied into her doing yoga (I have not checked whether she makes money at this, but I figure she does).

I checked many Ayurvedic websites and a few of them worried about the abuse of factory farming, but mostly worried from the standpoint that it was not healthy to drink such contaminated milk. NONE of them suggested plant-based milk! Seriously, would their whole belief system fall apart if they drank milk from a plant instead?

How can people feel spiritual when they are consuming a product that requires cows to be given growth hormones and are genetically modified to give anywhere from 5-20 times the milk they normally should give, resulting in terribly swollen udders and sore legs and the need to be milked three times a day. How can a person be loving when any male cow born to dairy cows is either shot or sold as a veal cow, to be tortured his whole short life? And the mother cows? They are kept pregnant, and are put on a rape rack soon after giving birth so they can be impregnated again, so they will continuously give birth and then lactate so that humans can drink cow’s milk. The baby cows are fed formula. The poor mother cries for her baby, and the baby is separated from her and from all other cows, and the babies are not allowed to touch any other cow or calf so that there is no chance for germs. The final kicker? Dairy cows are impregnated one last time when they are close to slaughtering. Before they rip the skin off the mother cow at slaughter so they can use her skin to make leather, they cut open her belly and let the fetus fall to the floor so they can use the developing calf fetus’ skin for fine leather.

Most farmers in the U.S. claim to be Christian, and they use this weak, tired excuse to abuse: “God put the animals here for us.” If they are not religious, then they use the excuse: “Animals kill animals. It’s the way of life.” No! No other animal kidnaps other animals, breeds them by artificial insemination, tortures them for months or even years and then kills them when they don’t need to eat them for survival. Humans are frugivores if you want to talk about “the way of life and natural cycles.” We are adaptable, so we should use or ability to adapt to be kind. Do you think if a farmer thinks kind thoughts but keeps up this torture it does any good for the situation and makes the farmer spiritual? Only in his head.

Back to the Ayurvedic yoga: How can a person follow a “good-feeling” yoga program that takes some of its beliefs from the Abrahamic playbook? The woman’s response to me was, “I love animals. They give their gifts to us. Blessed be to all animals. Don’t judge me; I don’t judge you!” See? It’s the speciest, Abrahamic idea that animals are just here for our use. “Blessed be to all animals?” She thinks she is being spiritual and made this proclamation as if she had some special powers! In her head, she does not feel guilty because she said the animals are blessed. Walk the walk, woman. Don’t just talk the talk. Break free from rules that are wrong. Take action instead of pretending to be spiritual and feeling the comfort of your empty words. Switch to plant milk. No other kind way exists.