This blog was originally posted on my website on April 16, 2013 at http://www.yourveglife.com/blog/2013/04/indoctrination-easier-than-we-think
I was watching the documentary Fahrenheit 911 directed by Michael Moore in 2004 and got a fresh reminder of how we can get so easily lied to and fooled by a version of events. When this country decided to invade Iraq, I bought into the propaganda myself. Like a lot of people, I thought it was justified and necessary. Watching Fahrenheit 911 is, in fact, what woke me up from my trance. I am grateful to the person who made me watch this movie then. I wish I could remember who it was to thank her. Looking back, it is hard for me to comprehend how I could believe the lies that were perpetrated to take us to war. I remember fighting with my brother who was against it. I was that indoctrinated. And now, as a Vegan, it is even more bewildering to me to see how asleep I was.
Today I was reflecting on the Boston Events and how terrible what happened is. But really, is it surprising? We are constantly creating our own destinies and our own programming. We are all part of this constant indoctrination which drives some of us crazy enough to commit despicable acts of cruelty. Are we so different from these people? I don’t think so. We are ticking bombs ourselves. We constantly inject this society’s programming and we live completely unnatural lives, completely disconnected from the natural world.
Each day, we are being told stories. These stories, whether they reflect a version of the truth or not are in fact irrelevant as they do not reflect our inner truths. We should reject them. They add nothing but negativity to the world at large. The truth is that we are not who we think we are. We are the manufactured products of this society. And like over-processed food products in a supermarket, we contain a lot of calories, but not many nutrients. And like these products, our lives become shallow reflections of what we should be. To be authentic, we have to become unprocessed foods.
If that food analogy is too much, think about what most people eat. They go to their local supermarket, pick up overly packaged junk food and dead animals packaged in neat cellophane. These “foods” have zero health benefits. They only make us sick, fat and eventually kill us. Our lives have become like these foods: overly packaged with propaganda, lies, extra busy routines, dead end jobs (the calories). But at the end of the day, we get no nourishment from them. But when we endeavor to “unprocess” our lives, we can relearn to live simply, think simply (not stupidly) and reconnect with our inner selves. Rejecting the constant daily mental junk does as much, if not more, than rejecting the daily junk food. One gets influenced by the other. If you do one, you will eventually be driven to do both.
I remember someone telling me once that no one could make him believe anything. But that person was eating other animals, was pro-war and had faith in the capitalist system. Was he really thinking nothing had a hold of him? He was obviously delusional. As we can all be unless we become aware of that illusion.
Being indoctrinated is easy if one is not careful. All day long we receive messages to make us act a certain way. Just opening the television set is enough to put hundreds of foreign messages into our brains. Commercials are the prime example of this kind of cultural programming. But the subtler ones are the most dangerous. Whether you are watching the “news” or some television show, ask yourself how it serves you. If it doesn’t serve you or doesn’t enhance your awareness of yourself and the world, you likely really just waste your time and receive distorted messages. You are accepting messages of lies all day long without question. I understand the desire for entertainment. I like a good movie too. That is human nature to be enjoying works of art. But some of it is really toxic.
When you see teenage girls dressing up like some musical idols, you end up with teenage girls looking like prostitutes more than young girls. When you have young boys emulating some rappers on television, you end up with young men who learn to devalue women and embrace a violent sexist ideology. When you listen and approve of commercials dealing with animal foods and drugs, you become the next potential schizophrenic victim from eating violence, drugs, antibiotics, etc. When you listen to politicians, you program yourself to believe that they actually have the power to change things. They have none; you do, by your own choices.
What if you decide differently today. When you buy pesticide free unprocessed vegetables and fruits from a Farmers’ Market, you make a choice. When you turn off the television and stop being brainwashed, you make a choice. When you refuse to accept the status quo by being Vegan, you make a powerful choice. That choice is to not follow the herd. That is the beginning of freedom.