When one reaches a certain age, it becomes next to impossible to lose weight. I’ve tried so many diets. They don’t work anymore. But I’ve lost almost 20 pounds (so far) on the Keto diet. Here’s my theory:
We Homo sapiens were cursed early on to live, eat and die along with all the other life forms roaming the earth, a predatory lot (do you know the story of Lot and Able?). We like to think we’ve risen above this original sin, but we haven’t. We are only animals.
The reason Keto works is our bodies function best when we are consuming the meat of others. As we do, we reassert our place in the natural order. We are literally consuming death. Survival of the fittest is a delusion, because all living things on Earth are destined to die at some point. We all share the same ultimate fate. We live and die and evolve from the murder of others. Perhaps our death is the slow process of justice, our punishment for the murder of our fellow beings. That we have murdered to stay alive is no justification. We are all guilty of murder. We live on the death of others. This endless cycle of capital punishment is the price we pay, the curse, for being mortal. It is our ticket for the ride called life, which ends in death.
The junk we have added to our diets, filled with carbs and preservatives, stuff of our own invention, was intended to prolong life but has really only served to distract us from our inevitable fate. We are only animals.
The moral impetus behind vegetarianism and veganism is yet another attempt to deny the fate of our curse, all feeble efforts to separate ourselves from our animalistic nature. Older people put on weight as part of the process of natural selection. As we become older, weaker, of less use to the herd, nature intends to fatten us up for the slaughter. We are only animals.
The Keto diet embraces the natural order. It is what our earliest ancestors ate, a diet of meat, vegetables, nuts and berries. So, after millions of years, our bodies respond well to this diet, because we are only animals.
But it is not just a question of diet. In a noble fight against the natural order, we have become civilized. We have created laws against murder, while institutionalizing the mass slaughter of animals. All laws eventually lead back to prohibitions against murder. To lie or steal are all at their essence, a kind of murder, of destruction. Our very existence calls for the negation, destruction and murder of millions of other forms of life. Our laws condone certain forms of murder, war and the mass slaughter of animals being the obvious examples. Laws which marginalize the vulnerable, protect predatory financial practices and divide as by class are perhaps less obvious examples. The truth is the human race is a walking contradiction. We fancy ourselves superior, but we are still only animals.
We suffer in guilt and shame because it is the natural order. We find ways to rise above our fate, even as we are reminded of it constantly. We are born guilty of murder. We are the product of an endless cycle of mass genocide, generations upon generations of mass murderers who have created the conditions for us to exist, because we are only animals.
We invented art and philosophy to explain, distract us from and perhaps even celebrate our curse, our inevitable fate. We have romanticized and expressed our fatalism in order to survive the experience called life, the constant fear of death, the unknowable, because we are only animals.
Then, somewhere along the line, we invented God. Or God invented us. It doesn’t really matter. We use the idea of a higher power to help us make sense of the senselessness of this mad existence, filled with contradictions. We live and die a thousand times in our brief walk upon the Earth. We have directed our creative impulses to give us access to this higher power. For without the use of art there could be no communion with God. The concept of Christian salvation is a literary masterpiece of invention, the process of redemption built on storytelling. But without this connection to something higher than our murderous selves, to perfection itself, we would have no context or meaning or purpose for remaining alive, because we are only animals.
So, when you think of how expendable the arts are, you are really talking about destroying our one and only chance for peace, meaning and purpose, in a violent, meaningless yet magnificent existence. You see and hear this meaning expressed in the music of Beethoven, in the portraits of Rembrandt, in the screams of Janus Joplin or in a Shakespearian Sonnet. You can see and hear it anywhere you take a moment from your “real life” to look and to really see and consider. Our senses are merely the vehicle. But it is art that produces gnosis with God. Art is what allows us to function in the massive contradiction it is to be human. We have become fantastic meaning-making machines, creating and consuming art, expressing the horror, complexity and sublime beauty of the human condition.
There, I bet you never considered art to be such a matter of life and death. Well, it is, because we are only animals.
Note: This blog is not intended as an endorsement of the Keto Diet.