Pigs Are People Too: A Sensory Defensive Child
February 1, 2017
I turned on the television yesterday and watched one of my favorite reruns of Green Acres. Arnold the Pig had become famous because one of his human relatives left him $5 Million.
If you’ve never heard of the show, Arnold was an actual pig that had been taught to do tricks that most dogs could not dream of doing. I realized in that moment, why I had chosen not to eat pig anymore as a child: it would be like eating my dog or cat. The more humanized an animal becomes to our hearts the harder it becomes to kill or eat it.
I remember when my second grade class went to a farm on a field trip. After I got home, I went into the refrigerator and took out a piece of bologna for a snack. As I bit into the slice, a red vein like a rubber band was connected to the piece of meat in my mouth and the thick slice I had in my hand. I spit out the bologna and probably would have become a vegetarian right then had I had the confidence my parents would accommodate me. (In those days, you ate what you were given or went to bed hungry, which I did on potpie nights! I hated those things.)
In Advocacy for Animals, we see:
In 2005, 5 percent of U.S. children aged 8 to 12 were vegetarian, according to a Harris Interactive (online) poll. By 2010, that figure had increased to 8 percent. Among young vegetarian children, a sizeable number were independent vegetarians; that is, they had decided on their own not to eat meat, against the practice (and sometimes the wishes) of their parents and other family members.
To put this into perspective, when I was a child, the only vegetables I would eat were green beans and lettuce. I didn’t eat peas, which is why I hated potpies. I would not eat a legume if you forced me. In fact, I was the fussiest of all eaters in my family. (If you’re one of my friends reading this, you are probably saying, “You are still the fussiest eater we know.”) Yes, that’s true. I have a strict palette and won’t let anything past my nose and into my mouth that doesn’t smell right, look good, or feels objectionable.
What I discovered as an adult clinical Hypnotherapist astounded me.…
Continue reading below.
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Continued from above:
There is a name for this childhood feeling I had. It’s actually a diagnosis called “Sensory Defensiveness.” Many children have it. As a clinician, I often would acquire such clients (children and adults) who had strong dislikes for textures, sounds, tastes, perfume smells, bright light—so much so that they would develop migraines, sometimes. (Go to the SEARCH field above and type in SENSORY DEFENSIVE to discover a bevy of information I have compiled in blogs past.)
While watching that episode of Green Acres, I wondered just how much the meat industry demonized farm-raised animals for meat—enough for me to erase the adorable image of Fred Ziffle’s son, Arnold the pig—to believe that pigs simply have no brains, roll around in mud, and they deserved to be eaten. Cows are stupid animals. Horses are superior. So, one shouldn’t feel bad about lopping off the head of a cow for food. When you think about it, how much have we been brainwashed as consumers?
I read recently read that chickens are as smart as 4-year-old human children: In YahooAnswers (2016):
Leading animal behavior scientists from across the globe now tell us that chickens are inquisitive and interesting animals whose cognitive abilities are more advanced than those of cats, dogs, and even some primates. Chickens understand sophisticated intellectual concepts, learn from watching each other, demonstrate self-control, worry about the future, and even have cultural knowledge that is passed from generation to generation. Dr. Chris Evans, who studies animal behavior and communication at Macquarie University in Australia, says, “As a trick at conferences, I sometimes list these attributes, without mentioning chickens, and people think I’m talking about monkeys.”
Chickens comprehend cause-and-effect relationships and understand that objects still exist even after they are hidden from view. This puts the cognitive abilities of chickens above those of small human children.
As we begin to understand how smart and friendly these creatures can be, how much does that actually change our desire to consume them? Does it change our desire at all?
When I went to college I had a vegetarian friend, a thick and hardy African American woman, who was considered one of the best in her field. She wasn’t what I imagined a vegetarian would look like (thin, pale and a hippy). She shared some of her food with me, which tasted great. More important than that, I finally understood why I was so resistant to meat in the past. I felt morally liberated by eating that vegetarian food. It wasn’t about the taste of meat. It wasn’t about the aroma of a good steak. It was about the killing of innocent animals. I just didn’t want to do it. So, I became a vegetarian for almost 30 years.
Tune in tomorrow to see why I went back to eating meat for a spell. What actually made me give up Arnold’s legacy and stick my fork into one of my mother’s meatballs?
You don’t get to this voice if reason or recognize it unless you spend time with yourself in silence, asking yourself important self-talk questions. This is like dating. You must get to know the voice of the Spirit by spending time in meditation and silence. This is the only I know to clearly download the power of wisdom and recognize the voice—IN TIMES OF TRAUMA—that is always directing YOU into safety!
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Coming soon, my partner David Menton and I are planning to start a Vlog with Vegetable Based enriched recipes from my plethora of fun and easy ways to make food taste amazing. Enjoy!