Unethical and/or Immoral

“The question of human limits, of the proper definition and place of human beings within the order of Creation, finally rests upon our attitude toward our biological existence, the life of the body in this world. What value and respect do we give to our bodies? What uses do we have for them? What relation do we see, if any, between body and mind, or body and soul? What connections or responsibilities do we maintain between our bodies and the earth? These are religious questions, obviously, for our bodies are part of the Creation, and they involve us in all the issues of mystery. But the questions are also agricultural, for no matter how urban our life, our bodies live by farming; we come from the earth and return to it, and so we live in agriculture as we live in flesh. While we live our bodies are moving particles of the earth, joined inextricably both to the soil and to the bodies of other living creatures. It is hardly surprising, then, that there should be some profound resemblances between our treatment of our bodies and our treatment of the earth.” Wendell Berry, The Body and the Earth

Is it unethical and/or immoral to eat junk or drink soft drinks that are known not only to have no nutritional value but to also harm your body? What about when you are already suffering from diet-related disease and sickness? Is it unethical and/or immoral to continue to consume things that further sicken the body by causing even more complications of diet-related disease and sickness?

Is it unethical and/or immoral to serve junk and/or soft drinks to children when they already do not eat the RDA of fruit and vegetables, and they are also suffering from diet-related disease and sickness? Is it unethical or immoral not to give children to feed them the absolutely best food that naturally nourishes their bodies the way they are designed?

Is it unethical and/or immoral to serve adults junk or soft drinks knowing that 8 out 10 already have some form of diet-related disease and sickness and 9 out of 10 do not eat the RDA of fruit and vegetables?

Is it unethical and/or immoral to have a business that profits off the selling of junk or soft drinks knowing that we have an epidemic of diet-related disease and sickness that is affecting over 88% of Americans and costs over 2 trillion a year in taxpayer money?

Is it unethical and/or immoral to ask the American public to pay for the exorbitant medical costs because we refuse to take personal responsibility for our individual health?

Is it unethical and/or immoral to teach kids a nutritional guideline that was produced to help industries and corporations make profits?

Is it unethical and/or immoral to feed our kids subsidized junk in their preschools, public schools and after school programs?

Is it unethical and/or immoral to serve our homeless, low income and most vulnerable populations junk and/or foods known to cause diet-related disease and or sickness?

Is it unethical and/or immoral to continue to provide subsidies for foods known to cause diet-related disease and sickness and do nothing to make sure the best fruits and vegetables are cheap, convenient and accessible to everyone at anytime?

Is it unethical and/or immoral to not have systems and structures in place to guarantee local communities are full of the best locally grown, locally produced and locally prepared agricultural products and meals that are affordable and accessible to everyone in the community?

Is it unethical and/or immoral to continue fund a broken weight loss formula, the moderation myth and the lie of individual health when it has obviously failed for decades?

Is it unethical and/or immoral for doctors, health professionals and health experts not to address diet-related disease and sickness and continue to treat it with pills, procedures and uneducated advice?

Is it unethical and/or immoral to turn a blind eye to diet-related disease and sickness in our homes, churches, businesses and communities?

Is it unethical and/or immoral not to make the strengthening of health the main priority when the top killers are diet-related disease and sickness in our country?

“After more than thirty years I have at last arrived at the candor necessary to stand on this part of the earth that is so full of my own history and so much damaged by it, and ask: What is this place? What is in it? What is its nature? How should men live in it? What must I do?

I have not found the answers, though I believe that in partial and fragmentary ways they have begun to come to me. But the questions are more important than their answers. In the final sense they have no answers. They are like the questions – they are perhaps the same questions – that were the discipline of Job. They are a part of the necessary enactment of humility, teaching a man what his importance is, what his responsibility is, and what his place is, both on the earth and in the order of things. And though the answers must always come obscurely and in fragments, the questions must be asked. They are fertile questions. In their implications and effects, they are moral and aesthetic and, in the best and fullest sense, practical. They promise a relationship to the world that is decent and preserving.

They are also, both in origin and effect, religious. I am uneasy with the term, for such religion as has been openly practiced in this part of the world has promoted and fed upon a destructive schism between body and soul, Heaven and earth. It has encouraged people to believe that the world is of no importance, and that their only obligation in it is to submit to certain churchly formulas in order to get to Heaven. And so the people who might have been expected to care most selflessly for the world have had their minds turned elsewhere – to a pursuit of ‘salvation’ that was really only another form of gluttony and self-love, the desire to perpetuate their lives beyond the life of the world. The Heaven-bent have abused the earth thoughtlessly, by inattention, and their negligence has permitted and encouraged others to abuse it deliberately. Once the creator was removed from the creation, divinity became only a remote abstraction, a social weapon in the hands of the religious institutions. This split in public values produced or was accompanied by, as it was bound to be, an equally artificial and ugly division in people’s lives, so that a man, while pursuing Heaven with the sublime appetite he thought of as his soul, could turn his heart against his neighbors and his hands against the world. For these reasons, though I know that my questions are religious, I dislike having to say that they are.

But when I ask them my aim is not primarily to get to Heaven. Though Heaven is certainly more important than the earth if all they say about it is true, it is still morally incidental to it and dependent on it, and I can only imagine it and desire it in terms of what I know of the earth. And so my questions do not aspire beyond the earth. They aspire toward it and into it. Perhaps they aspire through it. They are religious because they are asked at the limit of what I know; they acknowledge mystery and honor its presence in the creation; they are spoken in reverence for the order and grace that I see, and that I trust beyond my power to see.” Wendell Berry, A Native Hill

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