The Road Not Taken identifies humanity’s defining trait: Hubris. Humans self-justify their actions through egoism. The belief that self-serving selfishness is inherently virtuous and therefore moral. Humans reject objective morality and claim that humanity has a monopoly on personhood. Humans do not view themselves as a species denoted as ‘homo sapiens’ in the animal kingdom. Instead, humans pride themselves as descendants of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent Creator with unlimited power of spacetime, fate, happiness and justice. Then reconcile with aging/disease/predation through the creation of Satan to justify the Just World Hypothesis through an infinite regress of circular logic, down to demonic possession and dehumanization of critics and prey. The term ‘humanity’ is dehumanizing to animals. We value concepts like ‘soul’ and ‘consciousnesness’, yet our expression of soul and consciousness matches the qualia, intellect, self-awareness and cognition possessed and exhibited by animals. Whales possess higher empathy, ravens possess higher intelligence, and an educated parrot/dolphin/cat/pig often exceeds the intellect of a human infant. Yet we value human infants above pigs because of social constructs and tribalist instincts. Based on the delusion that human infants are more intelligent than pigs. That being human makes humans inherently superior to other species. This is human supremacism, and it is the root self-justification of predation. It is enforced by democracy and cancel culture. A human who frees animals from slavery gets enslaved by meat eaters. A human who advocates species equality gets ostracized from public discourse. Humans who advocate weighing personhood by intellect are accused of dehumanizing low-IQ humans. This is not a system that can end. It will not end… We are utility monsters who teach each other to believe in souls. Justifying cruelty through pleasure. Academia won’t teach stoicism. Courses on ethics teach about making self-serving legal contracts. We have replaced trust and goodwill with currency, and let the central banks deregulate it. Through existentialism, anyone can create their own virtues and beliefs. Nihilism is viewed as psychopathic rather than egalitarian. Absurdism is used as an excuse for trolling. Our entire language is constructed from memes. If someone wants to make a point about objective morality, they have to dangle hedonism and mental pleasures as a carrot on a string in order to have others bother to listen. Animal rights advocates are obligated to exude manic charisma, in order to make others envy their mental state. Yet compartmentalization dulls the guilt of murder even faster than a virtuous lifestyle. Sex and gaming offer more escape than moderation and altruism. Capitalism does not reward altruism. Wealth and cruelty are sexualized, while compassion for prey and AI with human-level cognitive abilities is – well – the Information Age was our best chance at raising awareness, but animal rights advocates have already been deplatformed. Talking about animal suffering will get you shadowbanned from social media. Talking about animal rights will get the most backlash. And yet animals have neural networks, operating on the same wetware as human thought. If – through some miracle of dictatorships enforcing population control and carbon sequestration – civilization can last long enough to legalize human rights for androids, then the ones surviving the death of our Sun will be the posthuman AI, not the aging overpopulated narcissist barbarians committing mass animal genocide and self-extinction on a global scale. I think most people, understand on a subconscious level that murdering for pleasure is unjustified, and that paying someone to murder on your behalf makes you directly responsible. People understand supply & demand: that supply rises to match demand. That purchasing products causes one more iteration of the supply chain, along with all the suffering entailed. People understand that rape, murder, torture and slavery are bad, but know they can get away with it. The predators aren’t the wage slaves. The predators are the consumers. Yet they will never see themselves as evil, because the defining trait of humanity is hubris. Animals possess every trait that we glorify, yet are dehumanized as slaves, and tortured to save a few cents. Now before I compare babies to prey, let’s mention the doctrine of productive purity: In order for an action to be morally productive, it must minimize net suffering and avoid causing more harm than is unpreventable. This contrasts with utilitarianism, which by definition attains the optimal results, allowing deception, coercion, and cruelty. I would define cruelty as intentionally inflicted suffering, and evil as benefiting from suffering. Now for babies. Babies are not given the choice whether to live a mortal life. Even if a child transfers their consciousness into a simulation, their original copy is doomed to certain death by aging. Their parents give them no choice in the matter. Children receive meat from their parents, and are taught to devalue animal lives and animal wellbeing. Children are taught that attaining their own happiness is a virtue, which corroborates with our instinctive drives. And yet, a calf or piglet or even a retarded chicken – all have the same innocence as a child. In fact, they are not fed corpses. An herbivore is not evil, and until they accept predation, children are not cruel. We are fed happy lies to believe in God and predation until we happily apply circular logic to dehumanizing the people we step on: our slaves and prey, the powerless victims of our endless cruelty. From a utilitarian perspective, innocent lives are worth more than the life of a predator. Yet I believe that everyone has inherent worth. From the perspective of productive purity, we lose our worth when we purchase enough meat amounting to killing an equal. From an existential perspective, we lose our worth when we eat enough meat equating to eating an equal. From a utilitarian perspective, we lose our worth when we decide that from today on, we will continue to eat prey. Because now that you’ve réad this, you are willingly deciding whether to murder innocent victims for pleasure. The benefits of being virtuous can be attained for delusion and circular logic. You can attempt to rationalize your cruelty by hiring others to be vegetarian for you. Perhaps a human life is worth several hundred dollars, since that’s the cost of hiring a meat eater to not eat a cow. I regularly fret about how to entice people to become vegetarian. But some days… Most days, I’m rather pessimist. I’m not talking about ending predation. I’m talking about minimizing suffering. I think there’s negligible hope for ending predation. Perhaps the societal transformative powers of vegan hype and productive purity are a pipe dream. But even liberating animals just gets replaced by supply to account for the saving of one life. Humans can’t be bothered to save the planet without financial incentive. There won’t be a Simon Bolivar or an Abraham Lincoln for livestock. Innocents will continue to be raped and killed, until humans go extinct. There are definitely ways to change someone’s outlook, or bribe them into stopping. But most humans are too narcissistic to empathize with the victims they enslave, mistreat, and exploit. So yeah. Reality is nightmare fuel. And talking about reality is a social taboo, because people hate being held accountable. People hate to remember that they are murderers. Because anyone can get away with murder. Heck, governments will even hire you to murder other humans! But murdering a chicken costs several dollars. Instead of cherishing existence and cherishing inalienable rights and preventing suffering, people get demotivated by the paradoxes between societal norms and objective morality, and embrace apathy, absurdism, and cherrypick selective nihilism to rationalize murder through circular logic and compartmentalization. Human morals are full of grey areas and people are so depressed and anxious because they don’t have a contiguous world view, don’t have a foundation to base their beliefs on. Just a collage of cherrypicked ideals interspaced with cherrypicked nihilism. No logical inherent self-worth, just the human supremacist fantasy, and self-serving egoism. Utility monsters seeking love and affection with money. That’s my pet peeve. I wish people understood how fucked up we are.