Monday, April 9, 2007

Ignorance is Bliss

As I read My Year of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki, it became apparent to me just how ignorant our country can be about the health problems with consuming certain types of meat. Ignorant may not even be the correct word choice. Some might even be ignoring the problem. Due to the indecisive word choice, I decided to refer to our dear friend, the Oxford English Dictionary for help.

For the word “ignorant”, the dictionary gave the definition: “Destitute of knowledge, either in general or with respect to a particular fact or subject; unknowing, uninformed, unlearned.” For the word “ignore”, the dictionary gave this slightly different definition: “1. Not to know, to be ignorant of or 2. To refuse to take notice of; not to recognize; to disregard intentionally, leave out of account or consideration, shut ‘one's eyes to’.” What is interesting and stands out from these definitions is that to define the word “ignore” the dictionary uses the word “ignorant”. I completely disagree with the first definition of “ignore” when it says it’s “not to know, to be ignorant of” because to ignore and to be ignorant of are two very different things.

Now, a distinction can be determined between the two similar yet very different words. The words “ignorant” and “ignore” are similar because they often get confused with one another and therefore misused often. From the definitions, to be ignorant is to be without knowledge, while to ignore is to know the problem exists and yet choose to not take notice of it. To ignore implies a sense of knowing followed by a choice to simply overlook or disregard the information, whereas to be ignorant implies one being unaware or uninformed of the information and therefore can’t be held responsible.

The distinction between the words “ignore” and “ignorant” is important when reading My Year of Meats. Due to the graphic and significant nature of the topic uncovered through the book, the reader is forced to take a stand and discover whether he/she has been ignoring or ignorant of the problem. The problem is that of the meat industry and its use of hormones. For so long, the country could have been easily labeled “ignorant” of such problems with our meat, but now no one can feign ignorance. Information is everywhere. We live in a world full of fast-paced communication and the internet where information is plenty. Due to the wide range of available information, most of the country is now actively ignoring this issue. Sadly, it is an issue that should not be ignored. With the increase of hormones in our meat, especially that in beef, there has been an increase in premature onset of puberty which can lead to breast cancer (1). For this reason alone, citizens of the United States should stop ignoring this issue that has already affect us and will continue to affect the younger generations until a ban on hormones is established. The European Union has already restricted the use of hormones in beef and has stopped importing beef from the US and Canada due to our continue use of hormones and steroids. Europe has already stopped ignoring the problem, and instead has decided to take a stand. If the EU can rally together and choose not to pollute their bodies and their children’s bodies with hormones and steroids that contain no nutrient benefits but only risks, then why can’t the US stop ignoring this issue? Are we going to continue to pretend to be ignorant or continue to ignore this growing issue? It is time to become informed and take a stand!

Oxford English Dictionary. Second Edition, 1989. Oxford University Press.


(1) Bradford Duplisea “The Real Dope on Beef Hormones.” Canadian Health Coalition. <>


Ashley said...

Being a former Vegan I completely understand that we need to make a stance and stick to it. We all know there is a lot of information out there (even if we don't want to believe). I am also not posting a comment to persuade everyone to be vegan, but to know about the chemicals you are placing in your bodies and for some our families. PETA even though it is an activist organization has tons of information you can read on the internet or you can have them mailed to you. Please everyone be conscious of what you eat. If you choose to become a vegan to make a stance, please see a nutritionist, they are amazing and give you a lot of great tips to live a healthy life without any meat contributions in your diet (I wish I would have known that when I was a Veagn before the last 6 months and it was too late for my body to build up enough nutrients quick enough!)

Anonymous said...

I also found this interesting site called The Vegetarian Society.

Richard Debra said...

An amazing testimony on how i conceive and also get cure from my fibroid permanently with his natural herbs , i wonder why people still don't believe that roots and herbs are very essential and fruitful in different aspect, especially when you can't conceive and bear children. I am a living witness because I tried all I could to be pregnant but all to no avail, on this faithful day, i decided to check the net for updates on healthy living and i came across testimonies of lot of women who Dr Onokun has helped with his native herbs to conceive. i decided to put a try because this has been my greatest problem in life so I emailed Dr Onokun, and he told me what to do which i did, after which he sent me some roots and herbs syrup and gave me step by step guild lines on how and when to have sex with my man. I missed my menstrual flow within a short period of taking it, and the doctor confirmed that I am pregnant. I am very glad to tell the world that I just put to bed a bouncing baby boy last week. Contact Dr Onokun for your own testimony on: Or WhatsApp: +2349064844957