The Price of Ignorance

By T. McDonald. | Date 1st of November 2019 | Updated on 15th April 2021

Ever woke up and thought, ‘Is this it?’ Have you ever been plagued with the idea that something is wrong with the world or your life; something you can’t quite put your finger on? If you have seen the matrix, you may be aware of the famous quote about having a splinter in the mind. Something in life is wrong and that thing is the price of ignorance.

Something in life is wrong. 

The fictional character Morpheus from the movie The Matrix (1999) explains: ‘…there is something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it is there like a splinter in your mind…’ So, what is it that is troubling people so much that it comes out in modern media and common sayings?  To answer that question, we must first look at what we are. We are animals. Animals need to find resources by which to sustain themselves and humans are no different. Notably, many people also have pets ranging from dogs and cats to snakes and tarantulas!   In addition, you will also hear many people saying that they love animals and could not harm them.  What do many people eat for their main meal? What do many people put in their sandwiches?  There is one troubling food group: meat!  Is it possible this is the thing that is troubling so many young people?   Is it any stretch of the imagination to say the repressed knowledge of slaughtered frightened animal for someone's dinner is the source of shame and guilt?  On the one hand people love animals and on the other there is this need to survive, but if people like animals so much why do many people eat them?  Again, from the movie The Matrix (1999) when in the restaurant negotiating his re-entry to the matrix and eating a stake, Cypher says: ‘…you know what I realise? Ignorance is bliss.’  With this in mind, do people really think about how the meat on their plate gets there? Now we start to realise what is wrong: repressed guilt!

Ignorance comes at a price.  

Subconsciously, people know how the meat gets on their plate; it is pushed out of the mind and into the subconscious where it festers and rots. At some point the subconscious demands we take notice to what we have done. As a result, the price are feelings of guilt and shame. The emergence of these feelings of guilt are the direct result of knowing full well the process from animal to plate. The animal is roaming around a field if it is lucky and then is slaughtered, this is killed by someone or by a machine, it is then skinned and chopped up, packaged and sent to a store where someone buys it. The person eating the meat has not had to kill the animal and this is the ignorance part, but as I have said people know in their subconscious were the meat comes from. If the idea of thinking about an animal being killed and screaming out in pain puts you of your steak, then you would push down these unwanted feelings of horror into the subconscious in an attempt to live blissfully unaware. Subsequently, the attempts to live in bliss takes a lot of energy because the conscience wants to scream out, ‘I know what you did!’ This results in manifested feelings of disassociated guilt and shame. Many if not all people have pondered what an animal might say to its captors. Would it plead for its life? Would it beg for mercy? If it had the ability to do so, could you still kill? As the frightened animal looks you in the eye, shaking and trying to back away, could you really kill it just because you are afraid of a baby corn? All meat eaters know where their food comes from and in order to eat meat, they must suppress the knowledge in order to eat. Such guilt and shame can only lead to one thing: low self-esteem. Subsequently, there is a price to be paid for eating meat, or as an existentialist might say eating dead animal flesh slaughtered for your convenience so you don't have to kill it yourself.

The price of ignorance is one of those ‘something's’ that is wrong with life. After reading this, you will do one of three things: vow to change if you are a meat eater, continue to live as a vegetarian or vegan or you will go back to pushing reality to the back of your mind in order to eat something you have been told to. However, it will not be guilt free unless you are a psychopath.  


The Matrix (1999) Directed by the Wachowskis [Film]. Warner Bros. (United States).

I hope you enjoyed my blog.


  1. Thanks for the post. In context of the blog it makes me think of the following quote:

    The same questions are bothering me today as they did fifty years ago. Why is one born? Why does one suffer? In my case, the suffering of animals also makes me very sad. I'm a vegetarian, you know. When I see how little attention people pay to animals, and how easily they make peace with man being allowed to do with animals whatever he wants because he keeps a knife or a gun, it gives me a feeling of misery and sometimes anger with the Almighty. I say "Do you need your glory to be connected with so much suffering of creatures without glory, just innocent creatures who would like to pass a few year's in peace?" I feel that animals are as bewildered as we are except that they have no words for it. I would say that all life is asking: "What am I doing here?" 

    - Isaac Bashevis Singer Newsweek interview, 16 October 1978 after winning the Nobel Prize in Literature

    1. Thank you for your comment. Are you vegan or vegetarian?

    2. That is great! Have you joined any groups? Say like the vegan society or PETA?

    3. I haven't, no. I've mainly come in contact with online communities and groups, rather than more established organizations.
      How about yourself? Would you recommend me doing so?

    4. Yes, diffidently. I am both a member and a volunteer for the vegan society. This is a link to the vegan society, which have lots of helpful information.

      Some of use are trying to persuade the RSPCA to stop selling leather too if you want to join us we are on tweeter, but the more social media platforms we cover the better chance of being heard we have. :-)

    5. Right on, I'll definitely take a look at that!

      I'm curious to ask: have you found much success discussing animal ethics in religious circles? Is there usually a lot of pushback or is it smooth sailing for the most part?

    6. I find it is no different than talking to non Christians. If you try to argue it from a biblical position, you will likely sound patronising that will make any Christian feel defensive. I find the best thing is to promote the health benefits and the how the mock meats have improved. There are a lot of green thinking people in the Christian Church, so pointing out the environmental impact of going vegan helps too. I picked up a lot of green tips from Christians. This is a really good question that i feel i can only fully answer in a blog, but for now i can say the reaction to veganism is much the same as any other group.

  2. Wow, that's a great answer — thank you!

    I barely ever talk about veganism unprompted and when it does come up I tend to use a light touch, so I would certainly never imagine bringing up biblical arguments myself to a discussion such as this one.

    1. You are very welcome. May I ask, do you ever talk to you family about a life without animal products? I have had some luck with my family, but not all.

    2. I have though I don't usually, because I know they aren't particularly interested in pondering the question. They're really lovely about me and my choices almost universally so I try to be the same way for them, even if I don't share the same outlook that they do. Speaking with family about difficult issues such as this one is also probably more intricate a process than to do so with anyone else, partly because it reflects a lot of the underlying family dynamics and then also because it potentially has larger consequences than a conversation with anyone else would. Lastly I just feel like it's somewhat unfair to expect or demand more of someone just because you have emotional sway over them that can force them to endure s conversation they wouldn't want to partake in otherwise. I most definitely don't want my close ones' experience of me to be like that, so for the most part I just let sleeping dogs lie.


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