Let’s face it, we all enjoy a good meal. Food is something most people in the western world are not shy about. We instagram it, we facebook it, we show everyone just what we’re eating. The problem is the west is fighting a huge war against obesity. Waistlines are spreading, portions are growing, and we just keep on eating. Fitness is a huge industry because everyone is fighting against this tendency for gluttony. Our modern lifestyles have made food extremely accessible for the majority of people. We don’t have to grow it, hunt it, scavenge it, and most of the time we can get it very cheaply too.
Why We’re Gluttonous
There are many reasons why you might be feeling gluttonous. Firstly, there’s so much choice. It can be tough to make up your mind what you want when there’s the option to have everything, so sometimes we do have everything. While technically having a little of everything isn’t the same as gluttony, it can be tough to stop at a little, so we end up eating it all. Another reason we might eat more than we should is because of the chemicals in food. Artificial sweeteners are a prime example of this. We love sweet stuff, and sugar lights up the brain like most drugs do. To curb the amount of sugar we eat (and the amount of calories) artificial sweeteners allow us that craving without the addiction or the calories. the problem is it doesn’t satisfy the brain, and we tend to need more artificial sweetener to kill the craving.
The simplest reason you’re likely to be gluttonous is poor self control. Self control is something that we have to practice, but we’re not forced to because it’s entirely up to us. We are in charge, and let’s face it, everyone likes to treat themselves.
Very rarely is gluttony something unconscious. We choose to be gluttons. We know that we’re eating too much, that we really shouldn’t finish that last piece, but we do it anyway. Why? Because everyone else does it.
Statistically we’re more likely to be gluttonous if we’re around people who are just as we’re more likely to make healthier choices around others who do.
Is It Bad for Your Soul?
There’s no mistake that gluttony is bad for your waistline and your health but is it worse? Gluttony is considered to be one of the “Seven Deadly Sins” which means that it’s considered especially bad if you believe in God. Simply put, it’s considered to be one of the worst things you can do in the eyes of God. But how can having an extra slice of cake be that bad? According to the bible it causes your body to become impure, it affects the balance within you of God’s spirit, much like materialism. The thing with theology, is that it’s mostly opinion. Personally, I’d rather have that extra slice of cake than worry about a potential second existence beyond death that no one is 100% sure exists. I like cake, and it makes my life enjoyable. Yes, that’s a hedonistic way of living, but it makes me happy. It makes my soul happy, so how can it be bad?
This goes back to the age old debate of what if’s and why’s that the church loves to make people think on. It’s about control.
Back in England before the reign of Henry the eight the Church was a very powerful thing. Most priests were considered to be gluttonous and that is what led to their downfall. The people resented the riches of the church and the way their priests ate lavishly while they starved. It’s well documented the sheer amount of wealth the church had, but what stopped the people simply taking it? The answer is control. The church held a huge amount of control over the population because they were convinced that without the church they would meet a horrible fate at the hand of some invisible being. If they didn’t follow what the priests said they would meet a fiery end. Did they? Who knows.
The fact is that the church made up gluttony. Even the ten commandments says absolutely nothing about gluttony. They mention greed, but greed and gluttony are not the same thing because specifically gluttony concerns food. Unless you’re still believing in some fiery hell in your future life then enjoying your food isn’t a crime. Go ahead, eat. Just remember, everything in moderation!