To ensure a long and pleasant stay on this plane of existence, you must fastidiously maintain your organic machinery as a mechanic would an expensive European concept car. The human anatomy, with its byzantine system of tubes, orifices, and pillowy pink parts, warrants a full-time team of specialists, stationed in a basement command center, attending to its various functions: nutritionists, cardiologists, neurologists, dermatologists, cosmologists.
But instead, it only has you. You with your caveman brain juxtaposed into a world of Pepsi and cupcake sandwiches. An undisciplined creature, living primarily by operant conditioning principles. You can live forever or so briefly as to be unnoticed by anyone other than your mother, who will only notice enough to say, “Yes, a thing once came out of me, but then it died of type 2 diabetes.” The preservation of this body, your only body, depends on your dietary choices.
While nutritionists disagree over many aspects of what constitutes “proper diet”, they all agree on one indisputable fact: vegetables are good for you. Vegetables, the severed roots and ovaries of plants, foul and unsweetened, polluting that one mostly empty part of the grocery store, piled up like so much inedible garbage, steadily rotting due to a lack of preservatives, unpackaged, exposed to the elements, disturbingly moist. They provide the nutrition necessary to operate bodily processes efficiently, and yet they’re tragically unpalatable. Not even the world’s greatest chef could prepare them in such a way as to exceed the deliciousness of a yummy yummy cookie nom nom.
And so on a daily basis, you must insert the cauliflower. Insert the cauliflower and feel the will to live evaporate from your skin like morning fog. This sensation is Soul Death, and it must occur in order to transition into a “healthy lifestyle”, a necessary sacrifice. Now insert more cauliflower. You no longer believe in God, or in any sort of benign universal force. Continue to insert the cauliflower. Your blood turns cold, and you no longer feel love for any living thing. Insert the cauliflower. You will gag, cry, and possibly vomit—but this is all a natural part of Health. Insert the cauliflower. You’re being purified by the parsnips, baptized by the broccoli. Insert the cauliflower.
Vomiting is completely normal when eating vegetables. Once in second grade, my homeroom teacher surprised the class with a couple vegetable trays for something called Healthy Living Day. Each student received a plate heaping with cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and other allegedly edible materials, and we were told to eat everything on our plates before we could go to the next period. I refused; based on smell, texture, and a brief sample, my ancient hunter/gatherer instincts determined these foods were not foods but poison. The teacher, however, insisted, absolutely would not let me leave until I cleaned my plate, even after all my peers had left, even to the point of cutting into my lunchtime. So I put a carrot in my mouth and puked so much she sent me to the nurse. Another strand added to the tangled cobweb of neuroses.
Conjure this image: millions of starving children around the world who would gouge out their own eyes for a single piece of broccoli. Insert the cauliflower. Death is an infinite black nothingness, the dissolution of your memories and personality, and the only escape is “proper diet”. Insert the cauliflower. Every bite of macaroni plants a seed in your belly, and one day, this seed will bloom into a brain tumor. Insert the cauliflower. You’re biologically designed to seek high calorie foods, but the body is amoral and must be denied. Insert the cauliflower.
Despite the constant torrent of health advice from TV and magazines, some of it contradictory (fish oil’s good; no it’s bad; you should take a multivitamin; no they’re poison…) or complicated (foods you can eat with a fork are fine unless we’re talking cake or deep dish pizza) you must not stress out about Health because that will trigger stress hormones. These hormones will lead to a decline in Health. Another potential stressor: the horror of always eating gross vegetables instead of yummy yummy cookies nom nom. Your mind and body are fundamentally connected, so you must be fulfilled by apples and carrots, even though they are not fulfilling or yummy and are actually terrible and yucky.
You’ll be inundated with media, emphasizing the yumminess of yummy yummy cookies nom nom while you’re trying to eat your green beans, but you must suppress the
feelings of deprivation. That is the route to stress hormones (also, do not stress over not stressing, for that also leads to stress hormones). While the danger of consuming soda and candy is difficult to coneptualize when the commercialized culture has normalized them so completely, make no mistake, they are nothing less than a very delicious suicide pill.
In fact, the more scientists investigate nutrition, the more we discover that people who die of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc. deserve to die, for their unhealthy diets fertilized their bodies for death’s black seeds to grow. By eating poorly, they brought death on themselves as surely as if they put a loaded gun in their mouths instead of cheesy bread. The nutritionally righteous shall survive, and the unhealthy shall pass away into darkest infirmity and death. You see, immortality is attainable through Health, believe it, through denial of the yummy yummy cookies nom nom, by bowing to dietary need rather than base gluttony.
Those who indulge in high calorie foods are physically unattractive to anyone, unloved, inferior, subhuman, hopeless. Insert the cauliflower. Hyperanalyze your food, your family’s food, your friends’ food, everyone’s food, and don’t worry if it seems oppressive or judgmental, for you are saving them from a decline in Health. Insert the cauliflower. No God to turn to; in the modern world, the only hope for eternal life is Health, and cauliflower is the communion wafer. Insert the cauliflower.