2. A state of being uniformed.
Being called ignorant isn't being called stupid. You can change ignorance but you can't change stupid. Ignorance is when you don't know something but you are capable of knowing it if you choose to.
The saying 'Ignorance is Bliss' is really true. People would rather wallow in their delusions than take the time to learn the truth about things they don't want to change. I've had more people say 'I don't want to know' when faced with the horrors of a slaughterhouse. They'd rather not have that truth in their head when they chomp down on a cow burger. They'd rather live in the ignorant delusion where cows live in pastures and eat grass.
I spend a lot of time searching the internet because if I am reading an article and I come across a person, place, ingredient, word, or idea that I am unfamiliar with, I Google it! We have a universe of knowledge at our fingertips and too many people are choosing to live in an ignorant state. It needs to stop!
I've read comments by people in forums, websites, blogs and social networking sites that are completely ignorant. People would rather argue about facts they know nothing about than go and get the information in order to be able to debate their opinion with facts.
The internet is also full of things that are untrue, of course. It's full of misinformation and outright lies but you can work through it in order to find the true facts of any topic. With a combination of experts, research and your own personal experiences, you can find your truths.
If you come across an article with an idea in it that you disagree with, go research it. I've done it many times and sometimes I stick with my original opinion and sometimes I am moved to the other side, even when I don't want to be! One example, I hate that sugar is probably the worst thing you can eat. I love sugar and it saddens me that in the interest of my health, I can't eat it like I want to eat it!
Learn The Basics
Whatever topic it is that you are interested in will have a basic set of truths. For example, the vegan lifestyle. The basic set of facts for being vegan are that you do not eat any animal products. No meat, no fish, no dairy, no eggs, nothing made from any ingredient that is or was a living being.
Allow Yourself To Change
The biggest obstacle to learning new truths is our inability to embrace change. It's difficult to learn that what you've always thought was true, isn't actually true. You have to allow yourself to be open to new ideas. That is how we grow and mature.
Find Your Experts
You need to have access to the experts on the topics you are learning about. For example, I went vegetarian in 2003 and I read almost every book I could find on the subject and I did the same thing when I went vegan in 2010. I read books and articles, watched lectures online, followed blogs and joined e-mail lists of the companies and people I trusted to give me factual information on being vegan and following a whole food lifestyle.
Through the course of this research I found a group of people that I trusted. I believed their research and their advice. Most are doctors and it made sense to me that if one of the top heart surgeons in the country says that you shouldn't consume dairy then you shouldn't consume dairy. Of course, I don't take one persons ideas as the end all be all but if enough of the people I trust are saying the same thing then I'm going to have it be my truth. You have to let the experts guide you but you still need to learn as much as you can so you can sort through misinformation.
Think about it .. if a CPA tells you that you need a new transmission but a mechanic says you don't, who are you most likely to believe?
My experts are doctors, surgeons, researchers, nutritionists and people I respect and admire that follow a vegan or raw path.
Know The Difference Between Absolutes and Opinions
There are some truths that are absolute. An absolute truth is an unalterable and permanent fact like the earth revolves around the sun, grass is green, and Wal-Mart is evil.
Personally, we all have our own absolutes like religious beliefs and fitness beliefs where we have chosen to believe certain ideas that usually can't be proven one way or the other. I believe that green peppers are the most disgusting food in all the world but that is only MY absolute truth.
Let's use oil as an example here. There are 3 camps in the oil debate. One camp says eat all the oil you want, one camp says certain processed oils are good for your heart while the other camp says you shouldn't consume any processed oils at all. So, who do you believe? First you need to look at the absolute truth of oil.
Oil is 100% fat. There is no debate there. We know that oils are processed. There is no debate there.
The 'no oil' camp thinks your diet should contain no processed oils, only natural oils from whole foods like nuts, avocado and olives. The 'some oils are ok' camp think you should use certain oils in your diet but usually this camp says to limit their use to a small amount each day (way less than anyone actually eats, I'll tell you!) and the 'eat as much as you want' camp would have to pouring it all over everything.
I happen to like oil in a few things so my decision on this particular matter is to cut oil where I can (I try to use no oil salad dressings, I never put oil on bread or pancakes, I try to cook without oil) and only consume it when absolutely necessary to me as it isn't actually necessary at all!
I feel the same way about sugar, although in all actuality there isn't anyone saying sugar is good for you, just the sugar companies saying it isn't THAT bad. (it is that bad)
If you find a topic to research in order to find your answer then you need to weigh the various opinions with research and look for facts. Anyone can write an article stating an opinion but you need to find out what research there is to back their opinion and the research that debunks their opinion.
Luckily, the benefits of following a whole, plant based food lifestyle has a lot of research behind it. In my opinion there are some absolute truths in eating plant based foods but that is just my opinion and until you 'take the red pill' and open your eyes to those truths, you won't believe them.
Trust Yourself and Be The Research
You also have to place importance on your own experiences and create your own experiments. It's one thing for me to tell you that going vegan will make you feel better, lose weight and help you get healthier but until you put the lifestyle into practice and see for yourself, you won't believe it. You also won't believe you can do it until you choose to do it.
I was a vegetarian for 7 years before I went vegan. I knew that eating dairy and eggs was bad for my health. I had read it a thousand times but I had it in my head that I couldn't live without cheese and that not eating dairy probably wouldn't make a whole lot of difference so I decided to go off dairy for a week to see if I noticed anything. I had every intention of eating dairy again or maybe choosing to eat it a few times a month.
I never went back!
Had I not gone dairy free for that week I wouldn't have learned first hand how much better I felt and how clearer my thinking was. The weight lifted off my heart, knowing I was no longer contributing to the horrors of the egg and dairy industries!
So... get rid of your ignorance. Don't be a dumb ass. (wink)