Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

The big price of decency – how it made people lose fur and skin color, and then innocence, unity, equality, freedom and peace

Recently, I had a few ideas. Do they make any sense to you?

As I explained before, most of us need to take Vitamin D. It builds and protects our bones but plays many other roles in our body too. Vitamins are complex molecules that we need but cannot synthesize ourselves. Vitamin D can be created in our skin under influence of ultra-violet sunlight. However, so much sun exposure is needed that it would leave us at risk of skin cancer (melanoma).

So who make Vitamin D that we may take it from? Bacteria in our intestines. Some others there make also Vitamin K. The difference is, after K is excreted by the bacteria, it is taken in into our bloodstream, but not D. That’s created beyond the point where we can still absorb it. Vitamin D is thus excreted with the bowel movement. Animals that eat from the ground so get enough D. But we rinse our food. We eat from tables and plates. (Even our domesticated animals might eat from cleaned floors.) The price: we must find ways to still get D. Plenty of sun was one trick. We lost most of our fur and so could generate D. From bear to bare.

However, that meant that touch became naked skin to skin. We became in danger of sexual stimulation whenever and almost wherever we touched each other. We needed social codes and conventions of how (not) to touch in order to not become sexual all the time. That made us colder, more isolated and lonely. The solution, funnily, was to bond with a sexual partner and become one flesh. Having sex all over the place did not work against the aloneness.

Exposing bare skin and hair became ways to upgrade our market value and chances to not stay alone, largely masking our in-born beauty that’s more than skin-deep. We grew to enjoy petting hairy animals – and also started eating them in a primitive attempt to regain what we lost?

When some humans moved to colder regions, they needed more clothing and received less sun as it was. Then, how to survive this lack of sun-skin-generated Vitamin D? Solution: losing most of their skin pigmentation. A lighter skin more easily uptakes sunlight. Rickets and dark tones may break my bones, but fairness will never break me?

One would think that the rare pale naked skin would fill its exotic bearers with enough pride not to need to look down on others for self-esteem, but it didn’t. Once they reconnected with their darker brethren, they found them “less advanced” instead of admitting that their own adaptation was not “progress” but in fact a deterioration, which left them less protected against sunburn and melanoma, and with brittle hair and split ends. And their long feeble hair needed to be bundled all the time not to block their fields of vision.

It used to be that tensions between groups of people were mainly between neighboring countries, for territory and to enslave “the other.”

Later, peoples were being categorized according to customs and especially language. True, possibilities and impossibilities of a language do color how we think, but such differences have been grossly exaggerated to “justify” wars between the good (us) and the wicked (them). Germans and Anglo-Saxons are of course only linguistic categories, nor moral ones.

When Christianity spread among the pale-faced, they claimed superiority because they had Monotheism, so conveniently they asserted a right to trade and enslave “inferior” blacks as if animals or merchandise. Yet, the lie of racism was thin because, if the difference was religious truth, that can be passed on. (Besides, the founders of Christianity most probably were not fair-skinned or blue-eyed.)

Six hundred years ago, skin color was still completely immaterial but became an excuse to “justify” slavery and slave trade. “Progress” in science then brought genetics and Evolution Theory, which gave the concepts to label blacks as lower creatures supposedly closer to apes.

Even after abolition of slavery, “racial” profiling stayed popular – while humans all are rather of one race: homo sapiense sapience. The medical world continued to measure skulls to pinpoint irrelevant differences between populations. These variations were now needed to “justify” colonialism – and the mass murder of Jews.

Another new excuse to divide and oppress is based on belief. The Inquisition in Spain burned Jews because they did not want to convert to their “superior” religion, not because of those “lowly” lineages.

Meanwhile, “good old” nationalism is still alive, as we see in wars, protectionism (closing borders) and international sport competitions. “Race” is still the pretext for White Supremacists, uninterested if a Jew was baptized; but extremist Muslims wouldn’t bother Islamic Jews.

In fact, of course, there are only two groups of people: people who divide mankind into two and people who don’t. Hatred, nationalism, racism, supremacy, colonialism and wars have long roots and are hard to weed. While there is nothing wrong with being proud and continuing our identities, wrong is to assume that some of us are automatically entitled to more than others. And that is where these oppressions tie in with classism.

And here we are now: naked, lonely, oversexed (not you, but almost everyone else), with different skin colors and divided by racism and entitlement “thinking.” This all, just because we wanted to be decent and eat from a plate. It’s been a huge price, if you ask me.

Now beginning to eat like animals is too late. Just have your Vitamin D, have an intimate partner to bond with, have platonic clothed hugs, don’t abuse sex, don’t support wars and do abandon arrogant ideas; and if you are white, have haircuts and a multi-ethnic circle of friends.

The small vitamin with the big consequences.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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