Serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors is in unlikely term of religious significance. Yet, in terms of kabbalah and apocalyptic worldview, it might well be one of the most important.
Humanity entered its present state with two explicit and two implied curses. After Adam’s transgression, God promised that women would always give birth in pain and that men would earn their bread in sweat. People would have to kill animals for food and would be themselves mortal. The lifting of these curses is thought to signal the messianic era.
Arguably, we have much more direct signs of Israel’s return: in line with Zecharia’s prophecy, one third has been killed and another third has died in American assimilation. In line with the Talmudic prophecy Jews returned with the consent of nations expressed in the UN resolution, Jacob fought Esau, and nations united against Israel in the UN. No less telling is that all nations have turned to God: even Buddhists proclaim monotheism, and Christians spread their worship of our God to the farthest corners of earth.
But Adam’s curses have been lifted in our time. Painkillers and advanced medicine have reduced the burden of birth pangs. Economic advances have created welfare economy in which not only food but a comfortable lifestyle is no longer associated with sweat. Stem cells and nanotechnologies will soon allow potentially unlimited life spans―with yet unimaginable political implications. And now we have a way around killing animals.
In terms of caloric or nutritional intake, meat is a food like any other, replaceable. What makes animal products unique is their ability to increase norepinephrine levels in the human brain. Consumption of meat makes people alert, concentrated, and smart. On the other hand, vegetable intake affects the level of serotonin, putting the recipient in a good mood. Human evolution critically depended on our being carnivorous; vegetarians are generally not productive intellectually. Modern pharmaceuticals block re-uptake of norepinephrine into the brain cells, and allow humans to remain intellectually alert with little or no animal food at all.
The Torah not only allows us to eat meat, it mandates so, “You will eat.” With kosher laws, the entire animal kingdom has been prohibited for food with the exception of four animals: goat, sheep, cows, and gazelle. Thus it is clear that God detested our consumption of meat, yet considered it an unavoidable concession. Medical advances and animal rights groups are decreasing meat consumption. In our time we’re entering an era of Edenic vegetarianism.