Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Demonstrations in Dining Halls

As a part of Princeton’s special residential college night dinners, one of the dining halls decided to feature this roast suckling piglet as the main entrĂ©e.

Although this form of abuse is not particularly egregious (the pig does not, in fact, care if he’s wearing sunglasses after he’s been brutally slaughtered), I had a strong visceral reaction to this flippant display of death.

The dinner inadvertently served the animal rights’ mission, as many non-vegetarian students were forced to see that their meat once had a face, body, tail, etc. The student response was surprisingly negative, as non-vegetarian students were reported saying things such as “It’s just disturbing” and “It reminds me of ‘Lord of the Flies.”

While we can thank Whitman college for helping students bridge the connections between the animals on the farm and the food on their plates, we should be wary of allowing these images to be normal dining occurrences. There is danger in creating a culture that is comfortable both with seeing the fully-formed dead pig and eating the meat.

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