Thursday, March 19, 2009

If slaughterhouses had glass walls...

I’ve generally believed that the key to making people stop eating meat is to expose the abuse that occurs at factory farms. Surely when people understand that the neatly-packaged, well-cut slices of flesh they consume were once pieces of a fully-conscious animal, they will be repulsed enough to stop eating it.

It seems, however, that people are very quick to get over the initial shock they feel toward the suffering animals and are content in maintaining their cognitive dissonance between the food on their plates and the sorrow they feel.

Naked chef Jamie Oliver has been an advocate for transparency of the meat industry and better treatment of animals. In the following video, he goes through the process of making a chicken, starting with the slaughter. Notice the strong reaction members of the audience have even toward this very “humane” (used liberally, as I neither believe there is a way to kill humanely, nor do I agree with the androcentric assumption that the behavior of humans is inherently gentle) slaughter of chicks and the chicken.

This video seems to comment on the argument that humans are evolutionarily built to eat meat, as it shows that we are not even able to stomach watching animals be killed. I don’t think a cat, before she bites the head off of her pray, stops to weigh her moral options and shed tears over the suffering of her food.

Oliver’s absurd takeaway message isn’t that we should stop eating meat. He somehow concludes that we should both understand where our meat comes from and continue to eat it, saying that “I think you can want to eat chicken and care for its welfare and life.”

1 comment:

  1. How barbaric! So very disturbing how an audience of "civilized" people could stand such a (needless) display of cruelty.

    What's the point? For a "food" that is neither "humane" or healthy. The more I see of what people are willing to tolerate for gastronomic pleasure - the more I'm inclined to disassociate.

    Great blog - thanks for inviting comment.