Notes on Eating Animals

Food as a loaded cultural phenomenon.

  • It nourishes and remembers. As humans food means much more than obtaining and consuming to survive. It’s wild to compare the ritual of eating for humans versus animals. Such a small amount of the population actually sustains themselves on the food they catch or grow. The process of getting food on the table entails factors of labor, money, transportation, technology, law, etc.
  • “What are the economic, social, and environmental effects of eating animals?”
  • Factory farms 99% of meat versus 1% non factory farms

Taboos within a culture of eating

  • Although George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a satire for select human interactions, the line “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” represents the differing cultural views on the animals we live with and the animals we eat.
  • EX: Our immediacy in giving fish and sea life up to the food economy without remorse or plans for sustainability. There’s this peculiar culture with killing animals where it seems like the less we can relate to it the easier it is to kill. But beyond that, some animals are deemed “pests” or “bad” animals, and hence a cultural energy of animosity is directed towards the “villainous” species. There’s this deep rooted group think that emerges (along the lines of ableism and discrimination of low functioning or disabled peoples) that because this being is defenseless and not normal looking, that it is just waiting to be dominated or attacked by humans (think of how some people react to spiders and insects)
  • Fishing technologies use war tactics. The attitude towards fish aligns with “a spirit of domination.” Does this attitude come from the fish or the ecosystem? Is this because we know so little of the ocean? Is this because the ocean is treacherous and has taken the lives of laborers who fish?

Issues with PETA:

  • They fight for animals welfare before animal rights, therefore, creating padding for structurally oppressive system.

Birds from KFC and Salatin’s must be killed at 40 days old because they are genetically modified and can only withstand short life.

  • Food for thought: Chickens have a life span of 8-12 years, let’s say you’re one of the lucky ones born on this earth into a factory farm where you are genetically modified and killed within 40 days. What happens next? Is that your impact on earth and you’re done? Or is it like some sort of groundhog day where you wake up the next day a chick being born from an egg, and you live on a few weeks and start to realize you will die again suddenly just like the last time before you figure out how to escape. Let’s say there’s one life where you do. You somehow manage to flap your little crimped wings and carry your whole steroid infused plump over the fence and into the field to freedom. But the day after escape your genes are so screwy that you keel over just on the other side of the fence anyways. And the next day you wake up in the farm being born from an egg.
  • It’s funny to me how we have all of this film and literary content projecting dystopian scenarios of where humanity might go. We take refuge in that we aren’t fully there, yet we ironically, have created dystopian lives for the animals we eat. Many share this cultural idea that God will never let that happen to humans. He would never let people suffer that way, and if they do he will cause some sort of apocalypse to teach us a lesson and start all over. But I think our treatment of the animals we eat defeats that notion–no one will jump in and end things for us if they get too dark and distant from natural origins. This one will be a slow, painful suicide.
  • “Americans eat 150 times as many chickens as we did only eighty years ago.”
  • Farming by proxy:
    • “Most people… have given proxies to the corporations to produce and provide all their food.”
    • animals from farming produce 87,000 lbs of shit per second
    • “Roughly 4.5 million animals are killed as by catch in longline fishing every year”
    • The integral role of factory farming in food culture is unnatural to sustain an unnaturally large human population.


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