Eating animals is something that has been going on ever since man existed. Practically every animal has a part of them that can be used as either fuel for the human body or in other ways such as clothes , medicine, and many others. Often masked in this “living off the land” idea, it has been passed down through civilization without much thought. What Pacia Purcell does in Eating Animals is bring up the idea that has gathered attention in recent times which is questioning the ethical use of using animals as food.
One of Purcell’s most dominant points is that we eat what we eat because we are influenced by what is around us. He talks about how people in one country are brought up on a diet that is predetermined by their parents which was likely determined by those before them. The idea of which foods are acceptable to eat gets passed down through society and determines what is okay for people to eat. What I find interesting is the grandma story that showed an example of how eating habits has changed over the course of history. At first life revolved and depended on agriculture. For me, this brought up something I recently learned about and could connect dots in a further way that went outside of the book. The concept of feudalism was they way of life back in Europe where many of the families now has roots and even the economy back then wasn’t a commodity economy but a service economy. However what is addressed in the grandma story is how families used to struggle for food and food portions were far smaller than what is the norm today. As the years went by and technology advanced, it became easier and cheaper to acquire basic necessities which allowed people to expand on their diet which created demands for exotic foods. What happened as a result is that the food industry changed its methods to the development of mass producing animals. This lead to creating cruel conditions in slaughterhouses where from the moment a chicken or cow is birthed, they are subjected to steroids that not only speed up growth but cause health conditions that go unchecked. This in addition with crowed living spaces create a miserable life for the animal but society looks the other way since our needs are being provided.
“The Pacific Island Garbage Patch” is what people have given the name to the plastic pile of garbage that is currently in the Pacific Ocean. This 3.5 km pile of discarded products is growing at an alarming rate with not much stopping it and is recking havoc on food chains. Recently the U.N. said it is almost possible to see it from space. However groups like Ocean Cleanup have took matters into their own hands to save the environment. What they did was gather mic plastics to study the degree of the problem but recently took aerial photos that widely underestimated the amount of “large objects” that function like a “ticking time bomb because the big stuff will crumble down to micro plastics over the next few decades if we don’t act.” This brings to light our problem with waste. Humans everywhere produce tons upon tons of waste, garbage, a year with little to no thought of what happens to it. Landfills can only hold so much. The solution can’t be to just discard it into the oceans.