Friday, June 7, 2013


No, I don't think so.

Short photo series in Modern Farmer today hit a chord with me. ( ) 

Somehow it seems totally creepy to spin livestock's story to where it's a tale of creatures who really enjoy being served as food and simply cannot wait to land on our plate. Doesn't it to you?

The other end of this story is the homesteaders who will butcher animals and then say things like "we did this with a hushed, serious reverence,"as if the animal somehow appreciated their taking the whole thing so seriously, or "we feel (enter the name of said animal here) would be so proud to have graced our holiday table and fed so many people," or something equally stupid.  No matter what you are eating, it's a pretty good guess that it didn't really want to die and be consumed, whether you were somber as you killed it or not.

Both mindsets stem from a fundamental need for modern people to delude themselves about their food, in my opinion.

Listen, if you have to die in order to feed something else, which most creatures on the planet do (excepting large carnivores) you probably 1) Do NOT want to die in the first place, as I said. Healthy, young, living creatures generally don't. 

Which leads us to 2) If you do have to die, as painless and stress-free (read: quick) a dispatch as possible is a kindness, even though you are not given a choice or preference.  The last one is just a guess on my part, due to biases about my own eventual demise.  If I had a choice I'd rather die quickly and painlessly than in a drawn out, uncomfortable manner.  So I also am transferring my own thoughts to the animals, but it seems like if it shortens pain and suffering, that is not necessarily a bad thing.  But I don't go further than that into my food's thoughts and mindset.

Because to start interjecting emotions into it -- animals gratefully climbing onto our dinner plate, or understanding and agreeing with the whole predator/prey cycle because their butchers are so freaking reverent about it, all those things seem both delusional and stupid.

Like my gopher post said yesterday, death in the food cycle is inescapable, but how we deal with that death says a great deal about how in touch with reality we are. 


  1. I agree with you. I think people do those things to make themselves feel better. I also think that it has more to do with our complex relationship with spirituality and death. Think about a funeral or calling hours. When I'm at a funeral my mind is racing with can I say that? Is that okay? Am I sad enough? Should I be more sad? Am I too upset compared to everyone else? Should I have worn this? Things that don't matter. It doesn't make the person any less dead, but we still fuss over it anyway. I think people struggle to "handle" death appropriately. Funerals are often impersonal and don't fit the person they honor, but we do it because "it's what you do". My funeral will be set up like a yard sale with all my collections, and people will be encouraged to wear what's comfortable and drink cheap wine. Haha!

    1. Love your idea for a funeral, you are right that it should always reflect on the individual, their tastes and preferences! And yes, I agree that we're very uncomfortable with death, as a culture. Part of it is that we're so much more removed from it than we were 200 years ago, when we'd kill chickens for dinner, and wash and dress our dead relatives for their burials or cremations. It was an accepted part of life back then. Now we've relegated it to remote locations we don't think or talk about much, and so no one really knows how to behave when we're in its presence. Being in the presence of death is now so unusual that we're uncomfortable about it, but I bet our ancestors weren't. It was sad, but also an accepted part of life.