Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sometimes I despise my culture

And this is one of those times. Since the technical issues I (and some of my thoughtful and generous friends) have been dealing with for the past several months have now been resolved, I’ve been able to resume reading my small set of feeds. And they’re contributing to my misanthropic, alienated mood.

James McWilliams shares a recent piece from the New York Times“The Proper Way to Eat a Pig”:
I’m not going to analyze the piece because, unless you are a psychopath, it’s sufficiently self explanatory. In its gonzo glorification and stylization of violence it will inevitably offend most omnivorous gazes with its inherent creepiness….

The woman holding the pig’s head looks like evil incarnate. The kids, and their teacher, are smiling at death and dismemberment. The “look” on the pig’s face is Orwellian. Vegans should praise this sensational brand of journalism because, although the topic itself is morally offensive, the portrayal, although intending to be an example of responsible writing, reflects an almost comical attempt to promote the dubious virtue of no-waste carnivorism. My sense is that most meat-eating readers—certainly those who realize that a clean murder is just as wrong as a messy one— will not be motivated to go out and eat pig stomach. More to the point, they will find the suggestion so absurd they might look at its paler reflection through a new lens.
Sadly, I’m not so sure. Maybe the worst part for me was the butchery teacher’s description of her emotional response to killing nonhuman animals:
The first animal Davis ever slaughtered was a chicken. After that, she killed a rabbit. “I’ve never figured out how to fully articulate what happens,” she said. “I don’t feel guilty and I don’t feel bad. It is a pure and intense experience, but it is the most complicated experience you can have in terms of living and dying.”
This is a perfect blend of the statements of Nazis who led mass slaughters and the sort of mystical descriptions often heard from serial killers. Is it in any way possible, I wonder, that future generations won’t see things like this and think we were monsters? I hope not.

Meanwhile, Will Potter reports that a US district court has dismissed the lawsuit against the ALEC-influenced Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), while ag-gag laws continue to mount across the US. Although his analysis of the decision itself is fairly optimistic,* the juxtaposition of the story above, in which basic compassion is pushed aside and even insulted in the celebration of killing, and this one in which compassionate people who trespass, take and release videos, rescue animals, and “go beyond the terms of their employment” are labeled “terrorists” is truly horrifying.

*And someone in McWilliams’ thread mentions an interesting piece in the New York Times“Open the Slaughterhouses.”

No comments:

Post a Comment