One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. [From PETA]
Reader Lil, unnerved by my meatly proclivities, recently took me to task for my failure to address â€œanimal and food politics consciousnessâ€ along with the general patriarchy-blaming.
What I know of Lil suggests that she is a thoughtful person (she left an excellent comment on the pie fight post attributing the vileness at Abu Ghraib to the pervy patriarchal sense of fun) and I applaud her interest in holding her internet feminists to a high ethical standard. A vegetarianâ€™s enthusiasm for any given lefty blogger would understandably wane if it turned out that the blogger in question is blithely sauntering from town to town cramming the products of institutionalized cruelty into her mouth.
Now that there are cruelty-free meat options, I donâ€™t believe that the feminist appetite must automatically default to vegetarian. Still, it cannot be ignored that one of the founding principles of patriarchy (the blaming of which, you will have noticed, is something of a theme with me) is meat, meat, and more meat. All meat all the time. Eat meat, wear meat, sell meat, use women as meat, use women as meat to sell meat. Naturally, anything so cherished by the patriarchy must come under suspicion by those who seek to blame it.
Itâ€™s no secret to anyone with even a partial brain that factory â€œfarmsâ€ are places of indescribable horror. Beakless chickens collapsing under their own weight; cattle strung up on hooks, still living, their tracheas ripped out; pigs boiled alive at the rate of 1000 an hour. That these atrocities are driven by greed rather than need imbues them with a particularly patriarchal stench, for as we have seen, The Establishment has no interest in living things beyond the extent to which they can be exploited.
But Iâ€™m not just talking about corporate greed. The American individualâ€™s sense of meat-entitlement is as deeply ingrained as his fundamental burly-man right to a V8 engine and marital rape. It’s as though Hamburgers For All were written into the Bill of Rights. But hereâ€™s the thing:
Anytime an individual gratifies a hankerin’ for a McBallbuster, he debases our whole species. If he buys a cello-pak of Tyson drumettes at the Piggly Wiggly, he debases our whole species. If he protests, â€œI feel bad about the slaughterhouses, but I canâ€™t afford organic free-range cruelty-free rump roasts,â€ the answer is: â€œTry the falafel!â€ Itâ€™s either that or live with his complicity in the completely gratuitous suffering of sentient beings who, letâ€™s face it, never said a word against him.
The latter of which would make him a lowlife fucktard hypocrite, which would probably not be news to his wife, who has been aware of his secret stash of â€œHot Teen Buttsâ€ magazines for quite some time.