After rubbing the belly of a (large) sleeping pig and reading Pachirat’s second and third chapter, I couldn’t help but to realize that these animals are in fact (as the guy from Farm Sanctuary said) individuals. [I also couldn’t help but to think about how good the pigs shoulder would taste at Christmas dinner but that’s another story—just keepin’ it 100] I was entranced by the way my peers engaged with animals they’ve never had a chance to see up close or touch. Pachirat speaks to this. The fact that most have never interacted with or even seen the animal’s they have consumed throughout their lifetime is certainly one of the main concerns or issues with the way we treat and consume animals. With that said, Pachirat’s book is the door or window for those that do not have access to slaughterhouses in order to obtain the “insider knowledge about what exists behind the opaque” (28).
My favorite section of this reading (not that I find some delight in reading this kind of thing) is the in-detail description of the way in which a cow is killed (53-55). It’s of particular interest because of the incident that happened in the first chapter—the cows escaping and getting shot in the head, etc. I didn’t understand how the workers were so riled up about the fact that a cop shot the cow when the same thing happens in the factory; regardless the cow was going to get shot—so what’s the issue? What I mean to say is that the slaughterhouse keeps us away from thinking about what we’re doing to these animals and when we’re all of a sudden exposed to the realities of the harshness everyone wants to point fingers and place blame, or in this case become a vegetarian or vegan. Does that help any though? (No disrespect to the vegetarians) Not supporting the industry by a protest of vegetarianism doesn’t really do much, from my perspective, the cows, chickens, pigs, goats, *insert other animals*, are still being killed “every twelve seconds” (9).
It is evident that the distance between animal and man has seeped easily into our culture as we have desired meals that resemble those that we see on… the Food Network (my favorite channel). The good ol’ American meal, burgers, hot dogs and fries, is a prime (<- ha, carnivorous pun) example of how ‘the powers at be’ know our “weakness” and use it in order to manipulate the audience into contributing to the system of slaughterhouses and capitalism in general. Humans seek to be satisfied and the idea of what could be (through the use of imagination) becomes the priority in order to feed the eyes what the flesh wants (not necessarily the soul). In the case of “The Pornography of Meat”, the fulfillment we receive from the objects of desire make us content. Sex makes us content much like stuffing our face with food does (in a different way of course, I hope?)—so if sex makes us happy and meat makes us happy and relating the two is bad (as seen by Adam’s feminist lens at the end), what exactly are we supposed to give up in the grander scheme of things?