Meet Your Food
There was a time, now long past, when humans lived with an awareness toward other species that we “more developed” cultures have now managed to merchandise, pre-packaged and hide away from our consciousness. Now enjoy an artificial bliss toward the consumption of our fellow creatures that is hidden by a willing collusion of modern merchandising, mass marketing and intentional self-denial. We now happily ignore the suffering that our “chicken fingers” or bacon had to go through in order to make it to our plate because we don’t have to actually see the grisly reality that brought them there.
It really isn’t very comforting to know that the hamburger we are about to consume was recently as sentient as our pampered family pets. As modern carnivores we have managed to almost completely depersonalize the consumption of our fellow animals. How convent is it to “believe” that somehow animal flesh comfortably finds itself onto Saran Wrapped Styrofoam trays neatly stacked, graded and labeled in refrigerated bins for us to mindlessly purchase?
Don’t misunderstand me; I enjoy the flesh of my fellow animals as much as anyone. The thought of being a vegetarian or a vegan for more than a few days strikes me as a bland denial of my omnivore heritage. We evolved incisors and canine teeth for reasons that go back far beyond human existence and to deny that would also be a deceit. However, shopping in the indigenous markets in San Cristobal de las Casas just reminds me that I need to be more enlightened and mindful of my place on the planet and take a few seconds to give thought to the creatures that I use for the nourishment of my body. On better days it even makes me consider ordering the vegetarian plate.