Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Soylent Green

I remember when I was first told where milk came from. I didn't have any of it for about a week until I realized that in order to be consistent I would also have to give up ice cream. If you think more than a little about many of the foods we eat you could easily find a way to talk yourself out of it. Similarly, but with even greater ease your hunger will talk you out of your abstinence. It is a delicate game we play with ourselves, a deliberate self-delusion that is often aided and abetted by language.

If we called that white liquid by the name of bovine lactose or even cow's milk then the connection would be more readily apparent so we call it just milk instead. If you're sitting down for breakfast you may have in front of you chicken embryos, pig's ass, as well as tubular intestines and snouts (eggs, bacon and sausage) but describing it as such could be problematic. While eating turkey dinner over the holidays I realized that the gravy added a lot of flavour to the meat and mashed potatoes. But it might surprise some people to consider that gravy is made mostly out of the blood that drains from the cooking meat which then mixes in with the melting fat.

I'm guessing that people from the city are more adept at playing this game of self-delusion since we may live and die among the towers without ever seeing where food really comes from. We frown upon people who go out into the woods, stalk and shoot an animal to later dismember and eat it. But in that case at least the animal has a fighting chance, which is more than can be said for that chicken or cow born and raised in a factory farm only to be later killed and dismembered for our eating pleasure.

Despite what I have just written and how disgusting it all sounds, I still eat meat. We live without admitting that life is at its base a messy and visceral affair that retains all of the disgusting ancient caveman products and processes which we have cleverly removed from sight through the alienation of automation and removed from mind through the palatable renaming of those products and processes.

Sometime after discovering the back-story on milk I was told of the connection between what goes in my mouth and what comes out at the other end. I didn't eat for all of about six hours until my hunger got the best of me. And if you don't know what Soylent Green is made of, here's news that they're now making something else from this abundant renewable resource.

1 comment:

zandria said...

Soylent sounds like a great way to lower our dependence on foreign oil. Ha!

I recently went vegan. Eating alternative products isn't bad, it just take some getting used to. They also have soy ice cream, you know. :)