The Politics of Meat

Michael Dean Benton: The Politics of Meat 3.0

But the hands of one of the partners were already at K.’s throat,
while the other thrust the knife deep into his heart and turned it there twice.
With failing eyes K. could still see the two of them immediately before him, cheek leaning against cheek, watching the final act. “Like a dog!” he said: it was as if the shame of it would outlive him.

—Franz Kafka, The Trial

I believe that eating meat in itself is not immoral; at least that is what I have told myself as I continue to eat it (although, in the interest of environment, I try to limit my consumption). For me, the issue is the “way” in which we currently raise animals and slaughter them–factory style, injecting drugs, inhumane (kind of a stupid word, but at least it communicates a sense) conditions, environmental pollution, issues of sustainability…

Has anyone read Michel Faber’s brilliant novel Under the Skin that acts as a parable about factory style slaughter of animals (in the dystopian tradition of 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, Lord of Flies, We)–allowing us to see it from the animal’s viewpoint (in this case, particularly vivid for a male perspective).

Carol Adams’ The Sexual Politics of Meat first chapter “The Patriarchal Texts of Meat”has very vivid examples of how we raise our food and how what we eat plays a strong role in our attitude toward our fellow humans (in Adam’s case of men toward women–which she demonstrates with visual advertisements that sexualize meat eating).

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