Food, Inc

I finally watched Food, Inc today. It’s a start, but I found three facts conspicuously absent:

  1. Most of the monocropped grain we grow is fed to animals. If we ate it directly, we would need much less of it.
  2. Grass fed beef and dairy are so inefficient with land use that they are less sustainable than feedlots.
  3. Killing an animal that doesn’t want to die is not treating it with respect.

Even ancient farming practices, like the ones promoted in Food Inc and by Joel Salatin (and what we have been taught is “natural” since we were children), are cruel to animals. We don’t realize this because culturally it has always been so taboo to talk about the perspective of the animals used for food. Even today we dance around the issue by blaming factory farms. Yet these hellish factories are in fact a natural evolution of the idea that it’s somehow right and just for us to dominate other species for our own pleasure. It’s not.

Entwined

If we were not ourselves involved in routine violence towards a handful of species, we would find it appalling and step in to shield defenseless and innocent animals from harm.

Because our personal behavior is entwined with the violence in an unavoidable way, we may feel threatened when the message of peace is presented without deference to our cultural habits.

The message is not an attack, it’s an opportunity to disentangle ourselves, enjoy our newfound freedom, and empower those around us to do the same.