Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Twilight, or how to fall in love with food

I'm going to share a story with you.

When I was a candid 14 years old, I went in a family trip to a rural area, we stayed in these big old houses outside the main town and beaches, which are the main attraction of the place. It was a modest site, with farms and livestock, horses, cows, chickens. I found it rather hard to merge with this bucolic setting, so distant of my usual lifestyle in the city, but the peacefulness is always appreciated for short periods of time.

One day, we got invited to check the "backyard" of this restaurant. You could see the chickens living in a small fenced rooms, I even carried a fat chicken, until I noticed it smelled like shit. And then another room which served as slaughterhouse. There was a counter, some chairs and a strange structure lying in the back. This structure had inverted metallic cones with a hole on the tip, six maybe, and below some sort of tin tub.

A chubby woman appeared, slowly balancing the three chickens she was carrying by the cord these had tying the feet together. She placed the animals upside down, each on a cone, in a way the head stuck out the hole, by the smaller part, and the feet by the larger part of the cone. Then, she grabbed a decrepit claw knife, in a disdainful manner cut the ties and slashed their throats. They bled quickly, giving hopeless kicks in the air.

I was fascinated and disgusted. I had never seen an animal getting killed for food in real life. For all I knew chicken "sort of appeared" headless and featherless in the market. And then "sort of appeared" roasted or fried on my plate. It's not strange for people like me, who always lived in a city, to feel utter disconnection with the food we consume.

No way! It's like magic

For months, every time I was going to eat meat, I had certain cognitive dissonance. "Killing/torturing/mistreating animals is bad. Here, eat this steak". I avoided eating meat for a while, but I'm not made for that, so to speak.

In the end, I learned to see food differently. If I have any chance to kill my own food, I'll use it, same for the cleaning/preparation. Shame there's no chance to hunt in the city, unless you're into eating stray dogs and cats.


So I finally got to watch Twilight on Netflix. Yeah, I'm so late to the party. I'd heard so much about it: "the worst books/story ever", "horrible teenage crap", "sparkling vampire-fags". And you know? they were sorta right. But I don't get the hype or hatred, nonetheless. This is just a romantic-comedy, they say it's drama... such situations cannot be drama, they're too funny and ridiculous.

What caught my attention was the psychology of the protagonists, this girl is to him, what that fat stinky chicken I carried in that farm was to me. One can find animals cute, but not equals to us, especially the animals whose primary function is to be eaten. You could argue that he was human. Keyword: was. He's a predator of humans, not really human himself anymore. No matter how this chick tries to change him or find his inner soft side (gotta love the naive girls with bad guys cliché) he's still a predator and she's prey.

He's a troubled wimp, not accepting of his own condition and the superiority attached to it. He goes against his nature for some cheesy morality, certainly reminds me of that 14 years old girl I was once - except I don't sparkle, I might be pale as fuck, but not sparkling so far. - He's a good representation of many actual human beings; of certain flawed logic we're taught, the suppression of our nature, because it's seen as amoral, harmful and therefore evil.

We're told we need to protect the weak, as some duty inherent to our strength, not just the animals we consume, but the environment, and other disadvantaged human beings. We all are predators in some way: the food chain, social hierarchy, economically. It's just natural to embrace our strengths and advance, not forcing ourselves to go to the bottom and do what this castrating society tell us is "right", especially when this implies detriment for ourselves.

2 comments:

  1. Everything I was told about fried chicken is a lie then. D:

    I honestly could never be guilted into this vegan/vegetarian nonsense. It's not really because of culture or whatever, but because omnivore behavior is what makes us human. I've heard the argument that humanity has evolved its brain to the point of not needing to be "animals" and can spare the poor chicken or cow. Nonsense. We're still what we were so long ago and that will never change. I admit to pure bias being a food connoisseur and unable to fathom never eating it. It's up to the person yes, but I'll be damned if I'll be guilted into it.

    And regarding Twilight, I hope you saw it with the actor commentary. Robert Pattinson claimed it was one of the worst character designs he had ever seen. I still laugh. Interesting angle with the movie/book and that his characterization is a pussification of what a superior being should be. To me however it was still the fanfiction of a hamsteak woman who clearly didn't get enough male attention in her younger years.

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  2. My dad was raising meat chickens when I was a young kid, and I saw firsthand dozens of chickens being slaughtered hah. It is definitely a shame more people can't hunt and kill their own food. I think it's important, it's part of what makes us human. If you want to eat that meat, you should be able to kill and clean it first (at least ideologically, if not physically capable), or you do not deserve to eat it.

    I've still not seen Twilight and I plan on never watching it XD

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