Meat propaganda spikes at holiday time, as we have just witnessed with this 4th of July and the usual media barrage of meat-equals-celebration messages: you must consume heavily spiced scraps of dead pigs and cows formed into tubes (even have contests to see what cultural robot can eat the most), ground up cow flesh, and dead bird parts.
This particular holiday, in addition to encouraging the typical thoughtless consumption of stuff resulting from misery and death, also perpetuates thoughtless consumption of a cultural narrative devoid of any real thought about the reality of our history. When considering our past, which runs up to the present, I think we could use a day of atonement more than a day of celebration: Atonement Day sales at Macy’s would work just as well. With independence from England we were free to maintain slavery longer than any place else in the Western world; with independence, we denied anything close to equal rights or opportunities to women and never did pass an equal rights amendment; we broke treaties with and nearly annihilated the native Americans; we dropped two atomic bombs; we have so many horrific mass shootings with assault rifles that they have become commonplace. All the hoopla and glee about July 4th is based on a near mythical narrative and reveals a collective penchant for not thinking that is childlike. One kind of thoughtlessness deserves another, so as long as we aren’t thinking about history in any kind of accurate way, we can also not think about what we are putting in our mouths. Nobody likes to think that pigs are born to live a life crammed in a crate unable to even turn over, forced to give birth only to have their young taken away at the greatest distress and misery; nobody likes to think about the cattle on the truck, crammed in and terrified and prodded to the killing floors of the slaughter house. Nobody likes to think about geese kept immobile their entire lives so they can be force fed until their livers are near bursting. The hot dogs you eat and the ribs on the grill and the burger on the bun were tormented creatures, not unlike our beloved dogs or even in many ways not that unlike ourselves. We relish and wallow in and exalt in not thinking. I would like to watch the fireworks display that celebrates a real revolution, one based on awareness and kindness for all.