BY Chris - Oct 25, 2013 0
There is a video that has been going around the interwebs recently that has seriously annoyed me. Or rather, I should say that reactions to this video have been making my fists itch.
It shows what appears to be a combined abattoir and meat packaging plant, staffed entirely by Asians, processing chickens for sale. The staff wear white coats, face masks and gloves, all the surfaces are antiseptic stainless steel and all the equipment, from the conveyor hooks to the filleting knives, looks shiny, sharp and clean. This is all very much as it should be. Problem is, though, that all this highly professional paraphernalia makes the whole process look slightly horrific, which, from a certain point of view, it probably is.
Many people have chosen to use this video to inveigh against factory farming. Firstly, the enterprise shown is not a factory farm or anything like it. You can tell by the fact that no farming of any kind is going on. It’s a slaughterhouse. Secondly, it doesn’t make a lick of difference whether your chickens are force-grown in tiny cages or hand-reared in individual fields on virgin milk – unless you are going to kill them yourself, they will end up in a place like this.
Another stupid comment that crops up frequently refers to a promise to cut meat from the diet in favour of fish. Presumably this will only hold good until another video, showing a fish filleting plant, is released online.
The stupidest thing by far, however, about reactions to this video, is the outraged surprise that seems to be universally expressed by those moved to comment. In reaction to this surprise I have several key questions to ask the world at large.
1. What in the diddley ding dong fuck did you think mass meat production would look like?
2. When you pick up a neatly shrink-wrapped pair of chicken breasts on a styrofoam tray, how in fuck’s name does it not occur to you that there might be a somewhat grisly process involved in getting them from the chicken to your supermarket?
3. Just how fucking stupid do you need to be to spend decade after decade buying meat in industrial quantities without ever suspecting that industrial scale butchery might be going on somewhere in the world? And why oh why does it take a Youtube video to awaken this suspicion in what you are pleased to call your mind?
You know what I think will make the world a better place? Forget factory farming, conflict coffee and all that other crap. The one most important thing that allows large-scale naughtiness to go on in the world is a general and almost complete lack of mindfulness. If we exist in the world in a mindful manner, doing the five seconds of thinking required to understand how the world around us works, we might just be able to make choices that will help to create the kind of world we want to live in.
Failing that, we can just go on being momentarily scandalised by glimpses of the blindingly fucking obvious.