I just came out of my class on Social Class and Inequality, and so was naturally thinking about Marx and his argument that capitalism alienates the worker from their labor. I am, in case you hadn’t guessed, a Marxist in many respects, and I agree with his argument; the mass production of goods creates a disconnect between the worker and his product, as he doesn’t see the whole thing from start to finish, and also then in a society defined by one’s work, is then alienated from oneself.
I then, after my class, went to go get some food – and so started thinking about alienation. And food. Then realized that the chicken and bacon I was eating came from an animal – but we don’t see that. Most people (not all – kudos to vegans and vegetarians who do) don’t really think about where their food comes from, blinding themselves to the fact that their chicken finger was once (part of) a living thing. Or that their steak came from a cow. And most people, I believe, would be uncomfortable walking into a butcher’s shop and directly choosing what part of the animal they want to eat not only because it makes them queasy, but reminds them of where their food comes from.
So, next time you sit down to a meal of meat (and yes, fish is meat, I don’t care what anyone else says), take a moment and remember where it came from. Remember the animal that gave its life so you could eat it – and please try to finish it so that it’s life isn’t wasted.