The Marketing Of The Animal Holocaust
And Humans Are Oblivious
The Marketing Of The Animal Holocaust – It’s a Thursday evening and a new episode of Scandal is about to air. Countless fans – myself included – settle down to watch. Now that Olivia Pope has sort of moved into The White House things are really getting juicy. Or it could be David Suzuki with a nature special – 60 Minutes – Grey’s Anatomy – W5 – Homeland or The Black List.
The commonality is prime time TV and a wide audience of viewers who also happen to be customers. So what do good little, bobble-head consumers need? We need commercials to tell us how to live – what to wear – where to shop – which hotel to book – what to buy – what concert to attend – what movie to see – what mattress to buy – what garden hose to use – what trip to take – when to trade in a phone – what snacks are good – what beer to drink and what to eat!
We – the consumers – are oblivious to the effect these commercials have on us. The insidious power of a repeated message is a dangerous thing. Attractive people having fun – (even the old people are witty and compelling) – social gatherings – gardening – celebrations – birthdays – new cars – far away vacations – air planes – boats – houses and motorcycles. Wow isn’t life grand? These often funny, high value production commercials have bounce along music, songs and jingles that are designed to make us WANT the merchandise and to forget that there is a back story to the products on display.
This is never more evident than in the marketing of food. Oh that chocolate cake looks so good and it was ready in just twenty minutes. Oh give us some more chips – yum. We can’t live without cheese – we worship at the alter of bacon – dozens of toppings and we want them all – family size combo packs – cookies by the dozens – chocolate chocolate chocolate and yogurt for our tummies in case we get heart burn or indigestion.
Let’s not forget chicken wings for our sports night with the boys – easy close lids for our containers of pulled pork – beef everything – eggs from clucking happy chickens – chocolate milk – cheese from Canada – lobster night in the back yard – shrimp by the bucket full – turkeys galore – ducks everywhere – jolly, hopping goats and joyful, jumping lambs. A menu for a king – how much can we consume and “oh okay – we’ll have extra helpings”.
Winter to fall – all of the special holidays – families around the table – everyone so attractive – sweet grannies and good old uncle Bill stealing a potato chip from little Tommy. Happy parents – preppie teens – perfect kitchens and copper pots and pans galore. Oh the crazy, magnificent joy of it all. Everything within easy reach – everything so fresh. Everything?
Yes everything. Yesterday that chicken breast was part of a living bird. Our must have bacon was a young, healthy pig – that rack of lamb was a 41 day old baby – our steaks came from an exhausted dairy cow whose calves were stolen from her so we could swill down her milk. When she could no longer produce a baby she was thanked for her years of forced servitude with a crowded, terrifying truck ride to a slaughterhouse to be processed – her body parts packaged. Our delicious foie gras came from an eternally imprisoned duck and our Thanksgiving dinner was a young turkey whose short life was lived in a windowless, filthy barn. Our veal sandwich was a sweet natured calf whose only crime was to be born male. His short life was lived in a coffin like crate so his baby flesh would be creamy white and ever so tender.
Yes we are humans – the kings and queens of the castles – the lords and ladies of our domains and this is how we roll. We keep our slaughterhouses removed from our lives because we are so ultra sensitive to bad things and we don’t believe in cruelty. In fact – “we love animals” is often claimed while we chow down on a fast food burger. We pay others to do our killing for us. We live-ship animals to slaughter thousands of miles from their homelands – we murder animals in the most grotesque ways to celebrate religion – we lock birthing sows in gestation crates where they can’t move – calves in body-size crates – birds in vulgar, overcrowded barns and ducks in wire cages where they can never fully stand or spread their wings.
Society does not like to have a mirror held up to its collective face. When this is done “society” responds with rudeness – denial and anger. Every day we lie to ourselves about animal cruelty. We pretend that we don’t know. It makes us feel better about the estimated 72 billion animals who perish every year so we can continue to consume what the commercials tell us we want and need. We can be just like the pretty, pearly-white toothed family on television. We can giggle at the dancing moo cows – the happy chickens and the cheeky, porky piglets who are romping around Farmer Brown’s quaint little family farm.
But in truth – as we scoot to the kitchen during a slick commercial in our favourite TV show to make a chicken sandwich – we are the compliant, brain washed masses. We are the happy allies of the factory farming corporations who enslave – confine – terrorize – abuse – torture and slaughter animals in barbaric, automated factories for profit. It is ALL about money. The consumer is the flip side of this ugly, tarnished coin and a willing participant in the annihilation of animals that continues to be one of the most appalling crimes in history.
Think about this the next time our televisions tells us to buy an animal product. Remember that we are consuming the flesh and pain of a young, enslaved and terrified animal who wanted to live. We are devouring animal food products that we don’t need to live a healthy life. It is time to ask ourselves why we are part of this. It is time that we recognized that these animals are living, breathing, feeling beings – entitled to the lives that we are stealing from them!
Why do we participate in this …
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