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Meat is murder

2010-09-29 13:40
For example, a committed racist can handpick factoids from their ideological dogpile of skewed news reports, barroom wisdom and good old-fashioned hate, and – much like a Christian with a Bible, I guess – construct a custom-built belief solution that suits their lifestyle like an insurance package.

It’s this process that enables neo-Nazis to perceive themselves as freedom fighters for cultural autonomy and Christians to feel like non-judgemental moral touchstones serving an all-loving god.

But show a life-long racist a news report about affirmative action and – hey presto! – you have an instant anti-racism activist. We saw same ideological about-turn when France, of all places, suddenly became a feminist stronghold over the burqa issue, and now locally, every gun-worshipping, meat-gobbling braai hound seems to have turned into a bunny-hugging, lentil-farting peacenik. What happened?

Well, the ritual animal slaughter issue has once again returned to the limelight for another 15 minutes, and seriously, I haven’t seen so many pissed-off white people since the murder rate went down.

Apparently, residents who might have felt that they’d bought their way back into apartheid by moving to "an upmarket suburb in Port Elizabeth" (a contradiction in terms if there ever was one) have been traumatised by finding out the hard way that their neighbours have the testicular verisimilitude to kill their own meat.

Now I’ve never been to one of those crazy-ass animal killing cultural rituals myself, but they sound awesome, so it’s an experience I’d like to add to my list. I’m convinced it’ll be way more exciting than the average Heritage Day braai, about as bloody as a peaceful '80s protest march, although not quite as exciting as that time I did cocaine on a rollercoaster. But the main reason I’d like to slaughter my own sheep (I’m told I’m not allowed to murder goats or cows) is because right now, I feel like a hypocrite.

I confess: I’m an unapologetic meat-eater. I’ve tasted every edible animal available in South Africa, and if I found myself in an exotic location where I was offered guinea pig, birds nest or deep fried puppies, I’d be sure to take a bite. But I’ve never killed my own food – and this fact makes me feel less than civilised.

I’m not one of those intolerant vegan-hating carnivores, though. Each to their own retarded beliefs, I always say. So I would understand totally if the residents of Bluewater Bay in the Windy City were Wiccans in wigwams who wove their own dungarees and personally breastfed their pets. I would even understand if they were just trendy vegetarians of convenience subscribing to the nothing-with-an-asshole-and-a-face principle.

But if they’re ordinary meat-eating South Africans like me, fuck them. Witnessing or, even better, participating in animal slaughter should be nothing short of mandatory.

We live in a world rife with game hunting, vivisection (literally, the cutting up of live animals), slaughterhouses, battery cages for chickens (so cruel that they’re due to be banned by the European Union) for your sunny-side up chicken periods on toast, fur trading, zoos, circuses, horseracing – and that’s just the white people.

Even a seemingly benign industry like dairy wallows in inhumane cruelty which only we humans are capable of. Cows are kept in a permanent state of pregnancy, their calves treated like waste products as they are milked to death so that our little brats can have something to pour on their Coco Pops. And if that suffering isn’t enough to put you off milk for life, perhaps the permitted levels of blood and pus allowed to leak into the milk from infected udders will.

But those cruelties are OK, because just like our racism and sexism, they’re ours. Also, they’re so well-hidden we can pretend they don’t even exist. Most importantly of all, those cruelties are OK because a bleu sirloin steak in a Café de Paris butter sauce is too yummy to lose.

Until I can show my respect and face up to reality by killing my own food, I try to at least think about the animal as I eat it. Sometimes, I even make the appropriate animal sounds (in this case, MOOOO!). It can make other diners in the restaurant lose their appetite, but that’s their own fault for not sticking to the salad bar.

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