I sat down at in my desk, routinely checking the local and national news while drinking black coffee, and then stumbled across these articles in quick succession. Given my interest in moral geographies, and as someone who is actively making decisions and life choices which are not speciesist (and therefore does not partake in the eating of animals’ flesh, drinking of their juices, nor wearing their skins etc.) these articles gave a disturbing yet fascinating and vivid insight into the contemporary moral and cultural zeitgeist:
1. A radio presenter was stunned when he answered a call from a listener who admitted she was once an unwitting cannibal. “We were all in shock really at what we were hearing.” Article taken from The Independent.
The Independent article is fascinating on a number of levels concerning our treatment of humans and other animals. For example, it gives an clear insight into the moral schizophrenia or ‘othering’ that we bestow on non-human animals-as-legitimate-sources-of food… interesting to note that the expected ‘exotic’ cuisine covers horses, dogs and monkey brains, but not young farmed black children (which in the context would come under ‘unexpected’ (?!) exotic cuisine then). Two key questions arise from this:
1. What is the morally relevant criteria that says ‘Yes!’ it is morally acceptable to deprive a non-human animal of life in order to eat parts of their body (in this instance), but not a human animal?
2. Why is it so culturally reprehensible to eat members of one’s own species, yet so culturally acceptable to gorge ourselves on the corpses of other animals (well – ‘farmed’ animals at any rate)?
One further question: I wonder if the butcher-farmer in question would have pleaded “but they (the little black girls) were treated organically/ humanely” in his defence?
I pose this not as a flippant question, but a timely one having read this article in the Hull Daily Mail: “Happy Pigs Make For Tastier Sausages“. Presumably an appeal to the ‘happily farmed human children’ would explain why the “meat… tasted (much) better” to Anthea and her mum.