Sunday, August 30, 2009

Save the Vegetables!

The brutal conditions under which pizzas are raised were brought to light on a recent trip to a local Italian restaurant. Tomatoes summarily sliced and diced after being grown in overcrowded conditions and inhumanely crated for shipping leave nightmare images that are hard to eradicate. The production of cheeses, which are intentionally left in dank confinement to fester and mold, only adds to the narrative of misery that culminates when dough, tomatoes and cheese are sent to the ovens to bake until hot enough to scald the human tongue.
In the Middle Ages, suspected witches were boiled in oil. The treatment of prospective pizzas is scarcely less barbaric, and represents a genocidal attitude towards a wide cross-section of produce.
The one perplexing problem is, if everything that is served in restaurants is a product of inhumane practices, what will be left to eat?
A recent screening of the new documentary Food Inc. made it almost impossible to take seriously the notion of ingesting anything at all, and occasioned outbursts of derisive laughter when one member of the audience, while exiting the theater, asked if any of his friends wanted to go for a burger. The suggestion may have been misguided and insensitive, but the errant colloquialism hardly justified the brutal ostracism that it provoked.
Despite widespread awareness of the horrors of anorexia, starvation has become politically correct for those who can’t stand what is being done to plants and animals alike.
The production of chicken and pork in modern industrial society makes the worst concentration camp look like Club Med, and one wonders if Slobodan Milošević and other thuggish ethnic cleansers learned their trade from exchange programs with major American meat processing plants.
Why not find a good cause and go on a hunger strike, rather than endure the wasteful process of ingestion, which leaves both the stomach and the soul frayed? Myanmar runs a good chance of becoming the destination of choice for those who refuse to be reduced to the cannibalistic act of mastication.

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