spades and shovels

stop eating animals signMore and more I dislike the word “meat” it depersonalises the fact that the body parts film-wrapped in styrofoam trays on the supermarket shelves, or the processed moosh that is shaped, dipped in batter and called a “nugget” ever walked on four legs or flapped a pair of wings. Although, to be honest, many of those factory farmed animals whose body parts are sold neither had the room to walk about on their hoofs or trotters, nor to flap a scrawny set of feathers in the sunshine anyway. Meat is a euphemism, a comfortably innocuous word that disconnects us from the reality of eating animals. I have to agree with Orwell, G. Mr again (see earlier post on farming doublethink) who said: “political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful, murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

This is all front of mind for me at the moment as there is a social awareness programme running in Australia and the UK called #meatfreeweek urging people to take up a dietary challenge and at the same time inform themselves about the staggering number of animals being raised in food slavery and the associated harmful health and environmental impact surrounding the western (now global) obsession with eating them. All fantastic, but with only a smidgen more self awareness we could stop calling a spade a shovel and just name the connection between animals and the plate honestly. How might this change the way we  think and act? I know it is probably a marketing nighmare but why not #stopeatingsanimalsthisweekplease?


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