Eating Cartoons

by Justin

Even in my more carnivorous days the practice of anthropomorphizing the source animals never made sense to me, especially since it usually took the form of a joyous cartoon character.

The last neighborhood I lived in was largely Latin American, and the local carnicerias often had some winking cow or top-hat tipping pig on the awning. When I ate meat, part of the joy in eating came from the ease in ignoring the animal slaughtered to provide the food. But going to a Carolina BBQ restaurant and seeing Porky grinning up, even as a kid that was a little unsettling.

Maybe the idea, not necessarily unsuccessful for most of its audience, is to present the animal as an enthusiastic participant and even an advocate for the consumption of his or her species. You know, if a cow threw a comic grin at me and pleaded that I eat his brethren (or him) maybe I’d oblige. As I consider it, those cartoon icons may in reality (?!) be a dark cannibalistic element in the ranks of other pigs, cows, and chickens. Read the rest of this entry »