The Year of the Kill & Sustainable Food Production
By Onagh on May 29, 2011
In a recent post on Internet Privacy I mentioned that I had only recently seen The Social Network, the story of Facebook. You have no idea the number of shocked gasps of disbelief I have received from people who know me In Real Life (IRL) that I have only seen the movie in the past 30-60 days.
You see, for any one who has known me since the late 1990’s, it goes without saying that the Internet was my Social Outlet. I started “blogging” before the new terminology caught on, before WordPress, at the dawn of Live Journal. My social network began with the design of my Endometriosis web pages which I seeded all over the Internet on free “homepage” sites. I joined Bulletin Boards, Discussion Forums, and Groups, each one configured with personal signatures containing links to the various sites. By 1999 I had multiple sites with Endometriosis, personal hobbies, and creative writing.
Until MySpace, and then eventually Facebook, emerged, my social network existed in a FrontPage Web Diagram complete with Link Libraries, Graphics pages and external destinations. My email box was categorized by Web Page, Forum or BBS. I managed my network and controlled what was broadcast. One of the key features of my social network was that it was completely separate from my real life (RL). While the size and scope of the internet has not changed, the population has grown. People I only knew IRL were suddenly “on line”. I had to become more and more diligent in my network management. One of the methods I used to manage my network was to limit who was on my social network portals like MySpace and Facebook. I made a rule that only people whom I knew personally IRL would be allowed onto the portals, everyone else remained on their respective BBS, Forum or Group. I had estimated that of my RL friends, only a small percentage would actually find me on the Internet outside of those portals.
Now that Facebook is the preeminent Social Network, the lines have blurred. Facebook especially has been instrumental in teaching the populace how to effectively use the internet. That space which used to be separate from Real Life is all but evaporated in the ether, and the make believe world of the web is no longer the fantasy realm it once was. At the same time, the isolation of just you and the keyboard remains, the interpersonal exchange of real life such as voice inflection and facial expression is still missing. The result has been dialogue without context, a feeling of instant information without any reference to circumstance, or history. Our interpersonal relationships have become Commercial just like our Food Consumption.
Through my Internet connections, I was introduced to people and ideas which I had not considered. One of those ideas was sustainable food production. Since I am a Beach City Girl, this idea was only known to me on the basis of the local Farmer’s Market held every week in the city. This was not sustainable food to me, it was a weekly treat of fresh vegetables, fruits and other “luxury” foods we city folks pay a premium for at the gourmet shops around town. The idea of raising pigs, goats and chickens for food production was something only commercial farms do, right?
In the past 3 years, I have participated in the killing, slaughtering, cooking and eating of an animal. A goat and a pig. Both occasions had families present, and both occasions had multiple conversations about the slaughtered animal, and how this particular animal is just like the one we buy at the grocery store. In the past 3 years, the meat I consume has never tasted better. I have a new appreciation for where my food comes from. But that is not how quite a few of the people I know see it. I have been demonized for the practice, suffered name calling and had righteous opinions hurled at me.
- There is an industry which provides meat for consumption, it is simply unnecessary to slaughter your own food.
- Actual concerns and indignation that children were present and being taught the “ugly truth” about meat consumption.
- Numerous accusations of barbarism, of how disgusting I am, of how irresponsible I am and of course, how cruel I am to participate in the murder of a helpless animal.
All of these words thrown at me by people who eat meat regularly.
Now that our Friend Mark has designated his 2011 the Year of the Kill, maybe more people will start to think beyond the Styrofoam tray wrapped in cellophane and really digest the source of their food. While taking Mark Zuckerberg’s approach is a bit extreme, it certainly adds much needed attention to a much needed industry. There are so many great local farmers across the country that could use this boost in profile and revenue. There is the education of young people on the source of their food beyond the pocket book of their parents.
Roasting a whole pig or goat is a very large undertaking. Families and Friends get together, work together to buy, slaughter, roast and eat the animal. If every family spent one summer vacation organizing a pig or goat roast, the social interaction, the friendship bonds and the overall impact to the families would be astounding. It would bring a sense of reality back to the society who uses the distance of Facebook to maintain their relationships.
In all honesty, the best thing to have happened to the Sustainable Food Production industry is the mainstream media going on and on about Mark Zuckerberg killing animals to eat.