[Graphic: Greed by ~Liol]
Since there was little appetite for my recent polemic in which I advocated including necro-cannibalism as an integral part of our strategy to combat ecocide and world hunger, because very few appeared to take note of the fact that it was not my intention to carefully craft an update of Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” (I was actually hurling a hunk of concrete into the placid waters of the indoctrinated readers’ minds in order to observe the resultant splash and subsequent ripples), and since despite the depth of Homo rapien moral depravity and their sheer indifference to the suffering, murder, mayhem, and destruction that the human collective causes in order to satiate our desires and perpetuate the disease we call civilization, reader response indicated that the thought of eating our “fellow man” was taking things a bit too far, I’m advancing yet another potential solution to the myriad and complex maladies we’ve inflicted upon nonhuman animals, the Earth and ourselves.
Homo rapiens, who, judging by the state of the world, outnumber Homo sapiens by a wide margin, are a self-centered, mean-spirited bunch. Maybe their swarming hordes can get behind an idea that saves their asses, eases what little conscience they have, requires little or no risk or effort on their part, and doesn’t involve the possibility of their cherished grandmas winding up as hotdogs rather than worm fodder or cinders.
As an aside, had I written my apologia for necro-cannibalism as a serious assertion, what pray tell would have been so ghastly, macabre, reprehensible, or unthinkable about it? It’s not like we would be committing homicide. The people we would be eating would have died prior to being slated to appear on the menu at McDonald’s. Some amongst us directly perpetrate (and many of the rest of the rest of us openly or tacitly support) the murder of billions of sentient beings (including “universally sacred” human animals) each year in factory “farms,” laboratories, and in faraway lands inhabited by the uninitiated whom we must bomb into the stone age that they might become enlightened enough to embrace the American Way of Life.
What an arbitrary, skewed, hypocritical and bizarre set of ethics and priorities we have. The Earth is teeming with 6.5 billion people who are stripping it bare like a plague of locusts, food shortages are reaching crisis levels, and the Homo rapiens are going to balk at the source of the flesh they so love to devour? Though they may represent the next stage in hominid evolution (on the other hand, one could advance a strong argument that they represent a de-evolution), they need to get over themselves. Or they won’t have any selves left to get over.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist tossing another chunk of cement and muddying those placid waters once more. As a critical thinker who has stopped drowning out my inner voice with Western civilization’s ubiquitous and numerous forms of anesthetizing, conscience-killing soma, I have my eyes wide open to the constant barrage of inanities, perversities, hypocrisies, deceptions, distortions, and insanities with which our barbaric “civilized” culture perpetually pelts us. As my beloved Sylvia often says about the Homo rapiens she encounters each day, “If they come at me crazy, I’m getting crazy right back.” So let’s talk cannibalism a bit more.
Moral and ethical objections to necro-cannibalism are hollow and pathetically feeble when voiced by the savage mob of our collective “advanced, industrialized civilization” that preys economically upon “developing nations;” subjugates hundreds of millions of people through the use of puppet plutocracies, neo-liberal economic policies, military bases installed for “protection,” or outright imperial invasion; gluttonously gobbles up far more than its share of the world’s “natural resources”—eating them and shitting them out or running them through atmosphere-toxifying factories that create more “things” that will quickly become a part of the breathtakingly enormous mountain of garbage through which we will eventually be wading; drops smart bombs (now there’s an oxymoron for you) that only kill the “bad guys”–plus a few hundred “victims of collateral damage;” tortures and murders millions of nonhuman animals every day to yield a plethora of unnecessary products; ends millions of lives before they get started through abortions; locks up nonviolent substance abusers because of their skin color and economic class whilst letting mass murderers like Bush and Cheney run free; leaves billions to live in miserable squalor to enable the American Dream for a relative few; and more. Yet in the midst of an ecocrisis in which industrial agriculture plays a large role, we’re going to keep downing “pork,” “beef,” and “poultry” by the shovel full and get squeamish about stabbing our fork into a morsel of nourishing human flesh that would otherwise go to waste? How about a steaming plate of self-centeredness and an ice cold glass of hypocrisy to wash that down?
My apologies; again I digress. Forget cannibalism. As my “friends” who grease the gears of capitalism would say, “There’s no market for it!” Unlike our imperialistic, war-mongering government (which is merely a reflection of our Homo rapien society), those who are fighting for the Earth obviously don’t have the luxury of keeping “all options on the table.”
I’ll skip moralizing about the abject cruelty of exploiting nonhuman animals to consume their flesh because I recognize that Homo rapiens are too selfish to give up their beloved “meat,” despite the fact that many give lip service to ending the horrors of factory “farming” in favor of “happy meat.” So as my dear “compatriots,” the capitalists, love to say, “I’ll give you the bottom line here.” The bottom line is that the extant system of factory “farming” is an environmental disaster and a tremendous waste of resources.
You can Google the statistics if you prefer more specificity, but for those flesh addicts who are comfortable with the savagery of nonhuman animal consumption, there are two compelling pragmatic reasons to find an alternative “meat” source: pollution and “resource” depletion.
The billions of nonhuman animals destined to wind up on plates or between slices of bread produce seas of urine and excrement. For now Tyson, Smithfield Farms and their ilk pump this waste into storage lagoons, which are filled with this putrid slurry of piss and shit mixed with a host of other waste products, including antibiotics, pesticides, the rotting corpses of nonhuman animals crushed or trampled to death, afterbirth, and stillborns.
What the hell are we going to do with all of that infectious, repugnant sludge as time progresses? Perhaps we could simply do what the billions of sentient beings we’ve oppressed and exploited to sustain our American Way of Life (the soul-sucking, murderous machine we call Western civilization) would love to see us do and “eat shit and die.” No, that’s too drastic. We, as a collective, have done some pretty rotten things and our system’s got to go, but there’s plenty of room for personal redemption on a case by case basis—for most of us any way. So, the question remains, what are we going to do with vast seas of poisonous sewage that threaten to contaminate groundwater, streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes?
Pollution aside, we have another problem that is perhaps even bigger. It takes 16 pounds of grain and 2500 gallons of water to make one pound of “beef.” The global demand for “meat” is skyrocketing as populous nations like China and India aspire to the “heights” of American capitalism and clamor for body parts on their menus. One third of the global population is starving, mostly in “developing” nations, so that the “deserving” citizens of wealthier nations can gorge themselves on flesh. I realize that I’ve wasted a sentence on another of those idiotic moral concerns which Homo rapiens have rationalized away or are just too fucking mean to care about, so let me instead point out that world-wide demand for “meat” is projected to double by 2050 and that our industrial agricultural system is already incapable of providing food for a rapidly growing population of 6.5 billion humans. Therefore, there’s a strong chance that you and your children, dear reader, could be affected—very adversely I might add. (That’s how you get the attention of a Homo rapien—you inform them of something that’s going to directly impact THEM and “theirs.”)
Our current form of “meat” production is rife with irresolvable problems, vegans/vegetarians are still about as rare as recent stock market success stories, and the number of people demanding to feast upon rotting flesh is rising meteorically. A head-scratching, hair pulling dilemma if ever I encountered one.
Eliminating “meat” from our collective diet is a non-starter. Necro-cannibalism went over like reruns of the Lawrence Welk show on MTV. Lowering demand by voluntarily decreasing consumption would be impossible given our “all about me,” “individual freedom with no responsibility to the group” ethos. Appeals to conscience, you say? No, I tried that and most people just laughed and stuffed their mouths with another hunk of rotting animal flesh.
Therefore, we can once again look to the holy trinity of science, technology, and capitalism for our salvation. Interspecies chimeras, laboratory-created genetic crosses between two unique animal species, can rain “meat” down upon us like manna from heaven. Since 2003, researchers have successfully formed chimeric embryos by fusing human animals with three different nonhuman animals: rabbits, sheep, and cows.
We’ve struck gold. Now all we need to do is to start mining. With our scientific knowledge, technological infrastructure, and immense wealth, we could create and distribute chimeras for mass consumption within a couple of years. After all, “product” design and commodification are our specialties in this capitalist society. Replacing “farm animals” with chimeras as our source of “meat” would not be that difficult.
Big Meat could finish butchering the remaining stock of domestic nonhuman animals and make preparations to start slaughtering chimeras and distributing their flesh and body parts for consumption. Marketing this new product could be a problem initially, but the Bernays protégés on Madison Avenue could sell ‘morning after’ pills to members of the Army of God, so no worries there.
Rabbit, lamb, and cow are tastes with which many “meat” eaters are already familiar. Geneticists could most certainly bring pigs into the fold as well. Perhaps they could even engineer an egg-laying chimeric chicken.
Imagine the myriad advantages of fusing human DNA into our chimeras. Once we got the Medical Industrial Complex coordinating with Big Meat and Big Food, we could develop massive breeding and housing facilities for these artificial beings and start cranking them out like autos rolling off an assembly line.
Once weaned from their mothers, the exceptional female stock could be retained, nurtured and reared to serve as birthing machines. Genetically limiting their intellect so that they could perform simple tasks and engage in manual labor (without the capacity to think critically), would enable us to employ a skeleton crew of people to oversee immense chimeric laboratory farms, as these production facilities could be staffed primarily by chimeras.
Chimeras would be the perfect “meat” source. With their opposable thumbs and limited ability to cogitate, the sanitation problems related to factory “farming” would be largely eliminated as the chimeras could use toilets and clean up after themselves. Chimeras would virtually eliminate a corporation’s biggest expense: employees. They could tend to themselves and the facilities that manufacture them with limited human oversight. Once they were transported to the slaughter-houses currently processing cows, pigs and the like, they could be processed in a similar fashion. With IQ’s hovering around 80, passivity would be a virtual given as they queued up to have their skulls bashed in with sledgehammers, and for the unlucky ones who survived the bludgeoning, to be gutted alive with razor sharp knives.
Aside from the breeding stock, laboratory farm staff, and those we ground into chimera burgers, we could exploit the remaining “things with a pulse” in any way we saw fit. Corporations operating laboratory farms could garner immense income streams from both “meat” production and from the sale of chimeras as slaves. Since these Petri-dish concocted beings couldn’t possibly have a soul and would be synthetic creatures, our chimeras would not be endowed with human rights nor protected by animal welfare laws. Homo rapien capitalists would be living larger than a pedophile on a deserted isle full of 12 year old virgins! No extant ethics, morals, laws, or social taboos would impede commerce, progress, profit, advantage, pleasure, or fulfillment derived from said beings.
Chimeras would eliminate the need for nonhuman animal vivisection. With human DNA woven into their genetic structure, their value and reliability as test subjects would be far superior to that of nonhuman animals. We could even conduct the tests in the same laboratories that produce them.
Imagine owning a chimera. It would be like having a cow that could mow your lawn, do your laundry, wash your dishes, and even, if you could get past their odd physical appearance, satisfy you sexually. When you came home from a rough day at the office, instead of kicking the cat or yelling at the kids, you could beat the chimera. And when your stock of “meat” in the freezer started running low, you could simply run your chimera down to the nearest butcher, have it stunned, bled, gutted, cleaved, hacked, and sliced, and scurry home with a car-load of neat little packages of mouth-watering rotting flesh.
Obviously, chimeras would be a “must have.” Clean, “green,” essentially self-perpetuating, and highly coveted by all, chimeras would be capitalism’s crowning achievement. Our environmental nightmare would be mitigated, world hunger would disappear, and everyone could own at least one chimera to afford them more leisure time and ensure they’d be able to gorge themselves on “meat.”
Now don’t tell me that faux ethical concerns are going to hold us back on this one. Remember, we’re the group that’s collectively gang raping Mother Earth and sodomizing her to death. Don’t proclaim to me, dear Homo rapiens, that you don’t want to have your “meat” and eat it too; to strengthen the illusion of “safe food, medicine, and consumer products” provided by vivisection; and to possess your very own personal slave. And don’t try to convince me that a society of marauding exploiters has “ethical qualms” about artificially creating beings that would satisfy these “needs” while at the same time helping to slow or end the impending ecological collapse we’re causing.
Don’t talk crazy to me, and as Sylvia would also say, “Don’t front!”
Jason Miller is a relentless anti-capitalist, vegan straight edge, and animal liberationist. He is also the senior editor and founder of Thomas Paine’s Corner and the blog director for The Transformative Studies Institute.