Let’s face it. As a species, relatively speaking, humans pretty much suck. We’re slow, we’re weak, and we’re fragile. A cheetah can run 60 mph. Sure, some guy in the Olympics might run 20 mph. But you’re not him. Ants can lift 20 times their weight. We’re lucky to lift a bag of potato chips. And even the smallest head injury might kill us.
But as luck would have it, we’ve got the smarts to eat every one of those faster, stronger, and sturdier creatures. Well, the delicious ones anyway. Then again, I can’t really take credit for taking down a cow or turkey, as they are already conveniently wrapped in cellophane in the Walmart refrigerator section by the time I get to them. But we’ve generally subjugated all other creatures to clear a wide path for our own prosperity.
This is generally a pretty sweet deal for us. We can wander out of our house in the morning without looking both ways for lions. You can be dropped off after a long night at the bar free from any Buffalo trampling. And we can usually cross most streams without fear of being dragged in by an angry crocodile. With our minds free from the burdens of daily survival, we are allowed to focus our intellect upon more noble pursuits, such as science, philosophy, and televised singing contests.
With the blessing of intelligence, however, comes the burden of ethics. Does a lion feel bad for running down a zebra and swallowing half of its ass in one bite? Of course not. She’s simply acting on instinct, and chasing hooved animals is all she knows. Plus, she has no other easy source of nourishment such as Slurpees or Doritos.
Now, sure, most people eat meat. Some even eat hot dogs. But while our species is capable of feeling empathy for things that we slather in ketchup or BBQ sauce, most of us are detached from the messy details which result in Jimmy Dean’s delicious Maple Sausage Patties. Seriously, I don’t know how he does it. They’re frozen, yet already cooked when I open the package! To me, that’s right up there with the lever on the scale of human achievement.
Anyway, despite this capacity for empathy, the expression of such is usually discouraged for all except naked famous women. But as I’ve seen some videos and read some articles about some methods of food production, I have begun to feel somewhat bad for many of the animals. Which is why I prefer to remain ignorant of the ways in which the animals I find delicious meet their end. Hello?? Have you tasted bacon? I keep hoping that one of those disturbing videos comes out about terrible mistreatment of Brussels sprouts or asparagus. Now that is something I would sit down and examine more closely.
But looking selfishly out for our own species, I am extremely worried about the fattening of America. Worried to death. Sure, there’s heart disease, diabetes, cancer, respiratory ailments, etc. But I’m not talking about that. Not only is America becoming FATTER, we are becoming potentially MORE DELICIOUS. I feel that when an even more intelligent (and hungry) species visits our planet, we are going to be sitting ducks. They will fly right over China and Kenya, and after intercepting radio signals and methodically triangulating Rush Limbaugh’s position, they’ll come right to our doorstep.
What do people look for in a steak? They call it “marbling”. We want to eat a fat cow, not an athletically fit one. We build small pens for veal calves to minimize their musculature and preserve fat, while at the same time we build ourselves media rooms. The intergalactic ConAgra would not even need to round us up until harvesting time. They would just need to strategically knock out a few Whole Foods and Souper Salads here and there, and soon they’d be on their way to enjoying some nice, juicy homo sapien sandwiches. They might even market us as “free range” earthlings for the more ethical alien consumer.
We’re meeting our potential conquerors half way. It’s only a matter of time. Stay fit, stay alive.