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July 28, 2011



And then, to go even farther afield, if we follow Carol Adam's The Sexual Politics of Meat, there are countless gender messages encoded in the anthropomorphization of animals. For instance, Adams points out that animals qua predators are almost invariably "he," animals qua prey are almost invariably "she," and animals qua inert food product are almost invariably "it." So the "he" hot dog here consumes the "it" hot dogs, while the sausage pig is remarkably androgynous (as far as human anatomical features, I would classify it as "male" in some respects and "female" in others). This apparent androgyny should not be surprising, since the pig is portrayed as simultaneously hunter and prey, while a neutered product sits off to the side. Also, notice the blue (hence, most likely male) brontosaurus getting ready for a meal of un-gendered (and un-featured) dinosaurs.

VL Brandt

I recently stumbled across the work of Kristin Dombek (Princeton, English Dept), who wrote a piece called "Murder in the Theme Park: Evangelical Animals and the End of the World" (published in The Drama Review, Spring 2007). The Left Behind series apparently portrays the kingdom of heaven as a place where animals volunteer to be butchered:

"… the utopian butchering depicted in the series’ final pages is easy, relatively clean, and divinely ordained. … In the millennial kingdom, then, no longer do humans have to hunt, for all animals are docile and turn themselves over for killing whenever humans need food. Now that the Beast is gone, humans will no longer need to be martyrs; the only skin to be cut, the only bodies slaughtered and on display, will be those of nonhuman animals."

Is this the "she wanted/asked for it" argument often deployed against victims of rape being played out in the realm of animals?

Both the advertisements you call attention to and the curious features of heaven posited by pop evangelicalism suggest to me that we are so uncomfortable killing beings we (at least unconsciously) recognize as sentient that we project a desire to be eaten (or raped) onto the victims. In other words, I read these ads as attempts to expiate guilt.

As for "mange sans fatigue" -- it could be meant to convey that one can eat the sausages without tiring of _them_ (as opposed to other brands that might be so rich one can eat only a few bites).


You must never have had a Yocco's hot dog, Justin. One of their grilled hot dogs topped with chili sauce, chopped onions and mustard will make you forget all about the creepy signs.


Brings to mind Joseph Campbell's distinction between hunter and planter mythologies. The myth of the hunt usually features a never-killed ideal of the prey with whom the hunters have a relationship-- the bull bison who leads his herd over the cliff to provide meat in exchange for resurrection magic, for example. So Yocco is an atavism, a charm to ensure that next year will bring more hot dogs.


You need to search YouTube for Pepperami adverts from the UK.


Serendipitously, I was just browsing through the archives of the webcomic "Simulated Comic Product", which treats these themes in several of its strips, most notably:


but also, on a related note:


"Meat, carnis, constitutes a body, while fruit can only ever stand in for the body."

I'm not sure this is true. Consider the Jolly Green Giant, or any of a number of vegetable-themed mascots (I seem to remember a cauliflower-headed one?), or even some of the McDonald's characters composed of french fries, or a combination of meat and bread. Consider also animal crackers. Although, now that I think about it, the autophagic aspect is missing from these depictions: the Jolly Green Giant is a sort of tyrant who sells his own subjects to their doom, but he does not eat them himself. Likewise, in the McDonaldland ecosystem, there seems to be a separation between predator (e.g. Hamburglar) and prey (the food-item beings). Still, the relationship in these cases is often not far from the ambiguous lip-smacking of the dinosaur, or the self-carving pig, shown above.


The Browser is assembly-line? Really?


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