I made the mistake of going to Bill Miller’s BBQ and thinking too much. As I rolled up to the location, I couldn’t help but notice all of the cheesy animals on the large sign on the front of the store. “Bill Miller Bar-B-Q” was accompanied by three, presumably decapitated but smiling, animal heads. Each animal looked happier than the last. The rooster was roostering hard. The cow was smiling stupidly at me, “C’mon, eat me, big boy.” The pig… oh, the pig just watched with a grin on his face. I wondered how no one else found this disturbing. I did. These smiling, adorable faces are definitely ending up on our plates. This isn’t soy meat. I mean, c’mon, people.
I reassured myself that the cartoon animals on the menu board weren’t actually becoming my food. If they did, it would be terrifying, like a mix between the films Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Pet Cemetery. I found odd comfort in knowing that the animals that were ending up on my plate were probably miserable in the first place. I’m sure BM doesn’t care about where its meat comes from. It’s meat. Drive up to the window. Eat it. Don’t think that those animals are all caged in, fattened, and processed through a horrifyingly cold and sometimes very unsanitary process. It’s hard not to think about the production of meat in America in a post-Food Inc. world and not feel terrible. I felt bad again.
As I waited for my meat plate, heavy regret set in. Goddamn. I was so confused. These adorable little cartoon animal faces on my 108 oz. tea symbolize the free, carefree, happy existence of animals on a farm. How could I do that to them? How could I let my desire for their tasty flesh destroy their delicious lives? However, I knew these animals probably never saw more than an acre of free land around them. What would happen if they were allowed to be free and wild?
Then, I started thinking about people. I started thinking about the people that I see every day and how they’re not much different from these little cows, chickens, and pigs on my cup. They’re happy, ignorant, and just plain oblivious. We don’t realized we’re caged in. We execute our plans in cold and often very unsanitary conditions. We let the world pass us by as we’re used for consumption by corporations and the government. We’re happy like little cartoon cows. I thought about that on the drive home.
Then, I ate the shit out of that meat plate.
EDIT: I don’t think listening to Meat Is Murder by The Smiths while eating helped.