Bloggin' like a mofo 2day
I just ate two pitas, some cucumber salad, and some falafel balls for lunch. I’m feeling quite healthy and crunchy granola, since falafel balls are from the Mediterranean, and Mediterranean civilization made these vegetarian dishes before modern Western civilization greedily raped the land with mechanized agriculture so we could chow down on Easy Mac and Whoppers.
My lunch reminds me of a passage from Daniel Harris’ Cute, Quaint, Hungry and Romantic: The Aesthetics of Consumerism, which I can recite without the aid of the book. It’s such an awesome book that I’ve committed it to memory like the people in Fahrenheit 451.
From page 192, on the aesthetic of vegetarianism:
Our alienation from nature is also expressed in the mythology that lies behind vegetarianism: that by consuming leaves, grass, and flowers one is somehow casting off one’s mundane self and absorbing the life, beauty, and even the soul of the natural world. Vegetarianism relies on the primitive belief in food animism, an allegorical, Eucharistic notion of eating as a way of gnawing our way out of our cities and restoring our connection with the environment, which has been irreparably damaged by both pollution and the relatively recent termination of any direct involvement with agriculture. By gorging ourselves on dandelion greens and milk-thistle, we achieve intimacy with a deity who, as farmers, we once knew on a daily basis, getting so close to the earth that we actually incorporate parts of it into our body in a symbolic act of cannibalism, much as Catholics dine upon the flesh and blood of their savior to know him more personally, to eliminate the distance that lies between them. As agribusiness assumes complete control over food production and we spend less time out-of-doors, living almost exclusively in the glass bubble of an entirely manmade landscape, eating has become one of the sole ways in which we experience integration with our world, which we no longer encounter out in the fields, laboring with tractors and ploughs under a scorching sun, but at the dinner table, where we labor with forks and spoons, engaging in philosophic acts of righteous mastication. Ingestion thus represents a desperate gesture of intimacy. The bovine religion of the grazing New Age herbivore is a sacramental activity, a breaking of communal bread, a mass performed at the altar of the growling stomach where we stage elaborate rituals that reveal how tenuous our rapport with nature has become. In an effort to escape our confinement, we raven down sunflowers and geraniums, polishing off whole plates of lichens and fern fronds and shoveling into our mouths raw specimens of a world from which we feel cut off, trapped in the desperate biological quarantine in which we have immured ourselves, an anomalous ecosystem that sustains a single life form.
That’s about four times as long as the average blogger attention span, but if you read it, good for you (now go read the book). If you didn’t read it, you wouldn’t know witty cultural commentary if you skimmed over it on a weblog.