Let’s explore an extremely popular medium of media in which we see meat, meat and more meat – film. Whether on TV, in movies or online, images of animal carcass are everywhere. Here, I will examine examples of appearances of meat in videos and look at the effects that they have on the people watching them.
The first type of video in which we constantly see meat is commercials. We are all extremely familiar with commercials of happy couples enjoying Big Macs while their kids play on the McDonald’s slide in the background, or KFC commercials of “mouthwatering” pieces of fried chicken being slowly ripped apart over a steaming grill. These commercials successfully appeal to the millions of people watching them, and they turn every single one of them, in some way another, to meat.
Another place where we see meat all the time is in movies and TV shows. Animal food products may almost never be the main focus, but they are there – such as turkey on the plates of the Bernstein Bears during their Thanksgiving dinner, or the chicken sandwich in Lindsay Lohan’s hand while she eats lunch with the popular clique in Mean Girls. These images in popular culture propagate the standard that infiltrates into the subconscious of the American public – that eating meat is an unquestionably-normal part of everyday life.
Sometimes, though, animal food products do play more of a part in the plot of a TV show or movie. For example, in one episode of the popular TV show Hannah Montana, Jackson and Oliver create a food called “cheese jerky” (which is exactly what it’s named), and tons of people flock to it when they sell it. This episode gives the thousands of kids watching it an entirely new meat product to make and eat.
This leads us to the next step – meat as a form of entertainment. The most repulsive example of this are the videos made by EpicMealTime, in which a group of young “men” make mind-blowingly-gigantic meat dishes that contain tens of thousands of calories and hundreds of grams of fat. They then proceed to eat them. Some of these delicacies include huge chocolate cakes containing pig hearts, 50-pound cheeseburgers, or entire pigs stuffed with bacon, sausage, ground beef and ham. Many people find these videos to be absolutely nauseating; I am personally at a loss for words to describe how much they revolt me.
To me, it is so disheartening that meat is all over popular entertainment. When people look at a slice of meat, they should think about the agony of that dying animal, the carbon dioxide emissions that it took to raise that animal, the meat’s saturated fat and cholesterol content, and the chemicals that were pumped into it. I’m frustrated and devastated that when people see meat on TV, they think “yum!”, or that when they see men making and eating 50-pound cheeseburgers, they think “haha!”
I often despair: in a world full of people with close-minded, ignorant and/or insensitive views, how can I even SUGGEST that the arguments of a meat-free diet might just have some validity to them?
Sarah Rodeo, Age 17, Grade 12, The Hewitt School, Silver Key