My friend, Sarah Wilson, once told me a shocking DIY she found on the internet.
"I googled 'Hello Kitty purses' and a website came up for a how-to skin a cat and make it into a bag!" she exclaimed with a loud twinge of horror. As silly eighth graders, we were horrified. Who could do such a thing?
Ironically, I'm sure we discussed it over pink slime chicken nuggets in our school's cafeteria.
Pink slime has been a hot topic of conversation across the board recently; apparently we can draw the line somewhere on how much processing we can handle when it comes to food. However, considering evidenced procured by Clayton and Belk in 1998 showed that the average 4 oz beef patty at least contained the parts of 55 cows, while at most 1,082 different cows. That one burger you had could be a conglomeration of many bits of many cows. As compared with the "Hello Kitty purses", most people aren't horrified when it comes to the inhumane treatment and slaughter of livestock.
Recently, I've been giving an honest swing at being a vegetarian. I will admit, I have cheated a few times in the month or so that I started it, but it is really difficult to say no to mashed potatoes and bacon gravy homemade by your grandmother, especially when you just had your wisdom teeth out and can't quite open your mouth enough to say, "sorry grandmother, but I'm trying to be a vegetarian."
In my contemporary art class, we talked about a postmodern theory of representations of representations; essentially, the actual thing is so far removed from reality that we perceive it as something else. Take for example, burgers. Burgers are a representation and product of cows, but burgers, through commoditization and mass production, have become mere objects, mere units of energy to consume. Burgers are objects of American culture and simply signifiers of what it means to be an American.