14 October 2010

Ben Grossblatt serves up the reality of consuming animals with a side of humor

Meet Mr. Scratchings, a happy pig wearing a chefs hat and apron, beckoning you to sample some Scratchings brand pork rinds. Offensive? You bet. In bad taste? Absolutely. Welcome to Suicide Food, a blog dedicated to bringing you the most perverse, troubling images of animal consumption around.

You know the images, a happy cow offering up BBQ or a charming herring jumping onto your plate. Most people don't notice them. But Ben Grossblatt has collected the images and offers them back to us with a side of sarcasm.

Suicide Food describes itself as:
"Any depiction of animals that act as though they wish to be consumed. Suicide Food actively participates in or celebrates its own demise. Suicide Food identifies with the oppressor. Suicide Food is a bellwether of our decadent society. Suicide Food says, 'Hey! Come on! Eating meat is without any ethical ramifications!'"

With a rating system ranging from one noose, meaning "Mildly troubling" to five nooses, "Ye gods! I must go wash out my eyeballs, " Suicide Food not only questions our use of animals for food, it questions our perception of it.

Creator, Grossblatt, went vegan 16 years ago after reading Diet for a New America and learning "about the horribly wasteful, cruel, filthy, and unnecessary institutions of the meat and dairy world. It was like discovering I had been lied to my whole life. I realized I couldn't let them speak for me anymore." The truth behind the meaty dishes that are offered is truly the stuff of horror movies.

The site not only appeals to vegetarians, but everyone appreciates the biting humor. When asked about omnivores enjoying the site as much as vegetarians, Grossblatt replied, "I’m happy to have anyone come to the site and see what I have to say and have a laugh.... I’m sure that many people who visit do not come away with their unexamined assumptions thrust into the sunlight of awareness, or their fundamental beliefs shaken. That’s fine. I would like to think that satire is a force for change, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Still, maybe something I’ve written can worm its way into an omnivore’s brain and start wriggling around in there."

Maybe the way to educate the public about where food doesn't come from, in the guise of a really funny blog is the way to make them look at meat in a different way. Everyone knows that a pig isn't really going to serve his head on a platter to hungry customers. Or do they?

Related story: Seven ridiculous restaurant logos that feature happy animals selling meat

Amanda Rock | @slc_vgn
Amanda has a passion for delicious, sustainable food. Spending most of her life as a vegetarian sparked her interest in the environmental impact of food. Visit Amanda's SLC blog and vegan dog blog.

Photo credit: Suicide Food/All logos courtesy of respective restaurant/product