Recently ABC2 here in Australia has been showing episodes from the 2011 BBC series Kill It, Cut It, Use It. Whilst I didn’t think that any of the consumers that Julia Bradbury took with her on the journey of discovery would have a blinding epiphany, and abstain from using animal products, I honestly didn’t think that the actual use of animal products would be dismissed so easily.
Now don’t get me wrong here, the show was informative, in describing what and where the items came from, nor did it sugar coat the actual slaughter process. The selected consumers were introduced to the doomed animals whilst they were in the holding pens, and were present at the actual slaughter. With some even being a little bit disturbed by what actually took place.
The use of animal products in the relevant item was justified by the host, and the consumers because it was seen as a by-product of society’s obsession with the never ending consumption of animals as food. Yet the question asking if we should actually be eating animals was never raised.
When the chosen slaughterhouse were first introduced to the viewer, Julia Bradbury gave the voice over saying that the establishment complied with UK or EU animal welfare standards, either as a way of making the footage about to be shown more palatable and acceptable. Or, to show that slaughter, no matter how great the standards are, is still gruesome and disturbing to watch.
Of the few episodes that I did watch, all of the consumers said that they now have a better appreciation and respect for where the ingredients came from, and the process involved. Yet none of them said they would stop using the animal by-products.
A few interesting points:
* the use of tallow was justified over palm oil.
* the use of wool products in the bedroom was justified on the grounds of fire safety. Yet nothing was said about not taking an object that is bound to start a fire into the bedroom in the first place.
* it goes to show the length at which industry will go to hide the fact that there are animal products in virtually everything.
* these industries are relying on the ignorance of the consumer to get away with what they are doing.
If you couple this with the media reports that come out every year or so telling us how many people don’t know where their food comes from, it would appear that the more consumerist we become, the more ignorant we become too.
If everyone actually paid attention to where the items that they use originally came from, how many would still use them if they knew part of it came from a living being?