Industrial Feeding


Mazie and I drop into Sam’s Club before leaving Flag.  We need cheap food.  Some for the ravens, the rest for a catering event.  

This cavernous place feels disconcertingly inhuman.  No, inlifelike.  In a strange way, it’s our contemporary Versailles or Great Pyramid, intended to inspire awe or even drive us into submission through sheer scale and illusion of abundance.  The far walls are not even visible.  Gargantuan piles of frozen meat stretch out into the distance.  Anonymous product is stacked 20, 30, 40 feet in the air.  Even the carts are obese. 

But note the corollary: in a living or social system, quantities such as this can’t exist without foul play.  This huge amount of product must come from an equally huge place. And it requires not just massive organization; to do anything at that scale requires fundamentally the mechanization of not just things, but people and life.  I suddenly get the willies.  Sams Club can only exist through the mechanization and enslavement of living systems.  The thought makes me feel dizzy and I can’t breathe.  I grab my daughter (along with three boxes of frozen potstickers) and we head for the door and make our escape.

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