Life isn't just a pretty package.

I am a consumer. I buy things from the nearest supermarket, mindlessly pulling things off the sky-high shelves, throwing them in my cart and standing in the checkout line like every other poor sap who was forced to do the tedious job of re-stocking the groceries. This, of course, is completely ridiculous. The sheer ability to visit a supermarket bursting with an abundance of food should make me want to smile with giddiness. But sometimes, when I lose perspective, it simply doesn't. This isn't true for just myself; of course, I see it on a regular basis at home. People with blank stares and angry frowns, jostling one another for the fastest possible way out of that maze of florescent-lights and gridded isles. Even the products themselves are consumed without a second thought, simply another taste in the mouth passing through to the stomach. I have no idea where my granola bars are assembled, and although I read the ingredients, there are times when I'm not even sure how those edibles are produced. I can't even begin to tell you how my shoes were assembled, nor my hairbrush or my pencil. Everything is so removed from it's original form, you begin to forget that there was an original form to begin with. 

Today, I remembered. I can't say it was a lovely experience, nor one that I would be particularly interested in going through again. But I'm thankful for it. I've forgotten that the meat I eat wasn't just conjured out of thin air; I've completely disassociated a living animal from the chunk of food I put into my mouth. It's a cultural phenomenon, really. Understandable though, as no compassionate person would like to sit around and contemplate the death of their food. However, I feel it's necessary to realize the deep hypocrisy that permeates our everyday lives when it comes to consumerism. I was incredibly disturbed today, taken aback by the death that surrounded me. But I shouldn't have been. If I was in touch, if I had lived up to my non-hypocritical standards, I would have acknowledged that every animal goes through this process before it arrives on my plate. But until that point, I didn't. I refused. Today was a wake up call, one I desperately needed. 

  • Guillermo Machado (Banned)
    Guillermo Machado 2317 days ago

    Very deep insights on consumerism, and the origin of what reaches us. A very well written piece too..

    I remember my particular wake up call strongly too, and with affection.  Sometimes life gifts us a large dose of discomfort..  

    Thanks for sharing River.