The Future of Food, Part 1: Matrix Chickens?
By Laura Hogg More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the NatuREport Blog Series
Every once in a while a news story comes along and leaves me at a complete and utter loss for words. But I think this is an important topic, so I’m going to try and get something coherent together.
Fans of The Matrix will no doubt remember how the humans are stored by the machines in order to harvest their energy – in a network of pods that looks like this:
So what does this have to do with food?
First, let me explain what I’m about to show you. This is architecture student Andre Ford’s solution to the horrific fate of broiler chickens (basically any chicken raised for meat). I won’t get into all the gory details, but this fate includes : being raised in crowded, dark rooms; being artificially fattened so they can’t stand up; and finally being killed at the ripe old age of 6-7 weeks, with many dipped in scalding water while fully conscious.
Feast your eyes on Ford’s solution to this problem:
Still not sure what you’re looking at? I’ll let him explain while I’m busy trying to stifle the scream rising in my throat:
"By removing the cerebral cortex of the chicken, its sensory perceptions are removed. It can be produced in a denser condition while remaining alive, and oblivious.
"The feet will also be removed so the body of the chicken can be packed together in a dense volume.
"Food, water and air are delivered via an arterial network and excreta is removed in the same manner. Around 1000 chickens will be packed into each 'leaf', which forms part of a moving, productive system."
In other words – he’s proposing that we deprive chickens of all of their senses, cut off their feet, and force them to live as vegetables (oh, if only). To stimulate muscle growth, they would be connected to electrodes – which, of course, they couldn’t feel.
I already have issues with eating an animal that I know was subjected to inhumane conditions that gave it a horrible life. Is it supposed to make me feel better that these chickens essentially have no life at all?
In case you couldn’t tell, I am quite seriously disturbed by this proposal. I suppose it helps assuage worries of inflicting pain on animals, to an extent. But the image of thousands of braindead chickens strung up in a silent, creepy web in the dark (no need to waste electricity with lights if they can’t sense it anyway)…well, it’s almost definitely going to give me nightmares.
I think you already know how I feel about the topic, but I encourage you to read what Ford has to say (in this interview) and share your opinion in the comments and check back for part 2 soon!