The Other White Meat

Dinner’s Ready: Two of Korea’s many happily doomed pigs.

At first glance nothing about the sign seems out of place. Just two pigs with wide and inviting smiles adorning the entrance of a nearby pork restaurant, inviting you to stop in for a bite to eat. Pretty standard right? But then you look a little closer, your eyes linger a little longer, and you start to realize that the sign is more than just a little off, it’s downright creepy. I mean, why are these pigs so happy? Don’t they know they are going to die? Furthermore, why are they holding forks? Do they intend on eating some of their porky brethren? And for God’s sake why are they wearing overalls and polkadots? Don’t they know there’s absolutely nothing two least appetizing about those two outdated styles?. I probably never would have noticed these signs before, but it seems that everywhere you turn in Korea a pig is jumping into a pan, donning an apron, putting on one of those poofy chefs hats, sharpening a knife, or heating up an oven, all to presumably cook and eat oneself? It’s a little morbid if you ask me, and apparently I’m not alone. Perhaps the best resource on this phenomenon is Suicide Food, a blog which chronicles signs and labels with animals preparing themselves for consumption. Here’s how the site defines suicide food:

What is Suicide Food? Suicide Food is 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! See, Mr. Greenjeans? The animals aren’t complaining! So what’s your problem?” Suicide Food is not funny.

Now, I’m not a vegetarian by any means, but it does make you stop and think a little about how food is marketed. In fact, I whenever I see Suicide Food on a sign or label, I actually get less hungry, which is something I never thought was possible given how much I like to eat. Now that I’ve seen one example I see examples of Suicide food, I see it everywhere I go.

Weather it’s unethical, unappetizing, or just a little silly, it seems that sign makers with a skill for illustrating barbecue-bound pigs will still have plenty of business to rely on. A recent outbreak of Avian Influenza has sent poultry sales plummeting, while imported beef from the U.S. has drummed up fears of Mad Cow disease, causing more and more people to head for the other white meat. In fact, pig products have always been the meat of choice for Koreans due to the fact that pig farming requires much less space than cow farming, a critical consideration for a country with limited land resources.

So for now the chickens in Korea will continue getting the flu, the cows will continue to make people crazy, and the pigs will continue to jump onto flaming grills and lather themselves up with assorted sauces. I’m not worried though. I’ve found the perfect solution. Tofu anyone?

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One response to “The Other White Meat

  1. I agree. Creep-ola.

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