For her children's Halloween party, my cousin is making ghoulish treats like "bat wings," "bloody fingers" and "dried scabs."
Her menu got me thinking: What could be more terror-filled than the standard American diet?
After all, the average U.S. diet has all the elements of a good horror film:
Blood and Guts -- Ah, blood and guts. The men in the audience tend to love these. The more gore, the better. With 10 billion land animals slaughtered each year (just in the U.S.), think of how much blood is spilled. Cows, pigs, chickens all hanging upside-down on the disassembly lines, their throats being slit, blood dripping onto the floors. It's a horror lover's dream.
And whether it's removing intestines from an animal, "clearing cow innards on the slaughter floor" or experiencing vomiting and diarrhea from eating feces-tainted meat, you gotta love the guts.
Knives -- For slitting an animal's throat, removing those intestines or chopping her body into pieces, knives are essential. Of course, sometimes overworked slaughterhouse employees end up cutting themselves. But the more blood, the better, right?
Chain Saws -- Chain saw massacres don't just occur in Texas. No, sirree. Slaughterhouse workers across the country cut the flesh from a cow's corpse using these fine instruments.
Fear -- The essential element of a horror film. Even if the murder occurs off-camera (arguably more frightening than on-camera slayings), the audience must feel a sense of fear, for it provides a rush -- albeit a safe one. The viewer is able to get his rocks off and return to a relatively safer reality when the credits roll.
Not so for farmed animals. They experience fear daily -- from suffering in cramped, overcrowded cages to being transported to slaughterhouses in frigid or sweltering temperatures to taking that walk to the kill floor. It's non-stop fear.
Blood-curdling Screams -- While I've seen many videos of agribusiness cruelty, I was unable to make it through one taken at a pig farm that supplies Hormel. The video began with a blood-curdling scream that sounded human.
Murder and Death -- So many ways, so little time. Although why kill quickly? The fun is in the torture, isn't it?
For example, here are some notes from my blog post about the Hormel video.
[W]e see someone beating a pig and then telling the undercover PETA investigator, "Don't be afraid to hurt 'em."Of course, there are other ways to do it. One could improperly shoot a cow's head with a bolt gun and have her wake up and struggle as she's hanging upside-down getting her throat slit.
In the next scene an employee says, "When I get pissed or get hurt or the fuckin' bitch won't move, I grab one of those rods and jam it in her asshole."
In another scene "a worker slams piglets deemed 'runts' headfirst into the concrete floor in an attempt to kill them." These little babies lie in a bloody pile and twitch because they're not dead yet.
Or a chicken would be improperly stunned and boiled alive in the de-feathering tank. And let us not forget all those male baby chicks who can't produce eggs, so they are ground up alive in machines called macerators.
Mummies -- Not all horror movies contain mummies, of course. But they can be frightfully scary. Just take a look at this photo.
What's worse than being pursued by a mummy? Having to live with one. That's right -- chickens at a Dunkin' Donuts egg-laying facility were forced to live in overcrowded cages along with their dead, decomposing and sometimes mummified former cagemates.
Flesh Eaters -- Braaaains! Braaaains! What -- you don't eat brains? Oh, but you do eat legs, shoulders, breasts, hips, thighs, arms, butts -- even anuses. Now that's disgusting!
Zombies -- Yes, the average American is a zombie, sleepwalking through her meals, eating what she's been taught to eat, never questioning.
Leave the horror off your plates -- go vegan!
(Photo of slaughtered chickens courtesy of Farm Sanctuary.)
(Photo of murdered pigs courtesy of World News Network/Sweet Radoc.)