With conventional turkeys this Thanksgiving flying off the shelves of supermarkets at a buck and change a pound (it’s the only time these turkeys fly, by the way), I was reflecting on the higher price-point of sustainably-raised meats.
This disparity is most pronounced when one coughs up nigh $8 – $10.50/pound for a heritage turkey. That’s when the following thought came to mind: the Great Pyramids, also, were built inexpensively–thanks to an endless supply of slave labor. Closer to home, it’s the same reason why the American South couldn’t bring itself–without the Civil War–to part with slave labor, aided by the convenient falsehood that Africans were less than human.

Allow me to draw the following parallels, then, between the excesses in conventional agriculture and the building of the Great Pyramids. For starters, both are wonders: vast in their scale and scope, they are technological feats of marvel; we’re talking very advanced science. Both, however, accomplish their feats with the fetters of a false ontology. What I mean by this is that slavery, albeit an efficient means of production, is made possible when one begins to view a being of a higher order (namely a human) as being of a lower order (an animal, for instance). A similar error is made when factory farming views an animal, a being of a higher order, as an inanimate object, an object of the lowest order. The error, of course, allows the producer to become extremely efficient at outputs which is reflected in extremely low prices to the consumer.

A small but growing band of individuals, animated by something akin to the spirit of the American Revolution, have begun to shake off the shackles of this false ontology. Economic sacrifices are made. We’re eating less, but better, and finding that we’re bettered by it.

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