Thursday, May 5, 2011

Little Sheep Hot Pot

What's so great (read: not great) about this little guy is how particular he is. With his little bow-tie and his little blue eyes and his little smile and the little red... things in his hair (horns? dinner rolls? lobster tails?) and his transparent little ears. This is clearly not just some old lamb. This is, well, this specific lamb.

So what might have been a generic still-living-ingredient is presented instead as an individual baby animal. An individual baby animal shipped from Inner Mongolia and lightly boiled and served in Beijing.

It's one of suicidefoodism's enduring paradoxes: seeing the animal who was butchered for your supper as a separate being, a being apart from some great abstract flock or herd—and a cute baby being at that!—somehow renders it more easy to kill and consume. Little Sheep Hot Pot's patrons don't want more psychological distance. They want to get right in there, oohing and aahing as they settle their napkins on their laps.

We might have assumed people would react to such a character with revulsion or, at the very least, distaste. Or, we might have assumed that before we started our Great Project.

1 comment:

Cavall de Quer said...

The enduring paradox commentary is very acute: perhaps humans think that bestowing their attention on an individual is somehow doing him or her a favour, regardless of the nature of the attention - we've all seen people who talk patent rubbish in meetings to corner attention, even if it's only others shouting "rubbish!". Attention and control, the twin poles of human need.