Friday, April 24, 2015

Ⓥ Subliminal

I feel like I am constantly noticing, what seem to be, subtle animal rights related messages in movies and TV shows. I always wonder if I only see these things because I want to, or if other people notice them too. I especially wonder if people who are not interested in animal rights are ever affected by them, even subconsciously. At least in the kind of shows that I watch, there is pretty frequently a correlation made between violence toward animals and violence toward humans, or between animal flesh and human flesh. I feel like on some level, that must make people question whether there really is a difference between the two.
I feel like Supernatural, one of my very favorite shows, does this pretty regularly. There was one episode, pretty early on in the series, in which a family had started kidnapping people so that they could "hunt" them, because they had decided that hunting animals was not exciting enough. In a later episode, there was a man who was eating different animals in order to absorb their abilities, and then later had no qualms about doing the same with humans. I feel like seeing that would almost have to make a person question why it is that we draw such a distinct line between killing animals and killing humans. Then, of course, there is Supernatural's frequent use of the term "meat suit" in reference to a person's body. I have always found that quite funny, because I had already come to terms with the fact that there is really no difference between human flesh and non-human flesh, so if animals are considered meat then humans should be as well. I wonder though, how people who have not accepted that fact feel about the term? Does it make them questions their beliefs at all? or do they just write it off as a joke?

A similar situation showed up on the most recent episode of iZombie. A zombie opened a butcher shop, which sells all sorts of exotic meats. The real purpose of the shop though is as a cover for his murder of humans for their brains, which he then combines with the other meats. As soon as I saw this, I thought "That's so great! They're making a connection between killing animals for their flesh and killing humans for their brains!" Then I wondered if that was really what the writers were intending. Were they actually making a statement about the similarity between killing animals and killing humans, or did they just think that a butcher shop would make a good cover for a brain harvesting operation?

To be honest, I don't even think it matters what the writers of these shows had in mind when they wrote them. What matters is how the audience is affected. So I guess what I really want to know is, do things like this make people question the way we treat animals, and the way we separate ourselves from them, or is that just wishful thinking on my part?
^ zombie butcher shop. 

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