This has long been a source of puzzlement for me. Why do we personify and, even more perplexing, “cutesify” the things we eat? Take oranges for example. Why do we put a cute cartoon face on a mandarin orange and market it as “Cuties”? (Okay, “we” didn’t market it, but sure as heck we buy this kind of stuff.) It would seem to me very disturbing to do such a thing. My wife claims it is because “Cuties” are marketed to children. Alas, my puzzlement grows: why do children find it appealing to eat a piece of fruit that they’ve associated with a delightfully innocent and playful countenance? Aren’t we supposed to objectify that which we consume? It is a lot harder to peel and eat an orange you’ve come to love.
Perhaps it isn’t a big deal with fruit because we know fruit isn’t really personal. But what about meat? Chicken? Why does A&W want to associate their product titled “Chubby Chicken” with a happy, plump chick? Shouldn’t we find that extraordinarily disturbing? Why not put Tweety Bird on the bucket? This should be giving us nightmares. And yet, somehow the cuter the association the more we want to consume it.
I’ll be honest. I don’t want to think of how I deprived a sentient creature of its life just so I could have a greasy meal. Cartoon oranges I can handle. But the last thing I need is a cute-as-a-button baby chicken saluting me as I consume his mother.
What a way to lose your appetite.