Friday, September 2, 2011

Michael Pollan will be having a carcass signing

Michael Pollan’s website says he’ll be having a book signing October 12 at the Barnes & Noble in Methesda, Maryland. Book signings are so passé. Why doesn’t his publisher organize a publicity event more in keeping with Michael Pollan’s writings and stage a carcass signing instead? It couldn’t take place at a bookstore. They wouldn’t want blood and entrails all over the espresso machine. They could stage it at the farm where Michael Pollan purchased steer 534 so he could witness first hand the raising and slaughter of a steer.

First, he’ll read a quotation from one of his outraged attacks on factory farms..

The lives of billions of animals on American feedlots and factory farms are horrible to contemplate, an affront to our image of ourselves as humane.

Followed by an excerpt from his NYT article on a 36-hour dinner party he hosted...

Mike and I drove to the ranch to choose our animal and watch the itinerant butcher dress and slaughter it.

As he signs copies of the carcasses, he’ll explain how slaughtering animals in factory farms is an "affront to our image of ourselves as humane" while hungrily watching an itinerant butcher slaughter them for a 36 hour dinner party promotes fellowship and goodwill. Is it because the butcher is itinerant while the factory farms exist in a fixed location? Only way to find out is to attend this gala carcass signing for yourself.

But Michael Pollan won't only be signing steer carcasses. No sir. Pick a farm animal, any farm animal, he'll sign them all. He'll sign carcasses of pigs, chickens and goats he consumed at Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm as he reads another excerpt...

In Polyface Farm, chickens live like chickens, his cows like cows, pigs, pigs ... animal happiness is unmistakable. And here I was seeing it in abundance.

He’ll then describe his own unmistakable happiness as he sat back and let his digestive juices go to work on those animals whose happiness he just got through celebrating.

He’ll finish with a final one-two punch of moral outrage and meat-juice-dripping-down-the-chin ecstasy. The outrage...

Broiler chickens spend their lives in cages too small to ever stretch a wing. Every natural instinct is thwarted, leading to a range of behavioral vices that can include canablizing her cage mates and rubbing her body against the mesh until it is featherless and bleeding.

The ecstasy...

Melissa has a sure hand with the hacksaw and the butcher knife; within 20 minutes the goat is transformed into considerably more appetizing cuts of meat ... Mike cuts slivers from the loin and passes them around … the raw meat is surprisingly sweet.

There’s sure to be plenty of talking out of both sides of the mouth for everyone at the Michael Pollan carcass signing. He’ll share some his favorite rationalizations. He'll offer up recipe ideas. He'll explain how condemning the abuse of animals in factory farms while celebrating their slaughter by local farms has made him a best-selling author. So mark your calendar and be sure to bring a knife and fork to the Michael Pollan carcass signing.