Discussing
Mark Zuckerberg and thankful killing

Andy Rau

Steven Koster
June 3, 2011

Personally, I'm fascinated with Zuckerberg's need to be thankful, and his struggle to express this innate need. He's incredibly rich now, and can have anything. Yet he knows it's all still beyond him somehow, and he should be grateful to someone. That's common grace at it's finest. <br><br>But he's chosen a very ancient and pagan way of thankfulness, thanking the (unwilling?) animal whose life he took in the slaughtering, rather than the God who gave life in the first place. <br><br>Even in the heart of high-tech Silicon Valley, some of the most primal religious expressions and distorions of humankind still run deep!<br><br>

Paulvanderklay
June 3, 2011

I too think it's a fascinating topic. I also think that facing that little lamb adds a bit of weight to the sacrifices made for our the maintenance of our existence. Life is not free, there is always a cost and realization of a cost begets gratitude and gratitude often yields joy. <br><br>Cool, thanks for the piece. pvk

Jcarpenter
June 6, 2011

Modeling prayers for our children when they were young, at table grace I would usually say "bless us with this food, bless the hands of those who produced it (farmers), and the hands of those that prepared and served it (Mom/Dad/host, or if a restaurant, chefs/waiters)."  We added on "and bless those who struggle to find a good meal," getting them by the time they were in high school to think beyond themselves, in all cases, regarding food, clothing, economy, career, etc.<br>Being self-sustaining has its merits, if one has such an opportunity, yet we also realize how lives and livelihoods are intertwined beyond comprehension in society.<br>

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
June 6, 2011

Some form of this thankfulness seems to still be taking place in Cajun country, judging by this NY Times report on boucheries: <a href="http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/travel/in-cajun-country-in-search-of-the-boucherie.html?src=dayp" rel="nofollow">http://travel.nytimes.com/2011...</a>. Such communal butchering of hogs surely aren't for the squeamish, but I'm assuming a unique sort of gratitude is a part of the event.

Wmrharris
June 6, 2011

Then there is the role of commodification.  The story of the lamb is also caught in an observation by William Cronon, Nature's Metropolis, that in pre-commodity, i.e. pre-slaughterhouse days, you passed by the animal you would eat on the way into town. Commodification puts a gap between us and the object. So instead of seeing a chain of gifts from the land, the endless row of yogurt invites us to think in terms of industrial processes.<br><br>I don't know that there is any turning back. This process of transforming objects into commodities makes for wealth, a basic level of survival. Instead the act of living in an industrial and increasingly digital world asks us to sharpen our seeing, to heighten our marvel at this world of our creation. Even the letterfont on this message resides in some one else's skill, the fruit of some one else's delight. <br><br>The lie is not in the manufactured object, but in the narrative that being manufactured, being artificial, it does not really matter, but is just one more unit of production, a statistic.<br><br>

Kirstinvgr
June 6, 2011

These stories resonate with my and my husband's journey to eat in more connected ways--ways that tell a better story about our fundamental commitments as followers of Christ.  One of our rituals before we pray over a meal is to tell where the food on the table came from--to name the farmers who grew the vegetables or raised the animals or the grandma who gave us the recipe. It heightens our sense of gratitude when we pray, "Thank you for all of the people, plants, animals and land that participated in bringing this meal to our table."

Ruth Hawe
December 8, 2011

The slaughtered creatures don't live any less tortured utterly unnatural deggraded lives, nor die any less painfully and mercilessly. It is not necessary to kill animals! I have been vegan for 40 years........do you think the animals you prey upon feel better because you go on to pray over their remains?

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