We spoke to Robert Grillo, the author of Farm To Fable: The Fictions Of Our Animal-Consuming Culture, about how our culture dictates our food choices and what the future holds for vegans.
Tell us about your journey to veganism.
It was prompted by the trauma I felt from seeing investigative footage in hatcheries. I felt angry and betrayed, at all the false marketing and propaganda, and at myself, for not having the foresight to see through it.
I don’t even recall having made a conscious decision to replace animal products until about 6 months into it, when I finally looked back and realized I was vegan.
Nine years later, my vegan path has led me deeper into grassroots activism and building bridges with other progressive causes.
Can you tell us about some of the most common fictions of our animal consuming culture?
They communicate to us that eating animals makes us:
- more masculine when we eat meat
- more feminine when we consume the female proteins primarily marketed to women, dairy and eggs
- more ethical if we decide to pay a premium for “humane” violence and exploitation
- more natural if we believe in false notions of domesticated breeds being anything close to what exists in the natural world
- more in line with evolution if we believe in the junk science that evolution has a proverbial gun to our heads to consume animals lest we perish as the dominant species on the planet
- more honorable if we actually believe that animals sacrificed their lives for us so we could stick a fork into their flesh
How can we work to combat these fictions?
Check out my article about six sources of inspiration for activists which I think addresses this question.
Speaking truth to power is our strongest tool for combating injustice in all of its forms. By exposing the truth, we dis-empower the fictional world that keeps society in denial and complacency.
When did you decide to write your book and can you tell us a little bit about it?
Farm to Fable is the culmination of years of exploring the fictions of animal consumption from the perspective of a branding and marketing person who has worked on the inside to see how these fictions are created and how they function once they’re out there for the public to digest.
I realized early on that even vegans were, to varying degrees, under the spell of these fictions and some animal groups even use them in their campaigns. So I felt compelled to write the book in the hopes that it would bring a much needed awareness to a sorely-overlooked issue.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope for continued social progress in human rights, other species rights and environmental justice. We are laying the foundation that future generations will rely and build upon to advance social progress for all species and the planet.
A future society will likely be astonished by our haphazard path to a more just society with less suffering and less violence. I think they will be baffled by how long it took us to figure out how to avoid our self-inflicted social wounds brought on by war, instability, poverty and self-destruction in our own species and our profiting on the suffering of other species so thoughtlessly and for so long.
The future will be forced to reckon with our dystopian legacy and the ecological mess left in the aftermath of a consumer and corporate age that spiralled out of control.
Farm To Fable: The Fictions Of Our Animal-Consuming Culture is currently available on Amazon and veganpublishers.com