How do the meat industry and the media manipulate consumers?
Humor is a powerful tool to talk about important and painful topics in a way that will attract attention. Stand-up comedian and activist Lee Camp manages to speak in a humorous way about animal rights and the manipulation of the meat industry and the media. Like the ingenious Bill Hicks and George Carlin, Lee Camp acts as a critical thinker and a prejudice breaker coming out of a given pattern of human behavior. The comedian presents his own point of view on a world-current topic, which is climate change and the impact of the meat industry on the ecological crisis.
Lee Camp begins his stand-up performance by addressing the audience, noting that he will talk about something that is not talked about in the corporate media, although it is a very important topic such as the human impact on climate change, disease causes, and destruction of nature. Camp portrays the man as an irrational homo sapiens who shapes his behavior according to the information served to him by the corporate media.
Man is by nature a rational being who does not behave rationally under the influence of the media. Rationality presupposes an awareness of one’s own action in which reason plays a significant role. The stand-up comedian recognizes the naivety of viewers who do not act according to the laws of reason, but according to the dictates of the media. A viewer who does not critically re-examine media content becomes a comic character of a naive person to whom everything can be sold with a certain media manipulation.
A naive consumer is one who has been convinced by the media and the meat industry that the torture of a certain species of animal and their mass execution is perfectly acceptable. The comedian shows by examples that it is not said that one of the important causes of climate change is violence against animals, ie the meat industry, but that completely different terminology is used for the purpose of linguistic manipulation. For example, instead of saying that 55 percent of drinking water is used in animal farming, they say that more than 720 billion gallons of water a day are said to be used in animal farming which is information that will not upset viewers.
Most would save a wounded bird, but do not care for chickens in cages
The comedian concludes that one of the causes of all these problems is human demand and dependence on animal products, citing a number of examples that illustrate the contradictions and inconsistencies in human behavior that produce a comic effect. Camp observes that when a man sees a helpless bird entangled in branches or wire he has an instinctive urge to help her and free her. On the other hand, millions of poultry chickens are kept in small cages in which they cannot even move their wings. He recommends to the audience that when they want to watch a horror movie, they grab the popcorn, hug their partner, and watch a video about industrial animal husbandry for hours.
Camp in his stand-up performance says that when many Americans stopped eating meat after seeing documentaries about animal husbandry, the meat industry tried to declare the shooting of such videos a criminal act. Accordingly, the comedian concludes that therefore murder is perfectly fine if you don’t take a selfie next to the corpse.
It is a social and cultural mental programming according to which we consider one species of animal as a pet and a species to be protected while we consider others exclusively as an object of consumerism.
The comedian points out the absurdity of a law that protects only selected animal species. The comedian criticizes the mass media for convincing viewers through commercials that meat is extraordinary, but does not mention how processed meat causes cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Here, too, the viewer is portrayed as a character of a naive consumer to whom packaging is more important than content.
As a philosopher, the stand-up comedian encourages the audience, to be honest, that is, to see the facts objectively. In his performance, Lee Camp comically examines the consistency of human behavior and actions and points to the human tendency to indoctrinate.
Labradors are more valuable than pigs?
Lee Camp in his stand-up performance (2018) states that most people would act protectively if they see someone abusing, for example, a Labrador on the street, because existing legislation sanctions such behavior as a violation of animal rights, while, for example, torture and killing an animal like a pig is considered completely common practice. Scientists have proven through a series of experiments that the pig is one of the most intelligent animals in the world.
The comedian points out that the main task of the media is not to provide objective information but to encourage viewers to engage in dishonest consumerism. The media treat viewers as consumers, which affects the choice and presentation of news. Specifically, in this case, it is a manipulative media presentation of the way the meat industry works.