Suicide Food by definition is “any depiction of animals that act as though they wish to be consumed,” according to Ben Grossblatt the creator of the disturbingly dark and thought-provoking blog of the same name (suicidefood.blogspot.com). For five years, Grossblatt has obsessively collected images of animals in advertisements that are eager to participate in their own demise. From knife-wielding pigs who happily slice off sections of their own bodies, to a turkey slathering herself with gravy and eagerly boiling herself alive—suicide food’s plethora of images elucidate the ways in which fast food advertising seeks to disguise and distance consumers from the lived experience of the animals they eat. By explicitly depicting animals as active participants in their own deaths, suicide food imagery implicitly seeks to:
Desensitize viewers—by trivializing the animal’s life and death in an often slapstick or “humorous” way.
Soothe guilt by blaming the victim—the animal is either shown killing his/her self or enticing the viewer to eat him/her, giving the impression that the animal wants to die for the greater good of humanity, acts to absolve the consumers culpability.
Devalue non-human animal life—by reducing an individual’s life to that of an object or commodity that can and “should” be bought, sold and consumed.
Reify gender norms and patriarchal values—through the use of sexually suggestive imagery, both woman and non-human animals are depicted as something rather than someone.