Plutarch, in his extract titled, “The Eating of Flesh”, argues that the production and consumption of meat in humans is corrupt.
Plutarch conveys this overall idea through his powerful diction when describing the consumption of meat in his extract. He calls meals containing meat “courses of ghastly corpses and ghosts”(154). “Corpses” and “ghosts” are often used to describe dead humans, and when Plutarch uses this language for meals containing animal meat, he places non-human animals in the same category as human animals, giving non-human animals the same value as humans.
Furthermore, Plutarch does not understand how a human’s “sight could endure the blood of the slaughtered, flayed, and mangled bodies”(154). Plutarch uses the grotesque imagery of dead animals to show the cruelty involved in the process of the preparation of meat, further emphasizing the corruption of the process.
Eating meat, according the “Eating of Flesh” is a “savage and intemperate habit” that is a gateway for even more “bloodshed and destruction”(157) in society. The process of killing the animal is violent, barbaric and unnecessary, according to the author. Over time, it has become the norm for people to eat meat. Humans have become unfazed by the harsh reality of the cooked pieces of flesh laying on the plates in front of them, so much so that they no longer see the animal, only the food. Humans have become ignorant of the fact that their food was once a living, breathing being, just like them. They tend to forget what violence and savagery was involved in the making of their meals. Because they no longer view their meals for what they are, which is death, they have grown accustomed to the violence and gore. This, suggested by Plutarch, has led to further bloodshed outside of the meal, not only with animals, but amongst man as well.