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Friday, April 20, 2007

The Wonderful World of Suicide Food

posted by on April 20 at 11:01 AM


It’s something that’s confused and disgusted me ever since I was a kid in Texas, where there are too many barbecue joints with jolly cartoon pigs as mascots to count: Depictions of animals excited about being eaten, or, as the masterminds behind this website put it, suicide food:

What is Suicide Food? Suicide Food is any depiction of animals that act as though they wish to be consumed. Suicide Food actively participates in or celebrates its own demise. Suicide Food identifies with the oppressor. Suicide Food is a bellwether of our decadent society. Suicide Food says, “Hey! Come on! Eating meat is without any ethical ramifications! See, Mr. Greenjeans? The animals aren’t complaining! So what’s your problem?” Suicide Food is not funny.

Even if you don’t share the Suicide Foodies’s opinion that meat is murder and thus suicide-food images are murder porn, you’ll want to check out their richly disturbing gallery of classic suicide food, including come-hither ribs, self-saucing hogs, and, uh, this.

Thank you, MetaFilter.

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James Coney Island in Houston, TX

Really great hot dogs, though.

Posted by Andrew | April 20, 2007 11:08 AM

someone please, please use 'Suicide Food' as a band name.....

Posted by michael strangeways | April 20, 2007 11:09 AM

The definitive thought experiment on the subject was posed in Douglas Adams's Restaurant at the End of the Universe: the cow bred to want to be eaten, that is capable of communicating that fact to you, the diner.

Personally, I'm waiting for someone to commercialize growing muscle tissue without attached conscious animal, ala Chicken Little in The Space Merchants by Pohl & Kornbluth, another excellent read.

Posted by Some Jerk | April 20, 2007 11:18 AM

Yeah, that pig is definitely too happy about cutting itself up into delicious sausage.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 20, 2007 11:20 AM

Uh oh, you said "foodies" don't tell BK! :-)

As for this, it reminds me of the Muppet movie where they were trying to get Kermit to be the spokesperson for the deep fried frog legs joint.

Posted by lilblackcat | April 20, 2007 11:20 AM

I wonder where those horrible little shrimp in the DQ ad fit into this. The ones that end up eating their kids as popcorn shrimp. I always found that commercial weirdly disturbing.

Posted by wench | April 20, 2007 11:21 AM

I'm not 100% sure, because I haven't seen it yet, but I think there is a parody of "Lets all go to the lobby" in the beginning of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie where the popcorn and stuff is saying eat me.

Posted by Leeerker | April 20, 2007 11:23 AM

Hot update: Suicide Food is the creation of Ben, husband of longtime and legendary Stranger copy editor Sara DeBell (who may also have been related somehow to the Stranger's original gossip columnist Shirley Rodell-Szyjmyjic...)

Posted by David Schmader | April 20, 2007 11:24 AM

Someone needs to draw up some anthropomorphized vegetables gleefully jumping into a steamer (or maybe some high-fiber celery joyfully riding through the lower intestine like a water slide. Whee!)

C'mon where's the outrage? Don't cartoons prove anything?

Posted by flamingbanjo | April 20, 2007 11:28 AM

flamingbanjo, this week's Maakies ties in with that nicely.

And my roommate can't stop raving about the pre-Aqua Teen short film. I really want to see it.

Posted by Levislade | April 20, 2007 11:49 AM


Or perhaps some "cloned long pig" ala Transmetropolitan...

Posted by COMTE | April 20, 2007 11:52 AM

I noticed they did indeed talk about the wannabe Foster Farms chickens and their apparent death wish - it's in the archives.

Oh, and it is funny - even if the author claims otherwise.

Posted by oscar | April 20, 2007 12:11 PM

I've seen this thing in Sequim, South Dakota, and Ocean City, MD. Despite their odd attitude toward being eaten, they seem to be multipying.

Posted by steve | April 20, 2007 12:18 PM

The golden age of Suicide Food icons was the era (early 60s?) when every new restaurant was Mr. Something: Mr. Happy Steak, Mr. Chicken Parts, Mr. Veal Chop.

Posted by --MC | April 20, 2007 12:50 PM

Don't forget the classic SNL parody of this phenomenon: "Cluckin' Chicken"

Posted by Joseph Hovsep | April 20, 2007 1:34 PM

HEY JOSEPH! I was just about to remind everyone about my commercial! Thanks for the props!
Now, off to see Mr. Spatchcock!!! Whoopee!

Posted by CLUCKY | April 20, 2007 1:39 PM

I just had a conversation about this a few weeks ago when I was with friends and walked passed a sign of a happy pig couple dancing together in a frying pan.

Nice to have a name to attach to it.

Posted by Dougsf | April 20, 2007 3:48 PM

What was the sketch on SNL with Akroyd and Radner about a restaurant where you kill and cook your own food? I always thought that was funny (and I love meat!)

Posted by elswinger | April 20, 2007 4:47 PM

I like the sign at the Pig N' Pancake in Astoria, OR, which has the pig eating a stack of pancakes with a side of bacon, and the ad that goes on before the movies at Meridian 16 with the soda on a date with a bag of popcorn bringing them both sodas. Aaiirrggghhh!!!!

Posted by Grant Cogswell | April 20, 2007 5:18 PM

There was a cartoon on Spike & Mike's a few years back called "Tasty Beef" where a cow in a chef's hat happily pranced around a restaurant cutting off choice cuts to the patrons, each time getting weaker and drowsier, but still trying so hard to be cheerful for the customers.

Damnit, more people need to put their stuff on YouTube instead of a million bad cellphone concert vids and self-engrossed half-brained rants.

Posted by K | April 20, 2007 10:45 PM

15, that's *exactly* what I thought of. God. That disgustingly hilarious chicken head floating across the screen, gurgling, "Mmm, I taste good!!"

Posted by etchasketch | April 22, 2007 8:13 PM

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