Birth of a Beef Patty

It is four o' clock in the afternoon in North Carolina. A cow groans in agony, in the middle of a grassy plain. To her left, Farmer Joe rubs a hot water bottle soothingly on her side. It is not till the fifth contraction, that Farmer Joe and his next of kin witness a miracle plop forth from the cow's grand canyon of life. This calf has a destiny. He could be steak, or minced meat, but no. This calf shall be a patty. He shall be the most wonderful patty of them all. We'll call him Tobias.


Tobias feeds on grass. He drinks water. He farts, releasing methane into the atmosphere. He feeds. He consumes. He is the fattened calf. He is now ready to serve his purpose. Like Jesus to the cross, Tobias is led to the slaughterhouse.


He is reduced to nothing more than a slab of meat and bone. But three days later, he does not rise again. Instead, he is flown in a deep-freeze cargo plane to the deep western corners of the North American continent, where his meat will be ground and made into parries by McDonald's. Tobias makes sixteen patties. He will be put into Cheeseburgers, served in Los Angeles, California. He will be consumed by children at birthday parties, teenagers trying to make the most of their allowance, middle aged men on their way to work, a homeless woman trying to keep warm in the middle of January. Tobias has served the purpose he was born for, in the middle of the grassy plain, at four o' clock, on a spring afternoon in North Carolina.