I know this is basically un-American to say, but I’m going to say it anyway: I’m not a huge fan of the never-ending TV show “The Simpsons”. I don’t know why, but I just have never been able to get in to it. Sometimes I see it and I think “why don’t I like this show?” but then I never make an effort to watch it again. That said, I know they tend to tackle some pretty big issues in a funny, but thought-provoking way, so I like the show in that respect. And guess what? They did a show about feedlots and slaughterhouses!
In “Apocalypse Cow”, Bart joins the 4-H Club and unexpectedly falls in love with his hand-raised calf named Lou. Bart takes Lou to a 4-H competition, where Lou wins first prize. Bart thinks that means that Lou won’t have to be slaughtered, but becomes determined to save him when he learns that it really means Lou “gets to go first” to slaughter. With the help of Lisa and her hippy vegan friends (one nicknamed “Composte”, which cracked me up), Bart breaks a much fatter Lou out of a feedlot. To explain Lou’s new size, Lisa tells Bart, “His food is laced with growth hormones!” At that moment, Lou licks Bart’s arm, which immediately sprouts hair growth on the pre-pubescent Bart. Gotta love those growth hormones!
Anyway, the show brought up some important points in true Simpsons fashion, and reached a wide audience, though I have no idea if it was at all effective in getting people to change their habits (probably not). My favorite piece of advice came from Homer when Bart was begging his parents to buy Lou back so he wouldn’t have to be slaughtered: “Never work hard and don’t form emotional attachments. Also, don’t be a cow.”
Touché, Homer, touché.
If you feel like my recap is insufficient (it is), you can watch the episode here for free.