Monsanto does not condone cannibalism. We do not endorse the systematic harvesting of mortal flesh for mass consumption. We do not drool at the thought of rendering a bountiful population of citizens into edible chunks of protein. None of us here fantasize about a future in which the farming of our fellow man is a viable practice.
I just want to get that out in the open.
Take it from me. I am one of thousands of Monsanto employees not brainstorming concepts for packaged foodstuffs made from human body parts. Like my colleagues, I did not sign an NDA which prohibits me from sharing information regarding tests that will not be performed on live adult subjects we have not collected in a heavily-guarded research lab that is not just outside Creve Coeur, Missouri. We have not been tasked with the challenge of creating innovative strategies for marketing meals made of our own species. As such, I can confirm that there is no product in development known as “Nippleroni Pizza” (patent not pending).
Our whiteboards are not filled with butcher charts diagramming potential cuts of homo sapiens meat. These charts do not have clearly labeled sections for things like “chuck,” “flank,” and “round” mapped with dotted lines drawn inside the shape of a human’s body. We do not consider Hannibal Lecter or certain members of the Donner Party as personal heroes. We do not refer to the general public as “advanced livestock” or view them as commodities simply waiting to be exploited. To this point, there is not an internal email thread currently making the rounds with the subject “EATING PEOPLE IS THE FUTURE.” And we certainly don’t all file into the company’s auditorium every week to whet our appetites by watching new episodes of The Walking Dead.
Monsanto does not condone cannibalism. We have no recommended cooking times for brains. We have not published pamphlets touting the nutritional benefits of organs plucked from erect bipedal mammals. None of us are wondering even a little bit, you know, what it might taste like. We did not turn Dwayne the intern into a bologna prototype. He is working at VH1 now, not working through our digestive tracts. Dwayne was a good, hardworking, succulent intern. His presence will be missed on a project we are not working on to classify every living man and woman based on a proprietary flavor score we have not created.
Let me be perfectly clear. We do not have a detailed roadmap outlining the steps needed to turn a dream we don’t have into a reality we’re not hoping will materialize. Our computer desktops are not Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son. Conference rooms are not being booked for meetings about the process of femur deboning. Discussions about which part of the human body would taste the best are not happening in the Xerox alcove, office kitchen, and restrooms. “Do you think the forearm is tender?” “Are calves chewy?” “What if you deep-fried an earlobe?” These are not the type of questions we are all asking each other in the elevator every morning.
I told you. Monsanto does not condone cannibalism.
So sit down, shut up, and keep eating.
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This piece was originally published on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.