Saturday, July 25, 2009

Eating Ourselves











(To make the cartoon big, click on the seagull's left knee)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Geriatric Mouse Voice.

Judging by the emails I got last week, this cartoon was very popular with environmentally conscious readers. Destruction of ocean life is far worse than most people realize because it is hidden under the surface. It's hard to get good photos of all that is missing from the sea. Most experts estimate that 90% of all large ocean life has been decimated in the past 100 years. Red Lobster All-You-Can-Eat night, anyone?

And judging by some emails I've gotten recently, there are a number of readers who think I hate fat people and think they are fair game for ridicule. My point is not that fat people are "funny" or "bad," but that human selfishness is ruining the planet, with Americans firmly in the lead. I know it is hard to resist food, I've battled it myself, we all have. And we're not the only species prone to this, we've all seen what happens to dogs when too much food is made available. For millions of years, humans couldn't be certain when their next meal would be, so our genes evolved to tell us to eat all that is available, especially the fatty stuff. It could mean the difference between making it through the winter and winding up as a frozen skeleton. But for most of us in developed nations, those days are gone.

Food has only been cheap and plentiful for our species for a relatively short time, so our bodies haven't had time to evolve messages that stop us from eating too much. My message isn't "let's all make fun of fat folks," my message is "wake up and smell the devastation to our bodies, our earth, and our fellow non-human inhabitants." I don't kid myself into thinking that this will ever change, but I feel compelled to comment on it.

On a lighter note, here's a silly cartoon about a clown.

22 comments:

nathaniel wallace said...

I love your strip - I especially love your humorous-yet-serious tone on many social issues. It's great to have you as a spokesman for vegetarians/vegans.

Also, Google recently published a series of comics-based themes... any chance of a dynamic Bizarro Google theme in the near future?

The Rifleman said...

I understand that society, in America is gorging itself. Supersize that for ya? I remember when I was a kid in the '70s and McDonalds came to my home town. Not only did we get change from our dollar, but the full meal consisted of what you will find in one of today's Happy Meals (minus the toy)and that was for the adults. There were no kid's meals way back then.

munchy365 said...

Monty Python FTW!

Milt said...

There are four symbols in todays comic, yet you only take credit for three.

Pies said...

Brilliant cartoons, both of them, really.

I think the "fat American" stereotype is actually King Midas.

Anonymous said...

What's with the eyeball in the corner?

Karl said...

Wouldn’t it be great if medical science could invent a patch, similar to the one for nicotine addiction, that would reduce the craving for food? Yep, the patch would be worn directly over the mouth. Maybe call it the Meat-Muzzle.®

And finally Monsieur, a wafer-thin mint…

PIRARO said...

@ milt...
I see eyeball, pie, dynamite. What is the fourth symbol?

@ anonymous...
I drop little symbols in most of my cartoons, just for grins. The small number above my signature says how many are there. You can find a nearly complete list of symbols here:http://www.bizarro.com/symbols/index.htm

doug nicodemus said...

i think i will use that one too...maybe i will make it a piraro week at CES..

www.censys.org/blog

creativeoasiscoach said...

Just back from a trip to the Texas beach of Port Aransas where this cartoon was an exact portrayal of what we witnessed (actually - your present day guy was a little slim in comparison to most of the folks down there). Feels like we're moving one step closer to the people in the movie Wall*e everyday. Yikes!

JohnM said...

Those guys eating the giant burgers should take B. Kliban's advice to never eat anything bigger than your head.

Milt said...

There are two fish tails.

(Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

News Blog said...

Nice Post
Gay

RSJ said...

It's a shame our schizoid media persists in running news stories warning of the dangers of obesity, followed by several commercials for fast-food joints advertising their latest belly-busting burger and 64-oz Coke meal deal. That they do so without a hint of irony makes me lean to the exotic theory that all of our mainstream 'news people' are actually space aliens freshly arrived on this planet.

PIRARO said...

@creativeoasiscoach...
Wall-E is a great film, and not as much fiction as science.

@ JohnM...
Kliban was the reason I became a cartoonist. First saw that book "Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head and Other Stories" in 1976 and was blown away.

@Milt...
Totally right. I can't believe I didn't think of that. :)

RSJ said...

I guess I should have included an emoticon ;) after my last post. Of course, I don't actually believe our newsfolk are space aliens newly arrived on earth -- they are much worse: they are graduates of a modern 'journalism' school!

marine_explorer said...

As one who works at a marine hospital, I love the "hidden history lesson" on many levels--it just might get a few people to think...if they can grasp the irony. Cool, man.

george.w said...

The illustrations in this Wired Science article are eerily like your cartoon:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/07/fishtipping/

...which was brilliant, by the way.

Joe said...

Just if you say "90% have been decimated" you're really saying that 9% (10% of 90%) have been destroyed. Which is probably not what you mean.

Dosbears said...

Isn't there a symbol in the skinny guy's hat?

PIRARO said...

@Dosbears... no, although I can see why you might think so. It is supposed to be a ship's wheel, which is sometimes on those kinds of skipper hats.

chione said...

Hey your cartoon was used in Loren McClenachan's thesis defense, everyone at SIO loved it.
Some of Loren's work
http://www.miller-mccune.com/science_environment/fish-stories-the-ones-that-got-away-1031