Fast Food/Convenience, 2012-2016
Fast Food: My parents came to the US as adults from Mexico and Italy respectively. I grew up eating as they did - meals are eaten slowly and with others. Fast food, with its shiny, brightly colored facades and super savory or sweet meals was exotic and beguiling. Fast food is widely available, cheap, and filling. For some people, there are few affordable or accessible alternatives. In its early days, fast food was marketed to women, promising freedom from the work and responsibility of feeding the family. But the industry is based largely on worker exploitation - mostly women of color, many of whom are single moms. Fast food, heavily processed and based on animal agriculture, is linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. Animal agriculture is a leading cause, if not the leading cause, of climate change, deforestation, ocean acidification, habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, and mass species extinction. Industrialized animal agriculture, from which 99% of all meat, dairy, and eggs comes, is the final, horrifying stage of a practice that has never been sane or just: the commodification and slaughter of sentient beings. And ironically, fast food wastes imperiled resources and so increases world hunger.
Convenience: This series broadens the scope of the Fast Food series. Convenience stores, liquor stores, check cashing services are most often found in impoverished neighborhoods and prey on the lack of resources and access of those who live there. And yet, they form an intrinsic part of the fabric of the neighborhood.