Thoughts from the front lines



I really enjoyed reading The Year of the Flood over Oryx and Crake. The story telling was much more intriguing and fast-paced than the first novel. Amongst the many elements Margaret Atwood incorporated in the sequel, Toby’s experience at SecretBurgers is what spoke to me the most, as well as angered me above all things. The conditions she succumbed to were horrendous, and sadly, she barely had no way out. Let’s not forget that Blanco was the worst part of it all. He played a big part in washing away the little bit of dignity Toby still had during that period of time in her life. Though her stay at SecretBurgers was simply in the early chapters, I look back on it and still feel mad only hoping that she would have spoken up or rebelled before AdamOne’s appearance.

Not needing identity or further information on Toby, her job is a reflection of the battered compounds she has no choice to settle in. Though her sexual abuse, she was demanded to work overtime without any lunch breaks. If it were me, I would have been gone in a flash. In this case, fear and dominance played big factors in her decision to stay. Blanco. Blanco. Blanco. As dumb as his name sounds, through him, Atwood depicts the hidden truths of fast food corruptions of the real world.

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Take a look at this website: . It briefly enumerates the problems there are with the industry, and if you can remember correctly, you will find which ones correspond to Toby circumstances the most. (Trigger Warning) Sexual harassment is number one in this case and is a prominent problem in SecretBurgers, undeniably. “Over one third of sexual harassment complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission were filed by women working in restaurants.”  With Blanco, he is relentless,  not forgetting that he is capable of quickly disposing the disposable.

As a McDonald’s employee myself, being overworked under stressful conditions is a task worthy of a break. Certainly, there is a sentiment of feeling like you are replaceable or disposable. What reassures me is that I can speak against such actions, however I only wish Toby would’ve done the same had she not been brutally oppressed by Blanco. Then again, already immersed in an illegal fast restaurant chain, such a complaint would probably have worked against her.

All in all, I believe AdamOne saved her life by recruiting her, however for the sake of being petty, Toby should have given Blanco a harsher punishment he deserved than she did when they meet again toward the final chapters. All this to say that silence has the power to cast you away, and Atwood does phenomenally in depicting how oppressive and abusive conditions may freeze you in silence, but also cage you in, in the process.



Works Cited

Atwood, Margaret. The Year of the Flood. Vintage Canada: 2010.

Luce, Stephanie. “10 Worst Things About Working in Fast Food and Retail” Alternet, 13 December 2013. Accessed 4 April 2017.



Have You Heard of Mike the Headless Chicken?

Margaret Atwood has presented many interesting elements relatable to our current reality and society today. The author presents Oryx and Crake in a post-apocalyptic world, yet her chapters and sections select intriguing modern elements which she incorporates in her story. An example of such detail relevant to the theme of my blog is in section Wolvogs. Jimmy is introduced to a lab where chickens are grown without heads. A method as such avoids, most importantly, animal brutality. So, really, these chickens don’t need to have their throats slit if they are clearly headless. Over the holidays, I came over a Facebook account depicting the maltreatment and brutality of farm animals before they end up on our plates. I became obsessed with watching similar videos – kind of grim I know – and was deeply saddened about by how far mankind is willing to go…to obtain meat.

Here is a link containing a series of videos displaying how animals are tortured and killed (trigger warning: you might wanna hide your eyes, it’s bloody) :


It prompted me to change my eating habits, so I became a vegetarian. Needless to say, my courageous attempts lasted all of three days before I crumbled and went in on a steak burrito. I have concluded that I’m a meat lovin’ animal brutality hatin’ kinda gal. Instead of cutting meat out of my diet (I will definitely give it another go), I’d rather discourage their maltreatment. Realistically, I am contradicting myself, but every thing is worth a try. Funny enough, working at Mcdonald’s; the land of beef patties, angus meat, and chicken breast filets, imagining the slaughtering process is hard to ignore (especially when it arrives ‘100% Canadian Beef’ frozen boxes).

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Question is do I believe in meat labs? Would I be more of an environmentalist if I did? If meat labs were to actually exist, would it be ethical to support it? A shock would definitely be associated with it similarly to how big my eyes opened when I came upon the passage. However, in our modern day, if scientists and researchers were able to grow perfectly healthy chicken or beef parts, it could be quite beneficial in many ways past the shock factor (honestly, I would finally stop feeling guilty about eating meat). It would be equally essential to analyse the consequentialist moral reasoning theory seeing as it primarily conveys the idea of what ever action is rightfully executed overrides the consequences that come along with it. Still in regards of meat labs, a theory as such holds great importance in my eyes, because hypothetically it could end animal suffering. Here is a short list of benefits:

1-Animals would not be painfully tortured and slaughtered.

2-Believe or not, animals could be allowed to pursue their future lives and desires.

3-Our ecosystem could be greatly advantaged

Lastly, I think we’ve all heard the story of Mike the Headless Chicken which is what I immediately thought and laughed at reading the passage. Either way, who knows, Mike could’ve probably been Crake’s chicken guinea pig.



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