What’s up with those expensive egg memes?
Why the hell have people been making memes about expensive eggs? Are egg prices really that high? Is it just another symptom of the downfall of our civilisation? Have we finally, collectively, cracked?
If you were looking for a reason to suspect society is falling apart at the seams, and the best days of western civilisation are way, way behind us at this point, consider this: the exciting trend for expensive egg memes.
Yep, a whole bunch of enterprising meme geniuses spent the early months of 20-goddamn-23 cooking up sight gags about the increasingly eye-watering price of a humdrum kitchen staple.
Is this more concerning because the meme gods seem to be running out of funny ideas? Or do these faintly-nervous jokes indicate our society is speeding down the ramp toward some manner of apocalyptic nuclear war over basic nutritional availability?
The first thing to say, for any future historians reading this (Hi! Sorry about climate change!) is that egg prices really have gone up.
Look at this cool graph. Inflation was, for a time at least, running at 60%. Where a year ago, they were like $4 a dozen, they shot past $5, and now (apparently, in some places) they’re like $18! For a dozen freakin’ eggs.
Every time you go to the grocery store, it’s getting harder not to fantasise you’re in some kind of grainy black-and-white newsreel footage from the Great Depression, or the bleakest days of Weimar Germany.
Why are we in this situation? There’s a few factors, at play, if you’re interested. There’s an avian flu epidemic sweeping the world. Which is kind of like Covid for humans, except chickens don’t have ears so they can’t wear masks.
Neither can they ‘lockdown’, as such, because humans keep them in lockdown all the time anyway. There isn’t some kind of feathered poultry version of Doctor Fauci either, as it happens. We’ll just murder a bunch of chickens and hope that solves the problem.
Anyway, the grownups are worried about it. “This is the largest animal emergency that USDA has ever faced in this country,” Gino Lorenzoni, an assistant professor of poultry science and avian health at Penn State University told NBC news “And it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon.”
There’s also a whole bunch of other factors. The Covid pandemic disrupted global supply chains in a fairly massive way, making everything slower and more expensive.
The Great Resignation increased the cost of labour, as folks realised they could work less and still be happy, if not happier, than if they were working a shitty job. Who knew.
The war in Ukraine has forced up energy prices everywhere, because cheap Russian oil isn’t a thing any more. That means the trucks carrying eggs to the store, and feed to the chicken farm, are more expensive to run.
There’s also, probably, a bit of price-gouging in the mix too, as suppliers exploit the above factors and the resulting confusion to make money. Yay capitalism!
Fundamentally, our society is in a pickle (they’re also more expensive now, btw). So the meme makers are doing what jesters in our society have always done – make fun of a bleak situation, so at least we can smile as our basic nutrients are stripped away one by way, making us weak and sick.
Should we paint potatoes instead of eggs this easter? Ha! Why not. Trying to impress a young lady in 2023? Buy her a bunch of eggs! Oh, the hilarity.
There’s even a trend among panicky non-farming folks scrambling (thanks) to buy and raise their own chickens, cutting out the middle-man. Like a mirror of the whole Covid lockdown thing, when everybody bought dogs to make them feel better.
This in turn, obvs, limits the supply of poultry birds, forcing prices up even more, in a grisly sort of economic feedback loop. Classic chicken and egg situation.
Ever wondered if you could GET RICH MAKING MEMES?
Are CLASSROOM MEMES actually good for teaching?
Also, while we’re here, IS STEALING MEMES ILLEGAL?