According to Hunter, American Psycho is largely a critique of the "shallow and vicious aspects of capitalism." The characters are predominately concerned with material gain and superficial appearances, traits indicative of a postmodern world in which the 'surface' reigns supreme. This leads Patrick Bateman to act as if "everything is a commodity, including people," an attitude that is further evident in the rampant objectification of women that occurs in the novel. This distancing allows Bateman to rationalize his actions, in one anthropophagic scene, Bateman remarks "though it does sporadically penetrate how unacceptable some of what I'm doing actually is, I just remind myself that this thing, this girl, this meat, is nothing..."
Patrick Bateman's consumption of what he views as nothing more than a piece of meat is an almost parodically literal interpretation of a monster created by consumer culture. This, combined with sex, violence, drugs, and other desires of the id, is how Bateman realizes his base urges in a superficial world.