ABOUT MEAT is a series of paintings which illustrates our society’s relation to animals, how we categorize them into edible things and inedible pets and how we think consuming animal products is “natural”, “normal” and “necessary”.*
When I was little, my parents went on a short trip and left me with my grandparents. During the day I played in the yard and in the barn, had a look at the new baby bunnies and fed the chickens with my grandfather.
However, as soon as the sun went down, I felt terribly homesick and cried my heart out. Until someone came up with the idea to bring me a little rabbit to comfort me. Well, that worked pretty well. I love rabbits.
A few months later, we visited my grandparents again.
For the first time I saw how a rabbit’s neck was broken and how his coat was pulled off properly. I almost puked. Our family had roasted rabbit for dinner.
At that time I had already stopped eating meat and had they killed a dog or a cat, it would not have made any difference to me. Speaking of dogs, more than 2.5 million people have signed a petition on change.org to stop the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in Guangxi, China. Eating dogs… this is disgusting, isn’t it? Dogs are there to play with and sometimes even to let them sleep in your bed. But eating them? NO WAY. We have other things to eat: pigs, cattle and stuff like that. Nobody has to eat dogs. This hypocritical weird way of thinking is incidentally called speciesism.
Children eat their favourite little sausages without even knowing what is inside. They can’t make the connection between the meat on their plates and the animal that this piece of dead flesh once was. Most adults have forgotten – or never known – this either.
These animals are invisible. Their killing takes place behind closed doors.
So even though I have not eaten or even touched any meat in the last 30 years, I do like to paint it in order to draw people’s attention to animal rights and hold a mirror up to our society.
Aside from animal rights, the demand for livestock products has increased so much over the past decades that we are most likely to fuck up this planet and our health if we don’t change our habits immediately.
By reducing our meat consumption, even if it’s just for one day a week, we can make a huge impact on the environment, our physical health and of course, livestock breeding!
*Joy, Melanie (2011) . Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism. Conari Press