In 1977 I was asked to ‘crew’ for a video (In those days the equipment was huge, I had to carry a box the size of a suitcase). The video was of the processes involved in producing meat in a slaughterhouse, I did this for a painter who was creating images based on dead things. I witnessed the slaughtering of pigs, lambs, and beef. The video shoot was over three days and although horrific it was surprising how quickly I adapted to the mass slaughter – the analogies between what I witnesses and the images of Jewish concentration camps during the Second World War were obvious – what I was surprised with was the speed in which such volume could be processed.
I’ve just read an article on American Slaughterhouses. The same issues and questions exist 30 years on. – Define cruelty when you take a life? What isn’t fit to harvest?