Meat the Oppressed
BFA thesis series, 2018
The factory farm industry is one of the most dangerous occupations, not only for the workers who perform tedious and physically demanding work for minimum wage but also for the animals themselves who are being exploited and mass-produced for our benefit. The quality of life for these animals is extremely poor, and their natural animal instincts are essentially stripped away enabling them to become machines at our disposal. Since our culture demands quality meals that are both inexpensive and quick, these animals must endure cramped living conditions, malnutrition, mutilation, sickness, disease, and more, for the sake of feeding hundreds of thousands of people per day. Since these animals cannot voice their oppressive lifestyle to the public, I thought I would be the voice they need to bring them justice.
In this work, Meat the Oppressed, I’ve created latex masks of the three primary meat sources in the farm industry: the cow, the chicken, and the pig. By allowing these masks to be wearable, I am inviting the audience to step into these animal’s lives and imagine the pain and suffering they endure for our benefit. Along with the latex masks is a video performance reflecting the cruelty and secrecy surrounding the meat industry. In the video performance, these animals are begging for freedom and justice in an effort to end factory farming and the oppressive system of labor. This signifies the beginning of a revolution against this broken system of consumerism, in which we begin to put our health before our laziness and greed, and redefine the American diet for the better.