L´Escorxador

 
 
L´Escorxador 
 
L´estiu del 2004, les fotografies que apareixen en aquest vídeo es varen exposar al Centre Cultural de la Misericòrdia de Palma de Mallorca (Illes Balears). Més tard, a l´estiu del 2013 i per deferència de l´autor, la mostra fotogràfica va ser exhibida a la capella de Sant Corneli de Cardedeu (Barcelona).
 
Contingut Escrit: 
 
“En els països del primer món cada dia són sacrificats centenars de milers d´animals domèstics. Porcs, conills, vedells, xais, estruços, pollastres…, conformen legions senceres d´éssers vius que passen a ser transformats en croquetes, bistecs, hamburgueses, embotits, cuixes i nombrosos derivats carnis. Clar, els humans mengem carn, i a les societats dites desenvolupades, si més no fins fa poc, la gran majoria de ciutadans teníem la sort o la desgràcia de poder-ne endrapar cada dia —recordo com els nostres pares ens explicaven que només en tastaven un parell de cops l´any, per les festes senyalades!—. Sigui com sigui, respectant l´ús d´aquest dret per uns i necessitat per d´altres, voldria compartir la meva mirada:
    En general, les generacions passades sabien més bé d´on sortia una llonganissa, el filet, els cent grams de pernil dolç..., segurament per l´escassetat patida. Avui en canvi, sembla que bona part dels ciutadans ignora més que mai que darrere d´aquests preparats o dels cuinats —millor entremig— hi ha un animal, un ésser viu que ha estat engreixat i matat. Animal és aquell que té ànima i això és vida, emocions, desitjos... En general, les noves generacions no els coneixen, no els tracten, no els toquen, no hi conviuen, pel que la distància, el desconeixement i la por són considerables. Altrament, però, mai ho seran tant com l’oblit o la inconsciència.
    Fa uns anys, sense anar gaire lluny, a pagès, el sacrifici podia tenir una part de ritus, moments d’alegria, moments de respecte, de por i angoixa, fins i tot d´agraïment… Avui, les matances no les viu ningú —podem usar aquesta paraula o potser millor un eufemisme com mort artificial?—. Esdevenen intenses operacions massificades i mecàniques, línies de matança quantificades en animals morts per hora —250 porcs/hora, 800 pollastres/hora…—. La mort d´un ésser viu, d´un animal no humà, no colpeix a ningú. Ja és per se un fet amoral?
    Si desperten simpatia els nostres animals de companyia —el gos, el gat, el canari, l´animal exòtic…—, més lluny queden els anomenats animals de producció o de renda, els més nombrosos i els menys respectats, diria que els grans oblidats. Aquells qui hem conviscut durant anys amb ells hem conegut caràcters, febleses, aptituds, joc…, la seva forma de ser, única en cadascun d´ells. No hi ha dues conilles blanques iguals com tampoc dues cabres negres iguals. Quina mena de relació hi tenim els animals humans? Si el màxim respecte és permetre que visquin la seva vida —que una truja pugui furgar, una vaca pasturar, una gallina picotejar...—, on rau la mínima consideració?
    Sí, ben cert, l´Antropocentrisme perdura i no afluixa —essència en la tradició Cristiana, Jueva i Islàmica: només l´home fet a imatge i semblança de Déu—, i ens defineix la relació que mantenim els animals humans amb els altres animals, pel que aquests últims, i la Naturalesa en general, continuen sent simples eines d´explotació pel nostre benefici. A Orient, en canvi, Budisme i Jainisme representen la viva mostra del respecte cap als altres éssers vius. Sí, ben cert: continuem mirant-nos el melic.
    I per últim la gana, la fam. Els animals humans només defensem als que tenim a la vora, just els parents? Podríem menjar tots però milers d´humans moren lentament perquè els matem de fam.  De fet, la relació que mantenim amb els animals no humans és un mirall de la que tenim entre nosaltres, els animals humans.
     
Aquesta mostra  no pretén ser més que una crònica d´allò que succeeix cada dia, diria que bona part de nits i mentre la majoria de nosaltres dorm. Voldria que el color vermell no ofengués a ningú, però que alhora es tingués consciència que no hi ha crits, ni batzegades, ni olors, ni paraules... ni altres.
 
Per tots ells, amb respecte i deute.”
The Slaughterhouse 
 
In the summer of 2004, the photographs that appear in this video were exhibited at the Centre Cultural de la Misericòrdia in Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Islands). Later, in the summer of 2013 and by deference of the author, the photographic exhibition was presented at the chapel in Sant Corneli de Cardedeu (Barcelona).
 
Background texts:
 
“In the developed world, hundreds of thousands of animals are sacrificed every day. Pigs, rabbits, calves, ostriches and chickens are just some of the living creatures that are routinely transformed into croquettes, steaks, hamburgers, cold meats, drumsticks and other meat derivatives. Yet human beings are meat-eaters, and in so-called “developed” societies, at least until recently, the vast majority of the population was lucky (or unlucky) enough to enjoy daily meat consumption. In fact, I still remember our parents telling us how they only tasted meat a couple of times a year, on festive days! I’d like to share my view of the situation, with all due respect to what is a right for some and a necessity for others:
    Generally speaking, previous generations were much more aware of where their sausages, steaks and ham came from, in no small part thanks to the scarcity experienced at the time. Nowadays, however, it seems as though a large part of the population completely ignores the fact that behind these dishes there is an animal, a living creature, that has had to endure the process of fattening and slaughtering. The term animal comes from the Latin animalis, meaning “living”, which in turn comes from anima, meaning “soul”: if animals have souls, they also have feelings, desires. It’s safe to say that, on the whole, young people today aren’t very aware of animal life: they never have to deal with them, they never touch them, they don’t live near them, which leads to a sense of distance, ignorance, fear. Worse still, the animals are forgotten, mentally discarded: “out of sight, out of mind”.
    Just a few years ago, the act of animal sacrifice was considered a ritual, and depending on the specific case could be associated with feelings of joy, respect, fear, anxiety, even gratefulness… Today, animal slaughtering is something very few people experience first-hand —in fact, we could even replace the term “slaughter” with a euphemism, such as artificial death—. Slaughtering today is an intensely massified, mechanical operation, where rows upon rows of killing machines quantify the number of slaughtered animals per hour: 250 pigs per hour, 800 chickens per hour. It seems as if the death of a living creature, of an animal, doesn’t affect anyone any more. Could it be because it’s an amoral act?
    We feel great emotional proximity to domestic animals —dogs, cats, canaries, the odd exotic pet— yet “production” animals are seen as much further away from us: they are the most numerous, the worst-treated, the most easily forgotten. Those of us who have grown up living among farm animals know about their characters, weaknesses, attitudes, the way they play, their own unique personality. There are no two white rabbits alike, nor are there two black goats alike. What kind of relationship are humans supposed to have with them? If showing maximum respect means allowing them to live their lives —letting pigs mess around in the mud, cows graze, chickens peck— could we not at least show minimum consideration?
    The Anthropocentrism ideal endures today and is not showing any sign of weakening. It is a key feature of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions —only Man is made in the image and likeness of God— and it forms the basis for the relationship between humans and other animals, which explains why animals, and the natural world in general, continue to be seen as mere tools to be exploited for our benefit. In the East, however, Buddhism and Jainism represent real-life examples of respect towards other living beings. I think it’s about time us Westerners put an end to our navel-gazing.
    And lastly, hunger. We seem to only be able to look after those who are close to us, our families. There is enough food to feed everyone on the planet, yet millions of human beings die each year because we starve them. Our relationship to animals is a reflection of how we treat each other.
 
The sole purpose of this exhibition is to raise awareness of something that happens each and every day, and probably most nights too, while we all sleep safely in our beds. The images in the video, and the presence of blood in them, are not meant to shock nor offend viewers. My intention is simply to record these acts which I believe deserve to be seen. And viewers should be aware that I was careful to avoid the cries, slaps, insults and other sounds typical of the slaughtering process. 
 
To all of them, in respect and in debt.”