Saturday, August 18, 2012

Some photographers shoot weddings. I don't.

It's not everyday I attend slaughters.  It's just one of those events I rarely find myself at.  They aren't like concerts or baseball games, you don't buy tickets, grab yourself a cold one and find your seat.  But this morning some friends were gracious enough to let me attend their "event" (if such a moniker fits) and shoot some images for an upcoming project I'm working on.

Dan greeted me warmly as we forewent the obligatory handshake due to his blood stained hands.  The spatter on his face was the first indication I was in the right place.  The crew was already hard at work.

The scene before me was not what I expected.  It was tidy, orderly, everyone doing a job.  The slaughter itself was fastidious, timely, an exercise in efficiency aided by modern technology - not the 'swinging axe, chicken running around with it's head cut off' stereotype that most of us probably envision.

A slaughter, whether it's of a single animal or many, as was the case today, is a necessary action to procure what most of us take for granted: a neatly wrapped chicken breast in a supermarket, conveniently affixed with a recipe for easy preparation at home in the comfort of our kitchens.

This is the reality.  Something we're far removed from in our modern society.  This is where it comes from. Work is involved.  Blood is involved.  Killing is involved.  Most of us will never see it.  It's not disgusting.  It's not repugnant.  It's life - and death.  A reminder of our distant past, one where killing was a way of life.  One where death was a necessary and visible component of the sustenation and proliferation of our own species.

This morning chickens gave their lives for the betterment of humanity.  There does not exist a more honorable death than that.