“How do we replicate the culture of meat keeping and meat eating in a post-meat world?”
Eating meat is no longer sustainable or healthy; according to the Food and Agriculture Organization cattle farming alone produces more CO2 gas than driving cars. Livestock production is one of the most significant contributors to today’s most severe environmental problems. (Livestock a major threat to environment, 2008). However, there is a whole culture behind rearing, processing, and cooking meat that would be lost if we suddenly stopped eating it.
My project aims to look at the industry behind pig meat, to dissect it and replicate it with the Dulse seaweed. Dulse is a red marine algae that grows along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines, and when fried tastes like bacon. It is considered a superfood, packed with minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants, and is sourced with high amounts of iodine which gives it its red colour. It is highly sustainable making it one of the few resources in food production that is a “net carbon user” (Panichkul, 2016).
My objective is to use Dulse as a communicative tool for the project, by weaving a narrative that follows the production of the seaweed from farming to consumption. The emphasis is to keep the rich culture behind meat production that is ingrained in our society alive, by preserving the theatrics of the trade vocations (farmer, slaughterer, butcher), using an alternative to meat. I have designed the infrastructure of a transitional culture that exists in a post-meat world, which engages in the social sustainability of meat production.
There is already a system in place created for the way we consume meat and utilize butchery, and this project exploits that language, aesthetics and semiotics with a moral and environmentally sustainable compass. The objective is to point out the collective social values and innate behaviours tied to the skills around meat production that would be jeopardised in a post-meat world, to ensure their adaptive proliferation.