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Design and Violence is an ongoing online curatorial experiment that explores the manifestations of violence in contemporary society by pairing critical thinkers with examples of challenging design work. Contributors’ weekly essays have been published since November 2013, creating a body of opinion and a set of case studies that spark discussion and bring the ambiguous relationship between design and violence to center stage for designers and the people they serve—all of us.
Design and Violence is organized by Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA; Jamer Hunt, Director, graduate program in Transdisciplinary Design, Parsons The New School for Design; and Michelle Millar Fisher, Exhibition Coordinator, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA.
The third debate will center upon Temple Grandin’s “serpentine ramp,” a slaughterhouse design modification that attempts stress reduction and a more humane death for animals. Professor Gary L. Francione (Distinguished Professor of Law, Rutgers, and author, Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals) and Nicola Twilley (editor/author of Edible Geography.com, co-founder of the Foodprint Project, and director of Studio-X NYC) will deliver debate motions, moderated by Design and Violence co-curator Paola Antonelli.
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A farm is a peculiar problem for a man who likes animals, because the fate of most livestock is that they are murdered by their benefactors. The creatures may live serenely but they end violently, and the odor of doom hangs about them always. I have kept several pigs, starting them in spring as weanlings and carrying trays to them all through summer and fall. The relationship bothered me. Day by day I became better acquainted with my pig, and he with me, and the fact that the whole adventure pointed toward an eventual piece of double-dealing on my part lent an eerie quality to the thing. I do not like to betray a person or a creature, and I tend to agree with Mr. E.M. Forster that in these times the duty of a man, above all else, is to be reliable. It used to be clear to me, slopping a pig, that as far as the pig was concerned I could not be counted on, and this, as I say, troubled me. Anyway, the theme of “Charlotte’s Web” is that a pig shall be saved, and I have an idea that somewhere deep inside me there was a wish to that effect.
Solution: Go vegan.
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Happy birthday to the late, great César Chávez: a labor rights and environmental justice activist, and a vegan. He said,
I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings.
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I just watched the short film Story Of An Egg after reading about it on Huffington Post. I found myself sympathizing with the farmers who are trying to find more ethical ways of farming eggs, and I used to love eating eggs myself – but I can’t help but be unsettled by the assumption that we have to go on exploiting animals to live happy, fulfilled, healthy lives.
Eggs can be a great source of nutrition for humans, it’s true. But do we need them – are plant-based proteins just not enough for us? Can we justify our need? More
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Richard Turere, a 13-year-old Maasai from Kenya, invented a solar-powered solution to lions killing cows, and humans killing lions: A device that mimics the look of a person walking with a flashlight, to scare lions away from cow sheds, preventing humans from lethal retaliation against the endangered predators.
Vegans may be interested in educating themselves about the Maasai, who present some very interesting questions regarding animal exploitation. They are able to live in desert and scrublands that are otherwise uninhabitable, and are extremely self-sufficient. And yet their way of life could not continue without the exploitation of cows. A debate between a fundamentalist abolitionist vegan and a Maasai person would be very interesting!
Via NPR; photo by James Duncan Davidson
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