Earlier this week, a student at the Alberta College of Art and Design tested both the definitions of art and decency.
While in the cafeteria, the student in question killed a live chicken in front of other students as a performance piece for a school project.
The student removed a live chicken from a box, slit its throat and started to remove its head, feathers and limbs. He then put the chicken in a pot to eat it later.
Students were apparently crying and getting upset, and the whole thing lasted nearly an hour before anyone intervened.
Now this is all so totally disgusting and gross and vile and oh how dare he kill an animal in front of a group of people while they are TRYING TO EAT. Because, see, the appropriate way to be a meat-eater is to buy chicken, already processed in a slaughterhouse, available at your local grocery store already wrapped in plastic.
Killing your food yourself? SAVAGE.
No doubt: this “performance art” is disgusting, unsanitary, weird, and not appropriate for school grounds. What it did accomplish, however, is remind all of us how removed we are from the process that takes our meat from farm to fork. If that was the point, then mission accomplished.
The student also knew what he was doing and wasn’t out to torture the chicken: he apparently works in a kitchen and was going to freeze it to eat it later.
At least this student tried to make his point using a chicken, something our society accepts as food. Had he strangled a cute, yappy puppy, ACAD would have a full-on mutiny on his hands. And hey, it wasn’t a horse. Let’s give him that.
According to all the vitriol for this student, killing an animal isn’t mitigated by artwork. But, I mean, if you’re buying a burger or if it’s for religious purposes or if you just really need a fur-lined winter jacket, that’s perfectly acceptable.
Conveniently enough, all this attention is exactly what this student was aiming for—the fact that everyone in that cafeteria was disgusted was the entire point of highlighting how detached we are from our food.
You may not call it art, and you may not find it very appetizing, but you’ve got to admit it—the kid has a point.