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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

A project by Mariella Weiss and Theresa Bader


We don’t ask you to stop eating meat, we want you to eat meat with awareness and respect! Because mass production has to be stopped!

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A project within the Master in Eco-social Design, inspired by the annual theme ESSEN/ALIMENTARE/FOOD (Project 1 - WS 2015/16)




Special thanks to:

  • Heiner / Stanglerhof  Völs for hosting us, helping us to slaughter and cooking a fantastic meal
  • Bachelor Film Crew for the great cinematography (Felicitas Gehring, Matthias Pötz, Max Hornäcker, Ada Keller, Marta Brevi)


The process

Preparing the chicken for eating

Animal - Dead - Meat, to activate this chain of associations, we organised a happening with 11 participants and three chickens. After having a first, short contact and giving them names, three of the attendees decided to slaughter those individuals, prepare them for cooking, to finally eat them. During the whole process, they treated them with respect and dignity. A film shows the emotions of the participants about the brutal act of the meat production and places those pictures on eye-level with the portraits of the chicken. The festive dinner that followed, is also paramount.

We think, bringing those concessions from the private happening into open and public space, will help to start a rethinking in the production and consumption of meat and be a step towards an environment without industrial livestock farming.

In the theory of Martha Nussbaum, “the good life”, she says, that feelings and moral actions are linked. The emotionality and the rationality are relating and depending on each other.

The reaction

A participant reviewing the slaughter

“Ich habe dabei realisiert, dass das Selbst-Schlachten und anschließende Essen des Tieres  eine reflexive, bewusste und kausale Handlung ist. Es wurde dabei eine Ebene wieder eingeblendet, nämlich dass ein Lebewesen sein Leben lassen muss, weil wir Fleisch essen wollen, die sonst ausgeblendet oder einfach vergessen wird. Und mehr noch, das Selbst-Schlachten ist immediat und assoziativ, ein starker Moment wurde kreiert, der alle Beteiligten mit dem Huhn, dem Ort und der Landschaft in Verbindung gebracht hat.”

Moritz Bonatti - Participant


How close can we get to a good life for farmed animals?

A festive dinner honours the chicken

Martha Nussbaum's capability approach, the good life, leaded us trough our project.

  • life: being able to live a full life of a normal length
  • bodily health: being able to enjoy adequate nutrition, reproductive health, sexual satisfaction, choice in reproduction
  • bodily integrity: being able to move freely and safely
  • sense, imagination and thought: being able to make full use of the senses to experience, think, reason, imagine and create
  • emotion: being able to experience attachments to people, things and experiences and to express feelings
  • practical reasoning: being able to form a conception of the good and critically reflect on it
  • affiliation: being able to live with others in mutual respect, being able to establish self-respect and non-discrimination
  • other species: being able to have concern for and live with other animals, plants and nature
  • play: being able to laugh, play and enjoy recreational activities
  • control over one’s environment: being able to live one’s own life, being able to enjoy freedom

(Martha Nussbaum, Capability Approach)

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