I went to the market to purchase the lobster.
Immediately i was not looking at the size, type or price, as I would usually do as a cook, but now i was picking a personality. I knew they would all die eventually, but still I felt uncomfortably powerful. I bought one, 15 euros, a good price. I carefully placed him in my backpack, wrapping a wet towel around him. This way he would be more comfortable. The humid towel would keep him cool, and because he was kept from daylight he would think it was night-time and be less active. I unwrap him in my kitchen; the creature’s claws are strapped. Making him less dangerous to me, but also making it an unfair fight.
Image: stills from video test / Sascha Landschoff
Whilst travelling back from the Netherlands at the end of last year, I managed have a quick meeting at Schiphol Airport with Sascha Landshoff, a photographer and chef who came to me with an interesting query: "I would like to be the first chef to obtain this licence. Is there a possibility we could make this work?" Sascha explained a familiar scenario: despite being a chef and handling meat on a daily basis, he feels conflicted because he never comes into contact with animals.
How to obtain the Meat Licence?
Sascha was curious how a procedure could work for obtaining the licence: "You state that: It is through a specific and supervised engagement in the act of killing an animal, that citizens will obtain their meat license… but what is fully meant by 'engagement in act of killing' ?" Since 2008, this question has been the real challenge behind the ethical concerns of the Meat Licence Proposal - how might such a system work in practice? (both legally and logistically?)
2012 was the year in which The Meat Licence Proposal began to take pro-active steps towards investigating the relationship between the food marketplace in Europe and existing legal infrastructures surrounding meat production and consumption.
Exhibition in the Hague
In January, The Meat Licence Proposal was represented within an exhibition at Stroom Den Haag - Food Forward - curated by Karen Verschooren. The exhibition was the culmination of a three year cultural research programme by the gallery in the Hague to investigate and explore the future of food and the city.
(Statement 1st January 2012)
From the first of January 2012, The Meat Licence Proposal will begin a new strategy of developing 'Licenced Products' for sale within the market.
Many years before this meat licence was proposed, and completely unknown to me, there was a heated debate on the "hip forums" website.
EXPERIMENTAL LEGAL MAPPING
"The Meat Licence Proposal"
Hands-on session exploring approaches to mapping, relating and analysis of statutes and legal documents and interpretation of audio recordings.
Foreign Law Reports Room
Newcastle University Law Library
Monday 12th December 2011, 9am-6pm