Wine Monopoly

In Norway, the sale, distribution and promotion of alcohol products is controlled by a variety of legal strategies.  As I understand it the laws are as follows:

  • In grocery stores only beer can be sold (less than 4.75%), not wine or stronger beverage.
  • Wine and stronger beverages can only be sold through the “Vinmonopol” (“Wine monopoly”) which the state runs. The state decides how many of these shops there exists in Norway.
  • you must be 18 to purchase beer and wine and 20 for stronger spirits (over 22%)
  • The sale of alcohol in shops stops at 8pm every weekday and 6pm before holidays (including Sundays.)
  • Alcohol cannot be sold in shops on Sundays or public holidays
  • advertising alcohol is illegal in Norway

I think these laws offer some interesting counter arguements to those who would contest The Meat Licence Proposal on the grounds of infrastructure or logistics.

Controlling Substances

This is how they measure wine in a bar in Stavanger, Norway:

(More soon on Norways special laws for the control of alcohol.)

The Law is in Your Hands

More4 news have come up with an interesting television concept:

Should The Meat Licence Proposal enter into this project?  Why is a news programme attempting to influence the decision making of parliament makers?


(sent by Jenny P)

Life and Death

Bacteria are all around us - they are a single cell organism, with no nucleus.  The DNA of a bacteria is contained in it's cytoplasm and they reproduce asexually - quickly replicating and forming colonies.

Today we worked, as artists, with this lifeform - collecting it, incubating it and facilitating it's growth.  Tomorrow we will destroy it.

Oron Catts, an artist, posed the question:

Is there something intrinsically different about working with life?  (As opposed to any other matter on planet earth.)

In the context of The Meat Licence Proposal I would like to add:

Is there something intrinsically important about death, and the act of killing?  And, is the killing of a thousands of bacteria the same as the killing of thousands of cattle?

My DNA and that of a Strawberry

I am currently attending the Symbiotica Biotech Art Workshop, being held in Stavanger, Norway. 

Over the next couple of days I will upload the some descriptions of the kinds of biological art activity I am being involved in and invite comment and discussion.

Pig Killing Veggie

Recently a friend told me about a friend who, although vegetarian for over ten years, had killed & eaten a pig whilst working on an ecological project on a tropical island.

I have arranged to meet him to conduct an interview about this experience, which will be posted on the website as a podcast early November.

This is a man who has experienced killing a pig with his bare hands, and for ethical reasons.

What would you like to ask him about this experience?

What would you like to discuss with him in regard to the Meat License?

Grassroots Authoritarian

Thinking about the Meat License lately I have been struck by how paradoxical it can appear.

Grassroots Authoritarianism?

We want to work as a 'community" to develop a law, on a grassroots level, in as open (source) a way as posible, to develop a law, which will then be zoomed up above us, to apply to everyone in quite an authoritarian way. No-one will be excempt, law breakers will be punished.

How can we use this?

I think it is useful to think of the implementation of the law as being on a continuum between fascism and voluntarism.

Meat Fungus

I recently discovered this tasty looking fungus growing through the interior walls of a building.

Samosa Roulette

I was meeting some friends in a restaurant and I ordered my starter - 'vegetable samosas.'  The starter arrived and, only after eating several forkfulls, did I realise that I was in fact eating meat - there had been a mix up in the kitchen!

Under the proposed U.K. Meat Licencing Law could an individual be charged for eating meat without a licence?  What would the charge be?

On Killing

Bizarrely (or inevitably) whilst driving away from the Monro Pub, along the waterfront in Liverpool, my car collided with a baby seagull, killing it instantly.

Although this was an accidental killing, and not a controlled slaughter, it certainly brought home to me the seriousness of the act of killing an animal. 

Should The Meat Licence Proposal accept more arbitrary means of killing as sufficient?