LT VegFest

with 2 comments

Sorry about the hiatus. This blog thing should get a whole lot more regular now, even if I’m unsure why I’m doing it at all.

So, aside from intense bagel-making, -preparation, and -marketing, I’m currently writing – or, rather, assembling the interviews, research, photos, and energy to write – a niceandeasy article about vegetarianism in Lithuania. Of which there isn’t; or at least, as a movement, it’s not at all western-like. That’s not to say there aren’t vegetarian-friendly places (there are, but very few) or vegetarians (again, they exist, but they’re very removed from the mainstream). Whatever – I’ll expand in the article. Interesting things to report, interesting people (including major Lithuanian celebrities!) who chime in – be there.

But at the risk of rendering my article dated upon publication, I simply must mention an event: the Vegetarian Festival, the first ever in the country. Because these images are burning a hole in my memory card.

Some context: In the middle of the festival’s festivities, which were little booths manned by all sorts of granola businesses and organizations, was a raised platform, maybe a foot tall and measuring 15×15. A little person-crane, the sort that phone line repairmen use, stood next to it.

No one I talk to knows anything re crane/stage; no one seems to particularly care. And then, thirty minutes in, about 15 girls in but their undies emerge from a tent and arrange themselves in two rows on the stage, supine, bums down, developed chests up. And then: the stage’s floor, girls and all, is layered with saran-wrap. The wrappings’ lines run perpendicular to the girls, horizontal stripes of plastic gradually packaging the strangely serious group. And then: a large exaggerated sticker, announcing the price of human meat per kilo, plus some statistic on annual animal deaths, is slapped on the corner. And then: paint is dribbled all over, presumably to represent blood. (I say presumably because the paint is pink, not red – which I presume is either an oversight or a compromise to aesthetic sensibilities, or squeamish ones.) Take a look, and lose count of the fetishes…

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It bears pedantic mentioning that it’s a sort of mixed-metaphor protest: either it’s just raw, gross human meat, with blood and stuff; or it’s packaged human meat, which would mean it’d have to be relatively clean — would you buy meat, human or otherwise, with blood (or paint) on the outside of the packaging? Maybe this question is an extension of a greater philosophical confusion underlying the stunt: Is it protesting the sale of meat, or animal cruelty? Either employs the same crude mechanics: humans are animals too! – and the display of human meat is raunchily absurd; ergo, animals should not be eaten/sold/mistreated. But the arguments do diverge at a point. Is meat just wrong, unjustifiable under any circumstances, which would be protested nicely (if amateurishly and derivatively) by simply a ‘human meat’ display? Or is the moral issue animal cruelty, and that the meat of an animal painlessly killed just might be okay, which is probably more aptly protested by visceral, viscous things, like blood and stuff. It could of course be both, the protest being a good deal more sophisticated than it initially seems. Or it could be just a sensationalist display of whatever might get a rise.

The crane, btw, was for the photographer (nice guy, not a vegetarian) to snap a bird’s eye shot.

UPDATE: You pervs seem to really like the pics. Click here for the album.

Written by menachemkaiser

10 October at 22:39

Posted in rants

2 Responses

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  1. […] back me up: This hunting/meat festival was held in Rotuse, the town square, on the same spot as the vegetarian festival. (Here for article.) WP_SLIDESHOW_IMAGES = { load: […]

  2. Hello, after reading this awesome piece of writing i am as
    well delighted to share my familiarity here with colleagues.

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