So, the other day I was thinking about ‘Mother and Child, Divided’, a piece by Damien Hirst (pictured below). I was thinking how unacceptable it is to take away two lives – to kill two sentient creatures to create some art. I see this piece mainly as a form of entertainment; people enjoy being provoked by it, or there’s some idle curiosity which is being fulfilled, or perhaps it’s trying to communicate a clever idea that I’ve missed. Whatever the case, I question whether any animals needed to be harmed. To me, the suffering and loss caused by this killing is contemptible especially if the motivation is merely some derivation of entertainment. In my mind it’s slightly better than dog/cock/bull fighting only because I assume that these cows were killed “humanely”.
But this got me thinking – if there’s no nutritional requirement for people to eat animals then most people frequently indulge in similar behaviour. The enjoyment of eating meat is just another way to entertain your senses. I think it’s such a poor justification and I feel the same contempt.
Now I’m not sure what to think regarding ‘Mother and Child, Divided’ – if I wasn’t aware of the piece I’d feel less steadfast to this vegetarian thinking. It tastes a little like hypocrisy.