General Images

Ham: my amputated leg

I’ve always found this a very powerful image. There’s so much symbolism in it.

Legs are one of the few animal body parts that are still sold as recognisable animal body parts. Most meat products nowadays are highly processed, the animals’ organs, mussles and tissues and also their heads, and skin turned into bacon, minced meat, hamburgers, sausages, hotdogs, etc. Because of this processing, the animals have become invisible, and many people will not associate meat products with living sentient animals anymore.

The pig in the drawing has had his leg amputated and given a prosthetic leg. But of course, humans do not simply just take body parts from animals, but kill the animals and process their whole body. It reminds me of an answer which is sometimes given to the question whether a dish is vegan or not: ‘but it only contains a little bit of meat. Like the animal is only a little bit dead? Do people who use this as a justification or excuse think that that ‘tiny bit’ comes from a tiny part of the animal’s body and the animal otherwise stayed untouched?

What do you read into ito this image?

Drawing: Side view of pink pig looking up towards a rod, on which a processed pig leg is hanging with a hook in the hoove (like a ham in a butcher shop).  Instead of his left hind leg, the pig has an old-style prosthetic leg (black cup attached to body, brown stick as leg, and has white bandages around his back body, with his curly tail sticking out.
Drawing: Side view of pink pig looking up towards a rod, on which a processed pig leg is hanging with a hook in the hoove (like a ham in a butcher shop).  Instead of his left hind leg, the pig has an old-style prosthetic leg (black cup attached to body, brown stick as leg, and has white bandages around his back body, with his curly tail sticking out.

I’ve seen this images used on numerous occassions since many years on the internet. But have found only one image credit: Barbara McClure. I have been unable to verify this, so if anyone has any further info, please share. Would love to know the original title, and the meaning the artist gave to it.

I also included this image previously in a post on Graswortels: ‘er zit maar een heel klein beetje vlees in– it only contains a little bit of meat’ (2013).

 

Geertrui Cazaux (Trudi in English). Vegan. Gardener. Wife. Disabled. Writer. Activist. Caretaker. Ex-academic. Wannebee drummer. °1970. Belgium. Vegetarian since mid '90's and vegan since 2010. My main motive has always been the ethical perspective, although I am also inspired by the environmental and health aspects. Writing about veganism, animal rights and ableism on Graswortels.org, Brugesvegan.com, and CripHumanimal.org

3 comments on “Ham: my amputated leg

  1. Intriguing picture. Reminds me of an old (Texas) county fair story about a prize pig that inadvertently saves a his new owner from drowning (when the truck swerves off into a river) on his way to slaughter, told whenever someone asked why his pig only had three legs.

    ‘Good pig like that? Don’t want to eat him all at once,’ is the punch line. Just goes to show you how entrenched we are in ‘love some, eat some, hate others’ approach to animals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a powerful image and reminds us that pigs are human too

    Liked by 1 person

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