The Spring 2008 issue of Meatpaper, the magazine's third, is out and it's even better than the first two. One of the editors (Sasha Wizansky and Amy Standen) admits she has gone back to vegetarianism, and perhaps coincidentally there is a complicated new awareness to the array of articles and a little less fetishization of the flesh. If you think about meat, really think about it, you must also contemplate death, and that is what the most interesting of the pieces in this issue do.
Among the standouts: Novella Carpenter, to whose City Farmer blog and journalism pieces we frequently link, is the subject rather than author of a Q&A titled "Do farm animals survive by dying?" The photographs of her backyard turkey slaughter are stunning, and Carpenter's thoughtful defense of slaughter resonates. It's followed by an almost, but not quite, as persuasive interview with animal-rights leader and vegan Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, who believes we have no right to take the life of another sentient creature. A discussion of the butcher shops who quietly sell pork ("white steak") in Israel, an interview with the makers of a short film about a halal storefront slaughterhouse in New York City, and a first-person account by a chef who had to learn to become a butcher are also all well done, yet not at all dry. (OK, OK, I'll stop now.)
I was particularly fascinated by Colin Dickey's look at in-vitro cloned meat. (in December we linked to a BoingBoingTV video about SymbioticA, the Australian art collective mentioned in the piece that turns growing cloned meat into performance art.) Unfortunately lab-grown meat is not as victimless as its backers would like to believe: the crucial ingredient to culturing the meat is fetal bovine serum, "extracted from the still-beating heart of a calf fetus in utero." Both the calf and the cow die as result. And scientists call this progress?
I also have an article in it about eating sheep testicles in Tunisia, with ballsy photos (above) by my husband, but funnily enough it's one of the least Ethicureanish articles in the issue.
The issue is not online, but you can find it at major bookstores, and subscription is $28 for 4 issues. Also, if you live in the Bay Area, you can buy copies at the Meatpaper shindig this Sunday. They throw a great party. Bart and I'll be there, with Elanor from the Ethicurean — say hi!