animal kill

Above: The Hog Killing, Spring 1990

When the Hog killing was made I was Head of the photography program at Salem State College in Massachusetts, then living in Salem, Mass. I always call and keep in touch with my friends in Kentucky throughout the year. During Christmas of 89 I had started talking to my friends about making a hog-killing photograph. My friend a preacher Wayne Riddle suggested the Napier Family as a good family to work with in making this photograph. He said, “They kill hogs the old timey’ way.” We both knew them and I had been photographing and visiting them for at least 5 years then. It should be noted that I have been photographing seriously in this area spending 2 to 3 months each year, some years trips made shorter, but for at least 6 weeks each time, ongoing for now 36 years. Everyone knows me in the community.

The idea and concept for this picture and many of my photographs comes from my Appalachian childhood memories. I write and sketch in my notebooks throughout the winter, when an idea comes and really excites me I call my friends and we discuss. Sometimes my Kentucky friends call me with their ideas. I consider this a collaborative relationship; some photographs materialize this way, from our sharing stories and discussing what is happening currently in the hollers. An important concern is to make pictures of people who have lived this life. Each person in “The Hog Killing,” photograph of that spring in 1990 had multiple experiences from childhood and throughout their lives of hog killings as a part of their natural life and means to survive. John Napier the man seated in the front of photo reminded us, we should hang the hog from a tripod wood frame like he had always done and his son’s volunteered and constructed this tripod frame, something they had done many times. For those not familiar with this ritual, a hog killing is usually an all day affair that utilizes every part of the animal in preparing months of food for a large family, other domesticated animals and the making of bi-products like soap. This photograph actually illustrates the middle of the process when the meat is cleaned, washed and ready to be cut into sections, to make pork chops and ribs; even the head in the pan is saved to be prepared for cooking later. Harry Crews has written an excellent book about the ritual of hog killings called, “A Childhood, The Biography of a Place”.

My early personal experience with this ritual was from my grandpa’s farm in Letcher County. From my childhood memories, this was the most exciting day of the year, up before daylight, making fires, boiling water, the crack of the gun shot, the smells, watching the men work so fast cutting the meat, hearing the sounds the knives made, scalding the hair off the animal and watching water and blood mix and the steam rise, all fascinating. Eating fresh made cracklings later was rewarding and delicious. The woman made soap from the fat, prepared hams and souse while preserving yet other meats. Everything was utilized in some manner. Mountain people consider this a joyous occasion and it is often a community event. If ill will had sprang up between neighbors during the year, on this day-the giving of meat to that neighbor renewed friendships and made solidarity. All of us in this group shared these same life experiences around hog killings.

– Shelby Lee Adams

Vegan leather and the animal rights activist

Okay, I know what your gut reaction is, but hear me out. This has nothing to do with some ditsy blonde and her bff, so let’s leave those two fad followers out of this.

Now, the real question here is, what the hell is vegan leather? 

Yes, yes, I know the obvious answer, it really is just fake leather. Let’s not sugar coat it. I looked it up and basically everyone in the fashion industry is technically in agreement, it is just FAKE leather by another name which makes it sound trendy for the fad following crowd who get bent out of shape about using any animal products.  “Vegan leather is the animal rights activist’s alternative to real leather”, to quote an article.

I don’t get it personally… if you are already going to kill an animal for food and other products (because humans are omnivores and not just herbivores) why waste the skin?

Why do I feel so strongly about it? It is not because I am a heartless bitch. Well, I may be a bitch, but I am not heartless. 

However, as a medical researcher, some animal activists (not all, some really have a good point in some cases) and some of this vegan leather nonsense really chaps my ass. 

Indeed I work on mice and I admit they are very cute. I inject them to make them sick, kill them and take their little organs at the end to quantify bacterial loads and measure inflammation and immune responses. Would the judgmental vegans prefer it to be them? The IBC (ethics committee that oversees human research) might have a problem with it…

All our labs are under security, not only because I work in a Biosafety Level 2 laboratory and there is some potentially dangerous shit in there, but also because you never know which animal rights activist is going to have the brilliant idea to try and break in and sabotage the research (not like it has never happened).

Cancer research, bacterial and viral infection cures, as well as treatments for genetic and/or autoimmune disorders (like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) etc.) all depend on animal research and I assure you that vegan animal rights activists expect to be treated just like anyone else when their life is hanging by a thread. I have yet to meet one that has refused medical treatment in protest.

So…. that’s my rant… 

Thanks for listening… 


This animal tastes frightened.

Top American History Moments - I'm Not Done Yet Motherfuckers

- Thomas Jefferson having a mockingbird named Dick

- Andrew Jackson’s parrot being kicked out of his funeral because it wouldn’t stop saying ‘fuck’

- Andrew Jackson beating the shit out of his would-be assassin with a cane

- Andrew Jackson throwing a huge public party in the White House for his inauguration and having to sneak out because it got out of hand. He could only sneak back in when someone got the idea to move all the alcohol outside.

- John Laurens getting out of bed at Valley Forge and hitting his head on the ceiling

- Ben Franklin wanting the national bird to be the turkey

- Caleb Brewster’s reason for joining the continental army basically being that he just wanted to kick some ass and have some fun

- Caleb Brewster signing his name in big letters on spy reports for the Culper Ring

- George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton going on a fishing trip together, for Washington’s health

- gay brothels being called “Molly Houses”

- Benedict Arnold ploughing through 337 pages of William Blackstone’s “Commentaries” just to find the word militia for a secret code

- baby farmers (this is some crazy shit look it up)

- Thomas Jefferson having a ram that he called “An abominable animal”. It killed a young boy on the White House lawn.

- Aaron Burr having to ban snacks from the senate floor

- George Washington refusing to respond to a British letter because they didn’t address him correctly

- Aaron Burr being attacked by bedbugs and then proceeding to sleep on the floor for five hours

- Thomas Jefferson being a frat boy in college

- Alexander Hamilton being reported dead after going to burn barns and then showing up hours later soaking wet because he fell into a river

- Martha Washington outliving four children and two husbands and still saying that the worst day of her life was when Thomas Jefferson came to visit

This photo set shows very clearly how axolotls can ingest small pieces of gravel.
If kept on gravel substrate, axolotls have a good chance of accidentally swallowing small stones along with their food when eating. Often these pieces will get stuck in the digestive tract and can eventually kill the animal. This one was very lucky to pass all of the stones in her system.

The top photo shows her belly full of stones.
The bottom right photo shows how she looked after she passed them.
The third photo is all of the gravel she passed.

Please keep your axolotls on fine sand, tile, or bare/bottom tanks. If you wish to place stones in the tank, take care to ensure they are larger than the axolotl’s head so that they cannot be ingested.

(Photo courtesy of Candice Mills)

Munday Asks!

MUNDAY : Ask Mun Questions!

1. Have you ever hated on your art?
2. Ever been on a date? If so, how many?
3. Cats or Dogs?
4. Sexuality/Sexual Orientation?
5. What is your opinion on haters?
6. Name an important piece of advice you’d give someone who’s just started out art.
7. Ever animated things before? Were they good?
8. How old are you?
9. Would you specify yourself as a female, male or other?
10. How many friends do you have?
11. What does your work space look like right now?
12. What were you doing before answering this?
13. What’s your name/nickname?
14. Have you ever stolen something?
15. What’s your favourite movie?
16. What is your eye colour?
17. Do you have any phobias/fears?
18. Name 10 things you like.
19. Name 10 things you hate.
20. If you were the President of the USA, what would you do first?
21. Favourite singer?
22. Do you like Mundays?
23. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened for you?
24. Would you rather have penises for fingers or vagina for hands?
25. What would you do if you could do anything you wanted?
26. Before you die, recite your last words…
27. Describe your life in 5 words or less.
28. Have any pets?
29. What country do you live in?
30. Have you ever killed an animal before?
31. Favourite ice cream flavour?
32. Ever masturbated?
33. What are your kinks?
34. Virgin?
35. Do you have any siblings?
36. Are your parents a married couple? Or divorced?
37. What fandoms are you in?
38. What’s your favourite show/anime/etc.
39. What inspired you to do what you’re doing now?
40. Tell us a weird secret!
41. Yaoi, Yuri or Het ftw?
42. What are your pet’s names?
43. Do your teachers like you?
44. Have you ever roleplayed before?
45. Are you a feminist?
46. How big is your house?
47. Are you an emotional person?
48. When was the last time you showered?
49. What did you eat for breakfast?
50. Can we be friends?


A lot of people ask for recommendations from me, so I’ve compiled a few photo collages of some of my favorite books. This theme is classic literature featuring the following titles:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and 1984 by George Orwell | Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell | To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchmen by Harper Lee | The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald | The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger | Animal Farm by George Orwell | The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough | Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

arclent  asked:

My question is about the polar bear at SeaWorld San Diego dying. My friend is trying to argue that it died because polar bears don't belong in hot weather and it's the zoo's fault. She's very anti-zoo, while im a huge supporter of zoo's and dont really think that the climate killed them polar bear. Are polar bears able to adapt to warmer climate?

Polar bears adapt just as well to weather as any other bear - and it’s all in what they eat.

They withstand the cold due to a heavy blubber that insulates them, and they build it up by eating a diet made almost entirely of seal fat. (If you watch the Wild Alaska BBC miniseries, they show foraging bears only eating the fattiest parts of salmon when they’ve got enough available to be picky.)

Zoos are aware that their polar bears would be really uncomfortable in warmer climates with a heavy layer of blubber, so they’re fed more lean meat. They get the appropriate nutritional balance, but not the huge amount of extra calories from fat. Because the climate is milder, the bears also naturally adapt and don’t grow as thick of a coat as their counterparts in colder weather.

On top of that, every good facility housing polar bears chills their pools and gives them chilled dens, ice blocks, etc. They don’t always prefer it! At the San Diego zoo, famously, their pool was initially chilled to 40 degrees F and the bears didn’t go in because it was too cold and they weren’t adapted to it. When they raised the temperature, the bears became much more willing to swim.

So basically, if right accommodations are made, polar bears can thrive in almost any climate in a captive setting.

So far we have no idea why that polar bear died. If it’s not immediately visually obvious in a necropsy what killed an animal, tissue samples are sent out for testing and it regularly takes a couple weeks to get results back from a lab.