Repent, for the end is near!

November 20, 2008

Hey, Blog Guy! You used to warn us about signs of the coming apocalypse, but you haven’t mentioned that recently. Does that mean everything is getting better?

Far from it! In perhaps the most crystal clear sign yet that the end is near, we have photos today of pigs being tattooed in the name of art.

No you don’t.

I am not making this up. Some “conceptual artist” is having professionals tattoo the pigs.

What’s a “conceptual” artist?

I think it means not a real artist at all, and possibly not even a real human. Anyway, as if pigs don’t have enough problems in their sad lives, these guys will be displayed as part of art exhibitions, and their skins will be sold to collectors once they’re slaughtered. I’m pretty sure that’s called a lose-lose situation.

More stuff from Oddly Enough

A workers tattoo pigs in the “Art Farm” of Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye at the outskirts of Beijing November 20, 2008. Delvoye has staff consisting of local farmers to raise the pigs and professionals to tattoo them with cartoons or symbols. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

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I bet he is laughed at by the other pigs…

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

Hmm. I hear artists are typically messy and disorganized but I think you could fairly say that this studio is truly a pigsty….

I’ve had better days…

Posted by Bandage | Report as abusive

So where is PETA now?? Too busy with the MKA Twins?

Posted by ME | Report as abusive

This is totally wrong and discusting. It’s bad enough they end up as bacon. When will we stop using and abusing?

Posted by k | Report as abusive

This is inhumane and something should be done to stop this so called “Art Farm”. It should be called torture farm. They’re already going to be slaughtered so why put them through even more pain by having these huge tattoo’s drawn on them. This is not art, they’re cartoon characters. I see nothing beautiful about it. It’s disgusting!

Posted by VC | Report as abusive

There is a guy at my gym who has tattoos all over the shop. Come to think of it, his ears are kinda large, he has a ring in his (rather large, protruding) nose, and he often grunts and squeals when he bench presses.

Well, that explains why he wags his curly little tail when he eats his slop, I guess.

There’s another person who has a beer belly, bulging eyes, missing teeth, and nothing but wispy gray hair. And, if you think that’s bad, you should see her husband!

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

I fail to see how tattooing an animal which has no say, and then selling off its skin after slaughter qualifies as art.
If the “artist” decided to sell their own skin after their own death, that would be more of an artistic statement IMO.
This is just cruelty before butchery.

Posted by SK | Report as abusive

SK, I must confess that your response was my reaction, too. But then I thought about my leather furniture. Consider:

One theory of what constitutes art is that it defamiliarizes. For example, in the Bible when King David has Uriah killed so that he can have Uriah’s wife, Nathan the prophet tells David that a man in the kingdom has killed a man to have his sheep. David replies: “The man who has done this must die.” Nathan replies: “That man is you.”

To those who eat meat and wear leather, does it not seem strange to argue about tattooing animals that we butcher and eat and wear? If you were going to be killed and eaten, would you really care about being tattooed first?

One could argue that the tattooing is trifling. The question is, does the tattooing, which arouses in some anger and disgust, defamilarize eating meat?

When I was in college, I read Thoreau’s Walden. While reading Walden was a life-altering event for me, his Chapter “Higher Laws,” which I view as the center of the novel, is especially powerful and on point here.

How many of us are disgusted by this “art,” but had porkchops for dinner?

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

In the photo, the pig is not in restraints, so apparently it doesn’t mind the tattooing. I think the real scandal here is that Wilm Delvoye is named as the artist, when he actually didn’t do anything except hire people to tattoo the pigs.

I guess the art world and the finance world have more in common than we think. In both, you can make a lot of money by doing nothing productive and taking credit for other people’s work. And when it’s time for the slaughter, you can still rake in the dough.

Posted by Dan M | Report as abusive

I eat meat, produced by humanely slaughtering animals (I am human – therefore an omnivore, it is in my nature to eat meat). I do object to the tattooing as it causes pain and distress. People may choose to be tattooed, knowing that it is uncomfortable, but they know that the pain will go. These pigs dont know what is happening, and must be terrified.

Posted by Fiona Ross | Report as abusive

I thought only mother-in-laws and Wall Street people were omnivorous.

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

It is interesting how people find time to come up with things like that in the name of “art.” Tattooing a pig with images is inhumane, regardless of restraints, regardless of pain (I’d think the pig in the image must have some kind of local anesthaetic as it is very calm, though.)

Anything in the name of a buck is what I’m seeing.. Art.. Ha…

Posted by T | Report as abusive

I think the whole idea is kinda stupid. As so many have said, it is not art in the least. The tattoists may be artists, and original drawing for the cartoon charactors are considered art by some, but to put these thing together a pig? As my grandmother used to say “it’s like farting through a key hole, its clever, but is it art?” Also, as far as the pig being terrified or confused, I would have to assume that they are sedated in some way, otherwise they would not just lie there and take it.

Posted by Diane | Report as abusive

Dr Doll, I think your comment is misled. Just because I eat meat doesn’t mean I abuse my dog. I eat free-range, hormone-free chicken. To say that since I like bacon I must enjoy torturing pigs is bad logic and is simply not true.

Posted by Mary K | Report as abusive


You missed the point. (The art, if that’s what it is, may make one think about eating and wearing animals if one is sensitive enough to feel hypocritical when one says “Oh, the poor pig!” about the tattooing and then puts on a leather jacket and goes home and eats one!) One wonders if that was the “artist’s” intent — not that intent is relevant to art.

That is my interpretation of the tattooing as a possible work of art. That does not mean that I agree with the work of “art” or its potential effect.

I take no stand on whether you should eat meat. I made my own personal decision on that growing up on a farm, where we did our own butchering.

But, Mary, since we are talking about logic, you suggest that the butcher of a pig is not torture. Do you really believe that? Have you ever seen a pig butchered? They scream! Have you ever chopped off a chicken’s head. I have. Even chickens are terrified just before the machette comes down. Hey, what about Lobsters being boiled alive?

But, I’m not arguing that one should not eat meat. I’m just asking you about your own logic.

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

My thought is that this is for no purpose. Like killing an animal and then leaving it to rot. When I eat other animals, I try my best to ensure that the animals were treated as humanely as possible, before and during death. This means that the meat I eat is mostly free-range, hormone-free chicken and wild deer that a family member killed. So I have thought this through and continue to think about it each time I see a chicken or livestock truck on the highway.

Posted by Mary K | Report as abusive

Also, tattooing pigs is really ridiculous, in my opinion.

Posted by Mary K | Report as abusive

Honestly People,

Its a pig, not a Human, stop crying for rights for animals. It was created to pick up slop. Its a garbage disposal that some like to eat for breakfast. Worry about the human race and all of its problems before you worry about the emotional condition of a pig.

Posted by GetOverIt | Report as abusive

For god’s sake those pics of a bunch of ping’s and pakeha
permanently scarring porcine creatures has nothing to do with eating meat. merry XMAS 2008

Posted by Bob G | Report as abusive

What people don’t get about art is that it is a direct barometer of culture… all the extremes in the world and this is what you get.

What the hell do you do with a Jasmine tattooed pig ass skin?

How idiotic and boring.

Posted by Megann | Report as abusive