Over a million years ago, humans were first shown to have actively used fire With the fire, the simpler preparation of meat began, which heating made more sterile, more digestible, and thus a valuable food source for us. But we were still hunters and gatherers. And it wasn't until about 10,000 years ago that the Neolithic revolution occurred: Neolithic man became sedentary and practiced agriculture and animal husbandry. For thousands of years this has been done to a rather manageable extent.
In the mid-19th century, Chicago grew into a city within a city. With the Union Stock Yards something completely new was created: the largest meat factory specializing in mass killing. It served the goal of providing cheap meat to many people. This was made possible by a human achievement - the use of electricity.
There were miserable working conditions and unacceptable hygienic circumstances. Here, animals and humans were mercilessly exploited. Anyone who fell ill was replaced. Workers had no more value than the cattle they slaughtered. Cynically enough, there was enough supply of people, because professional recruiters acquired workers on behalf of the big American meat barons, mainly in Eastern Europe.
Unknown photographer: Slaughtering 1904 © Chicago History Museum
Disassembly-Lines – assembly lines for the systematic exploitation and dismemberment of cattle and pigs on a conveyor belt - this was the real birth of modern mass production as early as 1862. The use of refrigerated wagons, new preservation possibilities and the expansion of the railroad network enlarged and worsened the whole system more and more, because now it was also possible to transport dead animals over long distances.
Dealing with animals and dealing with our planet show strong similarities. These issues are so drastic that they have a major impact on the existence of all of us. And so we should act out of self-interest and eliminate obvious grievances. For an earth worth living on.
This is why inventiveness and encouraging events such as the first burger from a laboratory are needed. Why is that important? Because factory farming has a massive impact on our climate! Because animals have a right to life before death! Appropriate husbandry is not only animal welfare, but respect for a being that, like us, can feel fear and joy.
Robert Frank, known for special photographic delicacies, was worth a photo, which is far too rare reality: the cow on large pasture.
Robert Frank: Holy Cow, 1984 © Robert Frank Estate
born in Zurich, is considered to be a trailblazer for photography in the second half of the 20th century. His work The Americans and his participation in the exhibition The Family of Man are some of his personal milestones. He influenced generations of photographers.