Tattooed Pig Foot

Kevin from Ostend, Belgium, tells me this is “self done”, but I don’t believe the pig’s foot is quite that capable. I’m sorry, I know, it’s in bad taste to make second language jokes, but I just wanted some text because I hate posting photos all by themselves.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

39 thoughts on “Tattooed Pig Foot

  1. when I first saw the second photo I thought it was a human foot with the toes cut off. That was before I saw the pig’s toes.

  2. i bet the pig wasn’t too pleased. Shannon, i don’t mean to start a big scandal or anything (like the scandals of some modblog posts in the past), but as a vegan doesn’t that bother you? i mean, unlike human amputations, the pig has no say.

  3. Posted by moi on June 29th, 2006 at 2:35 am
    i bet the pig wasn’t too pleased. Shannon, i don’t mean to start a big scandal or anything (like the scandals of some modblog posts in the past), but as a vegan doesn’t that bother you? i mean, unlike human amputations, the pig has no say.

    I think the pig had bigger problems than that by the time the trotter was amputated ;)

  4. uh, i’m pretty sure the pig was already dead.

    i’m veg, but i’ve learned to accept the fact that people still eat pigs. so yea, i’m assuming this is just the leftovers.

  5. i’m pretty certain there is not a poor 2 hooved pig limping about. those feet probably came from a slaughtered pig destined to adorn pizzas and nestle up against pancakes.

  6. i know it didn’t come from a live pig, but isn’t doing something like this encouraging the meat industry? in other words, just because he was killed for human pleasure (ie eating), doesn’t mean doing something to him AFTER the fact is completely harmless.

    also, if the tattoo artist has a pig farm as an art project, that means that he indeed tattoos live pigs. and i think that is wrong (just like branding cattle is wrong) because the pig did not consent.

  7. moi, I posted it because I thought people would think it was funny, interesting, or otherwise inspire conversation… I agree with you about the live pigs, but I would still post about them because I think people should know as much about what goes on in the world as possible in order to decide how they want to best live and act in it.

  8. shannon, i agree 100% about information vs censorship! i’ll tell you why i’m picking on you though: as a person who runs this community what you say goes a long way. and you condemn poorly executed tattoos while joking about animal cruelty. i don’t think that you shouldn’t have posted. i just think a word of reproach would have been more appropriate than a lighthearted joke.

    so i know you run modblod, so you should post what you see fit. it’s just that it seems to be going against some of the principles of this community (mainly the consent issue).

  9. I have an ignorant question. Is it standard for tattoo artists to practice on dead pigs before they get to work on people? I guess the theory is that dead pig flesh is most like human skin, but then I’ve also heard of artists practising on grapefruits. Or do they just find human volunteers? How do most artists hone their skill?

  10. milquetoast.. i think its basically step by step.

    I’ve heard people practice on chicken skin (like on a leg from a grocery freezer.. not an actual live chicken) and infact on hog peices.

    I’ve also heard and read about people tattooing fruit, like bananas, oranges and grapefruits to practice as well.. it probably entirely depends on the shop, the apprentice’s and the apprenticee’s own ideas and comfort level.

    I think once they have mastered the animal skin and.or the fruit, they can start finding volunteers like family and friends to tattoo, before moving on to paying customers.

    Now, i really, really hope that the person who tattooed that pig foot was just in the learning stages and was doing it for that reason, but i have to admit, it made me sat to see a pigfoot just lying there, cut right off.

    I am a member of PETA and I am so against cruelty to animals. Im not saying its wrong to eat it, but it kills me to see them living tortured lives only to suffer a painful and drawn-out death… I hope that pig’s leg suffered nothing but a great life in a pig puddle of mud on a huge farm and a died of illness or old age.. or even simply anesthetized. .. Hope is a fleeting emotion though..

  11. I forgot to mention that I don’t condone cruelty to animals either. I hope I didn’t imply that I am indifferent toward animal suffering by not mentioning it. If it’s meant to be some type of shock value art concept, I don’t get it. My understanding of shock value is that it’s used to discredit the people who “over-react” to it. If their point is to shock and disgust, when they don’t get the reaction, attention or publicity they want, their point is nullified. That might be construed as censorship though which is also bad. But I digress… I agree that animal cruelty and abuse is wrong and it’s a worthy message to reiterate. I assumed the pig was already dead when he lost his foot and that his death was most likely unnatural and unpleasant. The thought of him possibly being alive for the amputation is more disturbing.

    I asked a tattoo artist I know what he initially practiced on. He told me he started on eager friends and volunteers, but told someone else he practiced on dead pigs. I guess he was afraid to offend me, but I’ve always been curious if it was commonplace for tattoo artists to use pigs.

  12. I don’t see how shannon posting this without condemnation is any different to say, if he had posted a picture of people at a convention eating a hotdog. It would seem bizarre if he wrote, “great tats, but eating hotdogs isn’t cool.” Yet it’s suggested he should have said, “interesting picture, but supporting the meat industry isn’t cool.”

  13. because the eating of the hotdog is just a background thing. it is not the main focus of the photo. if the picture was about someone’s mod with the pig’s feet in the background, i wouldn’t make a big fuss. but the pig’s feet are the main focus, and they are presented in a light hearted manner.

  14. Aw. No respect, I tell ya, vegans get no respect. I don’t want to rag on anybody for eating meat, it’s their personal choice. I expect people think for themselves and do what’s right for them. Obviously, the meat industry will thrive whether or not someone speaks for it or against it. The kind of stuff I was refering to is like when artists use animals like those guys in Ontario who tortured and skinned a live cat, filmed it and called it a legitimate art project. I just don’t like that kind of stuff. If that makes me a crazy animal rights zealot, then I guess I am. Maybe that’s irrelevent here, but the purpose of the pig’s foot is not completely clear. If it’s just a tattoo artist practicing, then all I can say is I hope the pig didn’t suffer too much.

    If not being turned on by dismembered animal parts is wrong, then sorry folks, I don’t wanna be right. I still believe that everyone should be entitled to their own opinion. I’m not saying, “how dare he post it.” He said it was, in part to “otherwise inspire conversation” and it did that.

  15. Very few people are “pro” animal cruelty, and the artists that you have referenced above are included, as their peices were more substantial than unadultered and unrepenant cruelty.

    That being said, there are those who enjoy the suffering of animals, but those same persons have enormous sociopathic tendencies, and likely a pelthora of other issues to contend with.

    Moreover, it would be rediculous to suggest that someone lopped the foot off a pig just for the sake of having something to practice on. Clearly it was a pig that was already dead/butchered.

    The pigs food was done for practice, not for any sense of statement, and I can think of a few more offensive ways of “practicing”. Like misrepresenting your talent and/or experiance and going to work on unsuspecting clients, or by rounding up whomever down on their luck person they can find (literally) on the street and offering them to money to be your (pardon the animal reference) guinea pig.

  16. milquetoast, I think the question that art project was asking was why is it valid to kill one type of animal but not another if they are of relatively equal intelligence. Like why can you kill a cow or a pig, but not a cat? And since if the city caught that stray cat, they would simply kill it and dispose of it, how does the act of the artist doing the same but eating it make it worse.

    I believe these are valid questions and that the act was art.

  17. I find the idea of disecting a baby pig in a science class far more disturbing then the idea of a pigs foot being tattooed on. The feet aren’t used for much anyway, why not give it to someone who can practice on it so they become a better artist then let something from the animal go to waste?

  18. moi – you make a good point about context. I’m gonna have to give more thought to my analogies in the future.

  19. I find it funny that people would wish old age on this animal. It is more humane for this animal to be killed in a slaughter house then to live to be 15-20 years old and die of heart failure, kidney failure or the like. Old age is not kind, nor is it painfree. Yet you think that sending it to a slaughterhouse so that the meat, skin and organs can be used for various things is cruel? Don’t get me wrong, animal cruelty is wrong, but I find it worse to let the animal suffer and die a slow painful death then to have it humanly put down in a slaughterhouse.

    Just my two cents.

  20. Tracy, sure, if you torture and over-feed an animal in a factory farm where its life is literally a living hell, you could call it “humane” to kill it, but I’m not sure the argument is entirely logical.

  21. (Sorry if that came off harsh; I might agree with you if most pigs were raised in humane ways, but most pigs, including probably the one in the picture above, are raised in truly horrific environments).

  22. English is for Belgians the fourth language.
    First there’s Flemish (Dutch dialect) then French, German, only then comes English.

    Fourth-language jokes are just making YOU look retarded.

  23. “Second language” doesn’t have to refer to a specific language in terms of the order it’s spoken. It’s simply a term for the non-primary language of the speaker.

    For example, in my case, English, French, Latin, Hebrew, and Spanish are second langauges to me because I first spoke German. I don’t really consider them my second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth languages. They’re all just second languages.

    Feel free to think I’m “retarded” if you want. Now go furiously edit the wiki on second language so it agrees with you!

  24. Man, you vegs need to get your minds out of the guttter. You see a picture a pig’s foot and your first thought is that it was cut from a live pig? Also, an animal doesn’t have to live on a factory farm to be miserable in old age, and I don’t think factory farms were the point of Tracy’s comment. Who’s getting off on animal cruelty now?

  25. ozone_00 – Are you going to kill yourself when you start to age? Because that’s what Tracy is saying — it’s better to be killed young than to die old. It’s a silly statement.

  26. I think what Tracy is saying is that animals tend not to have heating, air conditioning, medical technology and the like, so old age doesn’t tend to be as enjoyable for a sickly, arthritic animals as it is for sickly, arthritic humans.

  27. Hello everyone, iam the person who tattooed this pig’s foot, mets get some things straight. First off all i bought those pig’s feet a year ago in a butcher shop for 30 cents as meat leftover so no i didn’t assassinate any animals to do this, second off all, tattooing pig’s feet is a common practice amongst beginning tattoo artists around the globe. I did this about 5 months and learned also on myself (and i still do)before tattooing other people and no i do not support animal cruelty in any way and i never have and never will tattoo a living animal, let it be clear. I didn’t mean to offend anyone with this and i hope you all have a better insight now. peace.

  28. obviously this is an old forum, however all of the comments have had almost nothing to do with the post itself. Tattooing pigs feet IS indeed a common practice, but not because it’s a pigs foot, because of it’s fleshlike quality. I do think it is very gross, but those practicing the art of tattoing have only a few things to use in order to get some quality practice in. I think the idea of eating a pigs foot is way more gross than tattooing it. Fruit works as okay practice but the flesh of fruit is so much diferent than that of an actual person.
    It’s alot easier to be repulsed by something that still looks animalistic, but you don’t hear anyone making a fuss about horse and cow hooves being processed into glue. Or looky there at that fancy leather boot. It’s very sick how animals are killed for meats and products but that alone has nothing to do with tattoos. If you can stand to look at, and smell some nasty pig foot then so be it. More power to ya, but most of all make sure you get as much practice in on it as possible. Don’t waste food and don’t waste butchered pigs feet either. p.s. the butcher would have thrown them out anyway. Duder gave the feet an actual purpose beyond filling his gut with dead flesh. I’m going to go eat a hambuger. Peace out ya bunch of hippies.

  29. Nothing is humane about a slaughter house, whoever thinks so is horribly wrong and doesn’t know their facts- Do you honestly believe everything you read?

    Watch “Meet your Meat”. Seriously, forget anyone who’s too foolish to atleast learn what goes on behind the scenes.

    Wow a younger me would hate how being a vegan makes me sound, but I’m so happy to have learned sooner than never.

  30. Personally I am a meat eater, I lived as a vegan for 9 years and it was fun while it lasted, I have been to slaughter houses in person, and I have also had to clean up the dead bodies of suicides, murders, and car wrecks. All of you have very valid points, and as such express strong opinions. I do respect all of your opinions and will not bash on them in anyway.
    As for the pigs feet, I am at the point of my tattoo apprenticeship, that my boss is now saying I have to get pigs feet and a preservative and a mason jar, tattoo it, and save it for him.
    I as a apprentice tattoo artist, feel that pigs skin, is the closest thing to human skin that you can get. As for the art of it? Well there are pictures, of kids being tattooed, like 6 years old, out there and baby’s getting inked, I would save a lot of the animosity that you are showing, about a dead pigs foot, and put towards something far more crucial. The facts are thus: The Meat Market is a Multimillion dollar corporation, and is backed by our system of consumer marketing. It is also global. So instead of going to a site like Bmezine to express your opinions about the meat marketing, try going to the actual source. I am pretty sure that the guy who did this, was not trying to make a statement. (as he had written in a previous post)
    You are all intelligent and awesome people, Thanks for your time.

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