Ethel’s Decapitation

Tim Kern‘s first kill, memorialized and celebrated in ink by Scott Duncan at Sugar Shack in Kincardine, ON (photo by Twwly). If you want to know a bit more about the “why” of this tattoo, welcome to Twwly country!

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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 BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

75 thoughts on “Ethel’s Decapitation

  1. aww, that photo montage was kinda sad…but not sad enough to make me stop eating chicken. that bird looked so fresh and delicious!

  2. That reminds me of a time where I helped my brother slaughter a dozen turkeys. It was so much fun I don’t think I would want a tattoo to remember it by. Looks pretty cool, though.

  3. I don’t know if anyone here reads CuteOverload, but I wonder how long it will take for the ’nuffs to start protesting animal cruelty and such. Not that I’m for animal cruelty or anything. I just like chicken. :P If I killed something, I might get a tattoo to commemorate it. But it would have to be something big, like a deer or elk.

  4. I know chicken is “better for you” without the skin, but I can’t help thinking that they were too lazy to pluck it. :)

    Also, that is the best severed-chicken-head tattoo I’ve ever seen.

  5. Great idea, great tattoo – I totally agree that anyone who eats the stuff should be willing to go through the process of doing it themselves.

    Just don’t plan on getting a tattoo for each chicken on the farm ;-)

  6. If the entire meat-eating world used this outdated and unsanitary process for the preparation of it’s food then famine across the western world would kick in around 7 years time.

    The inhumane, factory based, mass culling industry that is around at the moment is a necessity to feed a growing population on a minimum income.

    The luxury of farming and killing your own meat is something only available to a tiny minority of people. Those of us without land, without capital and without the time to kill our own are provided for by others. It’s a dirty industry but one that provides for the poorest of us.

  7. Very clean tattoo, although it surely has a morbid sense to it, in fact, I’m sure that was intended.

    I could never raise an animal and then kill it for it’s meat. This is though, the only ‘fair’ way to eat meat. For eating meat from the supermarket, and not feeling very bad about that, just because I didn’t raise it myself, I feel hypocrite.
    Vegetarism is an option, and it is something I’m rolling into very gradually now.

  8. Just like we used to do it back home….
    Like those Peta ppl who says that u should not cut the wool of a sheep, well if u dont do it at summer time they can die from overheating….
    Slautering a chicken for meat aint cruel imo

  9. good! I personaly am a vegan. but i think that if you want to eat meat – yore responsebillity is to know how to kill.
    I dont like killing at all. But it was a good project ans a very clean tattoo.
    greating from sweden.

  10. Killing my own food would be nice, but I live in a town and it’s illegeal to raise farm animals inside of it for health/sanitary reasons.

    And I refuse to be vegan just because I don’t have the capability to kill my own food.

  11. We do not live in the kind of society where we can kill our own meat. It is a luxurious option only open to a few.

    There is NO prerequisite for a meat eater to know how or where their meat came from. There never has been.

    Meat eating is the most natural thing a human can do and there is absolutely no need for an aesthetically or morally superior killing to justify it.

  12. rofl@ #11….

    I really like what they have done. I would like to try something similar one day, because factory farming is truely vile and cruel.

    I have no problem with killing and eating an animal – i couldnt live without meat, particularly beef. Its nice though that the animals should be able to live comfortably.

  13. i’m sorry i just cant look past the toe nails. long toe nails freak me out. but the tat is great, very well worked. I like it.

  14. Malice Alice, you’re more than welcome to come over and take a swing this fall when it’s processing time. We’ve doubled our production this year and could use the help! :)

    Giles, I find it funny thatyou think factory processed meat is a necessity. I got by just fine during my vegetarian years, I didn’t starve. Not sure if you’ve ever checked out a processing plant, but I can tell you from personal experience and observation that our methods are far more sanitary than what goes on there. We are very guilty (and happy) about being outdated though! You’ve got me there.

  15. mmm chicken. If it wasn’t for meat eating we wouldn’t be the society we are. Read “the hunting hypothesis” by Robert Ardrey. Sheds a lot of light on to why killing is good.

  16. #19, you’re entirely missing the point. The point is if you could not, hypothetically, kill what you’re eating….maybe you should do some hard thinking about your lifestyle choices.

    I believe the exact quote is ” If you couldn’t kill it, you shouldn’t eat it.” Couldn’t being the key term there. Not “If you don’t kill it, you shouldn’t eat it.”

    The point that “meat eating” is the most natural thing a human can do is the most amusing part of your entire comment. If you’re eating the meat….it died. Someone had to kill it. You’re undermining your previous point. If it doesn’t matter how it died, or who killed it….why are your knickers in a twist over this?

    Gorgeous tattoo, by the by. :D

  17. Growing up on a farm that had chicken houses I know first hand that the raising and chickens for meat is very cruel and unsanitary. It is really disgusting, but I haven’t let that stop me from eating chicken or any other meat. Its a process thats going to be here for a long time.

  18. Twwly – You are in a privileged position and one that is only shared by a tiny minority of people. The need to process and distributed large amounts of meat based on the demands of a fast growing population could never ever be met by your methods, this is why factory farming has come in being, to meet the demands of a vast population.

    We (the UK) have regulatory bodies that monitor the methods and cleanliness of the farming industry, I suspect even the US might have too. These regulations and quality control checks I am guessing do not stretch to those killing and preparing their own meat. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Your methods may well suit you but they would never apply or work within the vast majority of society.

  19. I really like the theory behind this, and would eat meat if the animals were brought up in a free, happy environment. But I think I would get too attatched to them. It doesn’t help that I named my cat Chicken :)

  20. Agree with the desire to be closer to one’s food source and as everyone already said it is, unfortunately, not feasible for most of us.

    All that aside, fucking amazing tattoo. I hope it stays as vibrant when it is fully healed.

  21. Quickly addressing a few points:

    - Chickens have an incredibly efficient environmental impact. They consume very little water and feed per pound of meat in comparison to anything else. They’re one of the few animals that you can consume and not do a ton of damage.

    - Many cities are allowing people to raise urban chickens and you can buy urban coops, both for meat and for eggs. So it’s becoming more and more feasible to do this, and I certainly wouldn’t call it a luxury indulgence. And doing this radically reduces the production costs of course.

    While I tend to fall on the vegan side of arguments in general, I think in the case of chickens most of the common anti-meat arguments fail. I’m certainly 100% behind Twwly on this.

  22. There is a movie titles what the &^&%^ do we know? Its a laymens movie on quantam physics there is a scene that shows images taken by a photgrapher who labeled differant watter bottles with differant tags love,hate etc. and photgraphed the watter molcules using a specail type of photgrapghy, the love looked like a crtayline snow flake while the moolocules from hate came out distorted and broken down looking. Most of todays meat is produced by keeping and treating the animals in amost inhumane way that casues pain and suffering form the monat the open thier eyes into this world. which I feel causes us to consume emtionally tainted meat products which then transfres into our own being .. Even if someone wants to eat meat and really dosnt care if teh animals suffer for it inthe very least they might want to consider the after effect that it has on thier own universal world…
    http://members.fortunecity.com/ricardo005/Ricardo4you/id5.html

  23. I absolutely believe in the “If you couldn’t kill it, you shouldn’t eat it” quote from the website.

  24. >>>“If you couldn’t kill it, you shouldn’t eat it” quote from the website.

    And do you apply that to the infirm, the elderly, disabled, poor, young, busy? Should they be forced into vegetarianisn because they are incapable of either keeping, nurturing, feeding, providing for, then killing their own meat?

    Of course not.

    How many here have their own farms or even have the facility to keep chickens? How many of us have local town farms hold chickens for us or even have the time or inclination to raise chickens or any other livestock?

    Let’s guess at less than 1% at maximum. Now imagine you have to feed the city of New York on meat from a city farm, how long would you believe it would take you to satisfy one day’s meat eating?

    The world NEEDS intensive farming to survive, that I’m afraid is a cold hard fact and no amount of morally superior stance taking at adopting a farming method attuned to a controlled, small community will change that.

  25. Bradly, there is no need to be so forceful about this.

    Thereisnt much i dislike more than “extremists” in any debate. My opinions are based around the fact that as a species we are designed to eat meat. However, I dont start on vegetarians, or vegans for not wanting to. Its entirely opinionated. In actual fact, I have respect for most vegans, because of the strength a personality requires to take on such a lifestyle.

    I just hate it when certain vegetarians or vegans try and have this “moral highground”. The have a seperate opinion, that doesn’t mean they are any better than myself. I also dislike people making fun of vegans etc for their choices, but hey.

    I like meat. I wouldnt ever decide to stop eating meat based products, i dont see why that would make me stupid, and you know that what I said in #20 was just an exagerated term….

  26. Giles -

    1. Chickens can be broadly raised in an urban environment, and DIY chicken coops are very successful products. Basically you eat your pets I suppose.

    2. “Intensive” large-scale farming produces less meat/food per acre than small farms, and, yes, backyard coops as well. Farming of this type also has a much smaller profit margin, and replaces farmers with mechanization… It only works because it fits the corporate model perfectly.

  27. normally i’d prefer to eat vegetarian (it’s hard being broke and under someone else’s roof), but in this case i’m with twwly. if you raise it humanely and kill it yourself, you should probably eat it.

    i got totally grossed out by the “guts” picture. wouldn’t they be bloodier? or was it all washed off? bmezine is making my blood tolerance go way up and my everything else tolerance go way down.

  28. I’m a vegan, and I had no problem looking at those pictures. Those chickens were lovingly raised, killed with as much compassion as possible, and i’m sure were eaten with respect. Now, even if I raised chickens I wouldn’t eat them, but that doesn’t mean I can’t respect people who recognize how appalling factory farming is. Not everyone is going to stop eating meat, i’d rather people do it this way then bury their head in the sand and continue eating cruelty and hormone laced meats.

  29. Shannon – 2. “Intensive” large-scale farming produces less meat/food per acre than small farms, and, yes, backyard coops as well. Farming of this type also has a much smaller profit margin, and replaces farmers with mechanization… It only works because it fits the corporate model perfectly.

    Are you quite sure of your sources for this information?

    Whilst I prefer free range animal breeding the facts presented show that outdoor farming methods often incur greater morbidity rates (weather related, worms, predatory attacks), need for larger premises to allow free running, more need for skilled staff.

    Intensive farming may well be less of an ethically sound way of production but it does produce larger quantities of produce at a fraction of the cost for a population that demands more for less.

    I would be very suprised if farmers chose a mechanised over traditional method that delivered less output for a larger budget .

  30. 31.
    Seriously? The pictures on Twwly’s page are _far_ from graphic, are reasonably educational, aren’t ‘making fun’ of the chicken in any way.
    I fail to see how Twwly is either a “fucking retard” or a “douchebag”. I would chalk it up to you being an animal rights activist and a vegan, according to your IAM page, but plenty of people who are animal rights activists and vegans have commented with reasonable and constructive criticism.

    Hell, I would say Twwly is even an animal rights activist. She has gone beyond what most people do to educate themselves about food. She knows exactly where her food has come from, and what it has gone through to get there. It looks like it lead a happy and healthy life.

  31. 44: Just because we don’t have to doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. No offence to vegans or vegetarians, but humans are omnivores. We are designed to eat other creatures. While we eat much more meat than most of our primitive counterparts, not eating meat is not natural. If we weren’t supposed to eat meat we wouldn’t be able to digest it. And there’s nothing cruel about killing if it is done in the correct spirit. Which this was.

  32. Dorian – I’d argue humans are designed/evolved to eat a vegan diet with supplementation of game meat… a la the Paleolithic Diet and so on. The only genetic change we’ve had since then is the ability to digest milk.

  33. …and obviously #31 is a kid that’s a bit too aggressive on promoting a vegan ethic and ended up looking like a knee-jerk fool in the process rather than getting her valid point across. Heart in the right place, brain in the wrong place. Having been there myself, I think it’ll work out in a few years. ;)

  34. I would love to come up to the farm and try my hand, but I live in Seattle and lack the resources to get to Ontario. I think it would be a good idea to try it, just to see if I could. I would like to TRY to stick to the ‘If you couldn’t kill it, you shouldn’t eat it” ethic. Although I feel like I’ve started a slow slide into vegetarianism anyways, excluding bacon. I find that hard beef these days just makes my tummy upset. :( A hard deal when your parents are on the Atkins.

    Anyways, I salute you, blah blah blah, good on you and so forth. :D I was wondering if you know anyone in Seattle who raises chickens the way you do? Maybe I can still get that firsthand experience.

  35. Bradly, there is no need to be so forceful about this.
    Posted by HELLS_MoNkEy
    Oh ok while u sit there at ur computer and read this there is massive suffering being cuased to these animals for no reason what so ever other than the fact thats what we except .Ive never said that people shouldnt eat meat I do say though that the animals shouldnt have to suffer for it .And whether you realize it or not the suffering that is afflicted upon them falls into the realm of what goes around comes around…

  36. It may not be practical (possible, yes, I agree with Shannon, but not practical) for most people to raise their own poultry for slaughter at this time, but society is a mutable thing — it wasn’t so long ago that it was a rare person who didn’t raise any eggs, or poultry, or at least a big vegetable garden. And that included a lot of urban people. Who says we couldn’t change again and return to more food being raised by individuals and less by corporations, if it would be better for us?

    And I do think it would be better for us. Giles, factory farming hasn’t developed because it’s more efficient; it’s developed because it’s more profitable. And it certainly isn’t more humane, from the animals’ living conditions to the hatcheries where uncountable numbers of chicks, say, die because they are counted as overhead at a rate of pennies per chick and therefore not worth taking more trouble over.

    Just as one example, free-ranged chickens can be fed with a huge variety of plant and animal matter as well as the scraps from human food (I know; that’s all I feed my laying hens). Factory-farmed chickens are fed processed food made in part from grain that could be eaten by people just as well, and all of it has to be shipped from a central processing location.

    There is just no way factory farming is actually more efficient in resources than small-scale local farming. It’s just that so many of us don’t even think, anymore, about what “efficiency” truly means.

    And no one is suggesting each and every person (babies and invalids et al) be required to literally raise and slaughter every bite of meat they eat. But more localized/community oriented and less corporatized raising of our food, including meat, really can only be better for us and our world.

  37. The world NEEDS intensive farming to survive, that I’m afraid is a cold hard fact and no amount of morally superior stance taking at adopting a farming method attuned to a controlled, small community will change that. Posted by Giles Wallwork

    2 bad ur so stupid no amount huh …u shun a moral stance.what a fuckin lozzer u r in my book .

  38. So it’s either raise your own food, or say ‘fuck it all’ if you don’t have the space? What about supporting your local Farmers Market? CSA? Nothing is in black and white. Factory farming is a vile business, and it doesn’t just hurt the animals it tortures. Look up the environmental impact that is has sometime.

    I honestly would respect the pro-mass produced meat opinion if you would just admit that you’re too lazy to care either way, instead of trying to make it look like factory farming is what’s best for everyone involved.

  39. So I hate all u motherfukers at this web site because u gave me herpes from the tiolet seat
    Posted by gillian gamine

  40. Bradly I can understand why you are angry about cruelty to animals in certain methods of farming, because I dont disagree. Whilst I dont provide the food in my household, as I live with my parents, when I am providing for myself when I move out in 3 months time for uni, I will try only to buy free range meat produce. However, that does not mean that when I am late to get somewhere, and dont have time to go home and make food, that I wont have a burger from the local stand or whatnot.

    I just think you are throwing a bit of a tantrum, and its a bit pathetic. For example, Shannon is really very convincing, and I am taking into account his points, but you are just ranting and insulting people. No need for it.

  41. HELLS_MoNkEy if u find my view point insulting thats because u brain has been riddled with spyhlis from a tainted toilet seat .I am a interenet troll i make my living exrpessing my thought to others who hate it i then print them on napkins and sell them at the flea market where i roll up my jeelly donuoghts that are somewhat stale but still tasty..so ur view point is sorta like hey i dont film the kiddie porn i just watch it … but allas ur young and stupid but 1day ull be old and stuidier ?__+

  42. I wholly support everything Bradly has to say and i will atest to the fact that his jelly doughnuts are stale
    Posted by Shannon Larratt

  43. Shoot, It cut off half of my comment. ah well. It should have said
    “but allas ur young and stupid but 1day ull be old and stuidier”
    That is one of the funniest things I’ve read so far today.

  44. Bradly, you complete cock.

    I do not find your viewpoint offensive, and I am beginning to suspect you are no older than 14 yourself. The following are stupid, pathetic comments, made by an illiterate moron:

    “ur just a stupid” – Didn’t much prove your point?

    “2 bad ur so stupid no amount huh …u shun a moral stance.what a fuckin lozzer u r in my book . ”

    Debates are brilliant until people like yourself get involved.

  45. I would like to retract my last statement ,after doing some research on who Bradly is and what he stands i find that my earlier comments were unjust and somewhat pathetic other than that I have many ideas in my head that i dont really wish i had hopefully soon my medication will kick in and they will let me out longer than just a day pass with my family
    Posted by HELLS_MoNkEy

  46. Yeah and ur just a chicen head .ok im done hair u cant top that .and im needed else where .there is a goat trying to get across my mother fucking bridge !!! but in the mean time check out Sophia in the end all the animals are saying u can eat me just plz stand by me..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaH3z99EAe

  47. Yeah and ur just a chicen head .ok im done hair u cant top that .and im needed else where .there is a goat trying to get across my mother fucking bridge !!! but in the mean time check out Sophia in the end all the animals are saying u can eat me just plz stand by me..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaH3z99EAe4
    69 &__*

  48. I love how so much debate and argument got started all by a single chicken tattoo…

  49. Tried to click on Twwly’s link- Bandwidth exceeded.

    I am really struck by the beauty of this tattoo- extremely well worked.

  50. Katie, CSAs are great, so are farmers markets. You clearly overlooked my links to them directly above the chicken montage. People need to take more responsibility about what they are consuming and where it comes from. Shopping local, be it from your backyard or the farms closest to you is top shelf. Not every farm grows every food stuff; the notion that everyone has to completely rely on their own land to grow absolutely everything they consume is certainly not mine. (Although I do yearn to be far more self sufficient!)

    If an animal is going to DIE for you to eat it, at some point (not EVERY meal, sillies) you should have a direct connection to that process. Or it’s my opinion that you should not consume said animal.

  51. And do you apply that to the infirm, the elderly, disabled, poor, young, busy? Should they be forced into vegetarianisn because they are incapable of either keeping, nurturing, feeding, providing for, then killing their own meat?

    If you can’t MORALLY kill it, then you shouldn’t eat it. Not physically, dumb ass.

  52. How can taking something’s life be fun? Killing of need isn’t sick, but having fun killing is. Disrespectful.

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