Babe in Limboland

<p>Matthew Herbert&#8217;s beef with <span class="caps">PETA</span>.</p>

Last year, upcoming creator and electro-sound artist, Matthew Herbert, announced via a brand new blog, that he would be releasing an album called One Pig sometime in 2010. According to his record label’s website (Accidental Records), he had originally wanted to record the life and death of a human, but deemed it too difficult, as he wanted to record the sounds made throughout his or her entire life cycle including the birth, death, and everything in between. He settled on recording the life of a pig including it’s butchering and the feast in its honor before turning it all into music.

It seems to us like he had the best intentions, making sure the piglet was raised on a family run farm, fed local cereals and had plenty of room to roll around in the mud. His blog even shows snapshots and videos of the little guy growing up…making Herbert out to be almost like a proud father figure. But that didn’t stop PETA from issuing this statement:

“No one with any true talent or creativity hurts animals to attract attention … Pigs are inquisitive, highly intelligent, sentient animals who become frightened when they are sent to slaughterhouses, where they kick and scream and try to escape the knife. They are far more worthy of respect than Matthew Herbert or anyone else who thinks cruelty is entertainment.”

Here are a few excerpts from Herbert’s lengthly response (Read in its entirety here):

“Should it not be a legal right to be allowed to see the conditions in which animals are kept? Should it not be a legal right for the public to see what methods are used to grow, harvest and prepare what they put in their bodies?”

“In an otherwise distant and anonymous food chain, this one pig’s life has been clearly and respectfully acknowledged.”

PETA is absolutely right though about me hoping to attract attention, although I am trying to do that by drawing in an inquisitive ear rather than by ‘hurting animals’. I am hoping to attract attention to the idea that the we cannot build a sustainable society with a system founded on hypocrisy. We cannot visit zoos where marvellous animals are put on display for us, only to tuck in to a ham sandwich at the zoo’s cafe without bearing witness to the way the pigs were raised.”

“The idea of eating food without consequences must be demolished once and for all.”

Quite the mouthful, right?! Due to complications bringing microphones into slaughter houses, he was unable to record the pig’s death, but according to a February 10, 2010 post the pig died and an August 16, 2010 post affirmed its consumption. As a meat eater and a conscientious one at that, we think the self-reflection process was quite noble on Herbert’s part, but maybe he should have been more assertive with his motivations to avoid getting torn up by PETA. What do you think…were Herbert’s actions wrong in the making of this project?

Accidental Records maintains that the record will be released sometime this month…so stay tuned for updates. Separate from the whole animal rights debate, what we’re wondering is: how is he going to make this sound good?