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Curator's Introduction

The exhibition Flesh and Blood attempts to scrutinize the existing harsh relationship between mankind and other animals, and to challenge us to show sensitivity and to face the reality of which the majority amongst us is not sufficiently aware. The exhibition calls upon us to look at the flesh and blood as a fabric connecting the family of animals, of which we are part, and to treat it with respect and compassion.

To what extent have we been influenced by the Divine commandment, given to us in the Book of Genesis, “…have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”? Was that the omen which paved the way to the common notion that our lives are worth more than other lives, thus justifying our arrogant and condescending attitude towards the animals surrounding us?

The fact is that eugenic policies were not eradicated along with the 3rd Reich, only now they are implemented on animals. Castration and killing for the sake of research and genetics occur on a daily basis. The same goes for mass transportation of animals in shameful conditions and dreadful congestion. The treatment of animals is measured according to their value and the potential profit they may bring to their owners. Killing of the weak, the sick and the injured, who have no economic value, is routine practice. So is use of violence and fatal blows; tattooing of numbers on animal hide; bulldozing heaps of bodies; efficient use of all or most body parts for various purposes; and expansion of industrial mass production systems invented by man for “selection”, “transport” and “mass murder”. These are all part of a long list of actions that reveal the sick imagination of mankind in service of its own good.

Today, philosophers, zoologists and other scientists are becoming more and more concerned with questions of morality alongside science; questions linking the existence of animals with that of mankind. These form the basis of the ethics and the changing attitude of some of the public towards the rise of organizations promoting animal welfare and rights.

It is our duty and obligation to find creative ways to spread the message of change of attitude towards animals, towards our fellow-men, towards the weak and the other.

Raphie Etgar