Reading the entrails: Digesting posthuman entanglement

Walking through Adelaide on a typically warm summer evening, around this time last year I can still recall the waft of food and conversation emanating from small eateries protruding between sandstone houses. I passed the Greek restaurant with the aromas of garlic and meat chargrilling and paused in front of an Italian place where, more controversially, patrons could be found bathed in warm light and drinking wine under the full hanging body of a taxidermy cow. Schvitzy (as she was named on the farm where she was kept) was the weighty centrepiece on display in a double‑height front window: strung up, ready for the guillotine, and poised as if to plummet to the ground or pour blood on the diners below. Commissioned by the owners of Bar Etica, to highlight the harsh realities of the dairy industry, Schvitzy—a milking cow, who after eight years proving milk was considered waste—had been slaughtered, her time and death planned in advance; but once installed above the meat and cheese eaters, her involuntary obsolescence became a monument to the messy entanglement of human and nonhuman animals over the dinner table. 

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