Wednesday, September 01, 2010

No Meat, Decision Portrait Series

(Above: No Meat, Decision Portrait. Stitched word: Vegetarian. Hand stitched. Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin. 25" x 19" unframed; 31" x 25" framed. Click on image to enlarge.)

One of the most basic decisions everyone makes every day is about food. What to eat? When to eat? How much to eat? These are questions we often answer without too much thought. Yet, food is essential to life. Decisions about food are important. Not everyone makes the same decisions.

Increasingly there are more vegetarians in our society. One source includes: A “Vegetarianism in America” study shows that 3.2 percent of U.S. adults, or 7.3 million people, follow a vegetarian-based diet. Approximately 0.5 percent, or 1 million, of those are vegans, who consume no animal products at all. In addition, 10 percent of U.S., adults, or 22.8 million people, say they largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet. The study also found that nearly 12 million non-vegetarians were considering this dietary choice. People become vegetarian for a number of reasons: environmental, ethical, religious, food-safety, animal welfare, personal health, and both weight lose and weight maintenance reasons.

(Above: No Meat, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

Simply put, being a vegetarian is a choice....a simple decision to enjoy a meatless diet. The nice lady who posed for the piece made this decision at age 16....which was 42 years ago! She doesn't eat meat. I stitched her portrait in an equally simple, straight-forward manner using plain shirt buttons for a boarder and a single word on the fabric. I hope those seeing the work think about their personal dietary choices.

One of the nicest things about this series of work is getting a "thank you" note from the actual participants! My "vegetarian" wrote an email of support, thanking me for the moments of reflection on her personal life decisions that the process of creating this piece brought about! The honor was mine!


MosaicMagpie said...

Just got the newsletter, Loved the self portrait. The keys are really neat. Did you wear your new to you outfit yet?

Deb H said...

Very cool self portrait, & good for you, kudos on the Veg-choice.

I have leaned toward a vegetarian diet for many years (though we still d some poultry, & I will never give up fish). What amazes me is the flack I've gotten from some people over not eating beef or pork. It's like they think I'm being un American! I had a waitress in a restaurant in South Dakota once tell me, when I asked if I could get a veggie burger instead of meat, say :"Don't say that too loud around here honey, somebody just might shoot you!", & she wasn't joking!