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Meat and Art

Dror Burstein contemplates works of art from various cultures— Europe, the Far East, Israel, ancient Mesopotamia—that portray animals which are caged, suffering or dead at the hands of humans. In clear but delicate language that appeals to the eye and the heart, Burstein writes about the still-life paintings, sculptures and photographs in which the treatment of animals is an outrage. The images depict animals that have been dismembered at the butcher’s or in abattoirs; hunted birds; fish laid out at a London market; chained apes in Antwerp’s port; a lion hunt by an ancient Assyrian monarch; various biblical scenes, such as the Binding of Isaac with the ram caught in the thicket, and more. Among them, Burstein also seeks out images that protest the way in which animals are used by humans, whether they be artists, cooks or diners. They show a different relationship between man and beast: one that is harmonious and not violent.

Meat and Art makes incisive statements about human responsibility, solidarity, the meaning of death, suffering and art. It offers cultural, artistic and literary enrichment to the vegetarian and vegan conversation underway in the world, as well as an activist look at the fine arts that will intrigue anyone interested in art and art criticism. There are also animal poems written by various poets.

Title Meat and Art
Writer's Last Name Burstein
Writer's First Name Dror
Genre Non Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad
No. Pages 137pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Tmunot Shel Basar
  • “Dror Burstein’s gripping book offers us moments of poetic reflection … Burstein looks at sculptures and images of animals from a variety of cultures. One of the achievements of his book seems to be the elegant movement from the edges of the West to the ends of the East … On this refined journey from the Occident to the Orient, Burstein spreads out before us an expansive interpretative horizon. ”

    Idan Zivoni, Haaretz
  • “A book that is heartening, and gratifying to encounter … Evokes respect … This is a book that satisfies, reminding us that writing about art can be profound. Even very young people will be able to enjoy it. ”

    Yoni Livneh, Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “The author’s main task, at which he succeeds immensely, is to elucidate the artist’s activity. The pictures are heart-rending … Burstein refrains from pontificating or speechifying with excessive pathos … A sad experience, painful, and mainly enlightening.”