It was difficult to watch, although morbid fascination compelled me to look. Out behind the house, my step-father was holding an animal down against an exposed section of concrete irrigation pipe. The animal was one of my rabbits. He forced it against the concrete slab and with a butcher's knife cut off its head, the animal struggling even beyond execution until its nerve endings caught up with the fact that they had lost connection to the brain. He then slit open its abdomen, rabbit entrails oozing out onto a pile. After cutting off its four lucky rabbit’s foots, he skinned away all that wonderful fur. . .
   
. . .and that evening we dined on fried rabbit. I ate it, but it was strange. This is a profound memory from my childhood.

I know there was empathy associated with my experience as well as emotions that I might not have been mature enough to understand; but at some level, my body physicalized the experience; I felt it in my gut, internal and external tensions responding to some impact that my young mind could not give name to but that some kinesthetic intelligence clearly
understood.

I have often wondered how other people feel about these things. Do you empathize with your meat? Do you look an animal in the eyes and seriously wonder what they are thinking?

Video Stills from The Space Between, 2008

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