Art Redefined


“I view meat cutting as an art”

In my online humanities class I ask students at the beginning of each semester to introduce themselves, and in so doing to comment on their relationship to and/or how much their values have been influenced by art, music, religion, philosophy, and literature – i.e., the ‘humanities’.

Occasionally I receive a response too precious not to share.

“I moved to Florida eight years ago this November and I am currently a Meat Cutter Apprentice at _____. Personally I view meat cutting as an art if it is done in a respectful way to the animal you are cutting apart. Any person with a knife can cut meat; however, not everyone does it respectfully instead they do it as if they’re going through the motions of their job. Rather than view the pieces they cut as a living animal that was killed to feed others they view it as a slab of beef. This isn’t untrue but there is no respect for the fact that a living animal was killed and processed for our own survival. My personal goal in that field is to move away from the Grocery meat cutters and more towards the traditional Butcher’s Shops that have that respect for the animals they kill and process.”

I don’t dispute his view but I can’t help but wonder if he really needs to tackle Plato and Dante and The Book of Job to further his career.

Then again, I’m reminded of our go-to supplier of beer & deli sandwiches (me) and dog bones (Tzuri) out in Livingston a couple of summers ago.

‘Montana Matt’ I called him. He went to Montana State University and was good at cuttin’ meat. Probably took a humanities course or two.

elk butchering20140529_0683 as Smart Object-1

This is actually a very practical solution to the ever-present road kill problem in the West.  Montana passed a law that lets drivers who have hit deer or elk go online and immediately obtain a license for that animal, regardless of season.

Then you haul the carcass to your local butcher and the bloodletting begins.

It’s an art form, I now know – if you have the right respect and the gumption to see more than just a slab of beef.

🙂 🙂 🙂




6 Replies to “Art Redefined”

  1. what do they call it dressing out an animal when it’s obvious that he’s undressing it?


  2. Hi, Oops … I’m going back in time to look at some of your posts I skipped over … for whatever reason(s) …

    This is timely under your title, “Art Redefined” … SCOTUS is set to hear the “Gay Wedding Cake Caper.” Apparently a key legal argument in the case hinges on whether the justices consider “baking cakes as an art form.” If they do, then “freedom of artistic expression (speech) becomes a key issue in the case.

    If cake decorating/baking is an “art form” then certainly Montana Matt’s “dressing” a carcass should be considered an art form.

    Definitely your photo of the artistic process shown, is an “art form.”


    1. Thanks for your interest in my blogs. Sorry that the quoted text was an awkward color making it almost unreadable. Some time ago I made a blanket change to the overall color scheme of my site and that has resulted in some text not showing up properly – black text on black backgrounds, e.g., NOT GOOD! But with hundreds of posts to go back through, it’s likely I will never catch all the problems. At least I changed this one. Thanks…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s