photo shoot as inadvertent consciousness raiser

Posted by carlotta on Tuesday February 5th, 2013 at 6:49am

I was asked to take a portrait of Michael Vine, a poultry farmer in Hailsham, as part of the market year project. Although I have photographed quite a few local food producers I have not, until now, been to a livestock farmer. If you are a meat eater, I feel it is only right to see how your meat gets from the farmyard to the shop, by way of the slaughter house or in this case, the plucking room. I have to admit, though, that I was very nervous about photographing chickens being killed.

I received a warm welcome from Michael and we took a tour of the chicken sheds as well as a large open barn full of pregnant ewes. But in the end, I could put it off no longer and braved the plucking shed.¬†Ersham Farm raises their chickens and lambs as free-range and without the use of antibiotics and growth promoters. I feel I was very lucky to see this process in such a humane environment and I was proud of myself that I could watch and photograph it. The only thing is, now that I have seen the conscientious way that Michel’s chickens are raised and slaughtered, I don’t think I can ever buy a battery-raised chicken again. More photos from this shoot can be seen here.

Ersham-Farm-13.02.04-30

Ersham-Farm-13.02.04-54Ersham Farm 13.02.04-61

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