It’s not every day that your dinner reminds you of its own mortality.
That’s the message artist and activist Aldric Négrier is trying to send by placing 3D-printed tombstones on animal products in supermarkets.
The Portuguese engineer created a set of open-source 3D-printed tombstone designs and brought them to his local markets. He put the colorful grave markers, which feature a cutout cross shape, either on or next to animal products like canned meat and butchered tenderloin.
Because the designs are freely available through maker community Instructables, anyone can download and print Négrier’s designs to take to their own supermarkets.
Négrier explained the project in his rather macabre post on Instructables.
The idea is to 3D Print some R.I.P symbols and position them in front of every dead animal we can find, as a tool to get people thinking and debating the issue of animal rights. Hopefully this gesture will make people rethink what they are doing, instead of automatically putting the animal “product” in their shopping baskets without even thinking what the consequences of their actions will be. [all sic]
He stressed that the project wasn’t meant to offend anyone. Rather, he said, it was an effort to save animal lives while promoting a healthier, meat- and flesh-free lifestyle. Of course, carnivores would be hard-pressed not to be offended by his assertive campaign.
The U.S. is among the world’s largest consumers of meat. Americans eat more significantly more than the USDA-recommended amount of meat on a daily basis: an estimated 0.36 pounds compared to the recommended 0.21 pounds for a 2,000-daily calorie diet.
Meat production also affects water supplies and agriculture, so a meat-free lifestyle would improve more than our health and that of our animals.
If he wants to take on the powerful meat lobby, Négrier will need more than a hashtag. No one has publicly trolled their local supermarket with his tombstones yet, and we’re still eating meat.