The Connotations of an Artisan
Artisan is a word that has been received much usage and attention in the past decade. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, artisan is defined as “A worker who practices a trade or a handicraft; one that produces something (as cheese or wine) in limited quantities often using traditional methods’. By this definition, it seems that the word artisan is given to an individual, not a process. This would rule out the act of slaughtering and butchering being called artisan. To me, when I hear the word ‘Artisan’ I think of something unique, crafty, limited and rare. It makes the item become glorified. I do not like the idea of butchering and slaughtering being glorified. I think that humane slaughtering should be respected. After reading Giedion, it is even more apparent that over the decades of industrial livestock, animals were slaughtered in ways that induced fear. In using the inclined plane, Giedion notes that the animals are likely to become suspicious and resistant to stopping on the plane. This clearly illustrates that the animals are stressed and do experience some form of suffering. I believe the word artisan should be connected with a person or product rather than a process. However, just because a meat product (let’s say sausage) is labeled as an ‘artisanal’ product does not mean that the animal was slaughtered in a respectable way.
Giedion, Siegfried, “Mechanizaion and Death: Meat” Mechanization Takes Command, NY: Oxford University Press, 1948.
Merriam-Webster, “Artisan” accessed June 21, 2014