In meat production and consumption, Western cultures are often criticized for their alienation from the subject. In the First World, meat comes from supermarkets and restaurants, and an animal is something that exists only in zoos and on television. Critics of the Western de-familiarization with meat often cherish a romantic concept of slaughtering in other parts of the world: non-industrial, “natural” slaughtering for personal needs, where people are much more connected to the process, is regarded as a morally superior way of obtaining meat. For the animal itself, of course, butchering is not a romantic act anywhere. No matter how you look at it, slaughtering an animal always produces suffering and death. In Turkey, like in other Muslim countries, the Feast of Sacrifice (Kurban Bayramı) is an annual four-day event in which goats, sheep, cows and other animals are slaughtered for sacrifice and consumption. I took these photos during Kurban Bayramı in Bahcelievler, Istanbul, near Atatürk International Airport, on 8 December 2008.

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