Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Open letter to David Walsh …

I have spent the past 13 years speaking with the Tasmanian public and Tasmanian students about farm animals. Speaking about their emotions and welfare, their treatment and their suffering and the fact that when we treat them kindly there is no difference between the relationship we can have with a sheep, cow, pig, cat or dog …

I have encouraged empathy, kindness, respect and compassion towards animals and I have devoted my all to trying to make Tasmania a kinder place for all of us both human and non-human.

I have spoken to some 50,000 students of whom a large number have chosen not to continue eating animals after learning the facts around how meat is produced and who dies in order for us to satisfy our taste buds.

Launceston and Hobart last year had the highest number of google hits nationally on veganism. This did not come about as a result of events such as ‘150 Action’.

I emplore you to be kind and empathic and show respect for the bull whose fate is in your hands. Please spare his life and allow him to live at Brightside Farm Sanctuary.

You have sold the Dark Mofo event ‘150 Action’ as though you are raising awareness about the eating of animals.

The truth is in order to do this you would need to screen the slaughter of the bull or kill him in public.

Instead like millions of other innocent animals he will be slaughtered behind closed doors and out of the sight and minds of meat eaters who will not have their dietary choices challenged at all.

The difference between this bull and the millions of animals who are slaughtered every year for food is you are able to save this animal’s life.

He will be slaughtered in the name of art and people who go to see this event will not question their eating habits as a result of seeing humans role in the body parts and entrails of his desecrated carcass.

Please David Walsh I beg you to show compassion and empathy and cancel this Dark Mofo event.

Yours Sincerely,

Emma Haswell

Scott MacInnes EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

Mind what you eat. Bon Appetit!

The DarkMofo/Nitsch debate …

THURSDAY, June 15 …

ABC: Dark Mofo: Janet Holmes a Court questions method in Hobart sacrificial bull show

SATURDAY, June 17 …

Animals Tasmania: Why kill for art or food?

Dark Mofo: Hermann Nitsch’s bull slaughter show gets mixed reviews

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Everipedia

    June 20, 2017 at 11:12 am

    You should put this on Everipedia, a wiki style encyclopedia site.

  2. Nicholas Gilbert

    June 17, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Dumbest most inbred animal I know is the modern day cow. Seen them standing in rivers facing downstream pissing and shitting simultaneously.

  3. lola moth

    June 17, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I understand killing animals for food and I do it myself. I understand killing animals because their existence is destructive to the environment [cats, rats, rabbits] and I do that myself too. What I don’t understand is killing an animal that would otherwise have been used for food and wasting it in the name of art. Why not use a dead animal that was not going to be used for food and turn this into an artwork? I’m sure there are plenty of kittens that were put down humanely that could have been used instead of a beast that would have fed many people. Palliative care tells me Mrs Smith was no longer in need of her carcass on Thursday, so there was another option.
    As for the concept of death, blood, guts, and dismemberment being art, I’m sure serial killers would say they are the greatest unrecognised artists of our time.

  4. Simon Warriner

    June 17, 2017 at 12:23 am

    A vegan with half a clue would make sure they planted an edible nut tree on top of the corpse, but I won’t bet it will happen.

    We might have got some action out of my bloke if we had sprayed them with piss from another bull, but other than that I reckon he would just have stood there and snorted and shaken his boofy head. He really is that laid back. That, and as I said before, the fat bugger does not fit up the loading race, so we cannot get him on a truck.

    My boss has some Jersey Bulls, on the other hand, that are entirely full to the brim with piss and vinegar, and half a dozen of them in a crowd of naive townies would be well worth the price of admission. Hell, it is worth working for free just to watch two of them going through a gateway at the same time some days, but don’t tell my bosses that.

  5. Peter Bright

    June 16, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Those with the most power have the greatest responsibility to use it wisely.

  6. Second Opinion

    June 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Hand wringing is getting a good go here.
    Sometimes that is not enough.
    I’m not sure that Walsh’s bloody offering has anything to do with omnivore dentition.
    The offering today was more of the same

  7. Second Opinion

    June 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    We’re being told that the carcass will now be buried. I’m sure David Walsh could provide a decent and humane burial, with all of MONA’s artful obeisance on show.
    Destined for blood and bone. How appropriate is that?
    Simon, is it too late to have your bull let loose at the gathering of the adherents seeking revelation?
    It might be the inaugural staging of a Hobart institution: the running of the bull. Just imagine the opportunities for Tourism Tasmania, putting flesh back on the menu.
    And the bull is adorned with flowers, and eats them.

  8. Nicholas Gilbert

    June 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Agree with TJ and Simon above.There is a whiff of hypocricy from some posters.I suspect Emma is playing devils advocate by adding kindling to the controversy, so well done.
    This controversy reminds me of the Holocaust and Germany or indeed this islands genocide of our First Tasmanians.Apparently some uncomfortable truths must not be mentioned in polite company.Don’t mention the war!
    Instead of spraying vitriol on Walsh and Nitsch it might be enlightening to listen to and decode the message rather than just shooting the messenger.
    I presume most are be meat-eaters, so next time they are consuming a big juicy steak with blood drizzling down their chins, if they really pondered this issue an epiphany might occur with the realization that they too are culpable, with blood on their hands.
    Having had the epiphany several years ago myself, on a meatless diet I feel more healthy and contented. I no longer support an industry that has wrecked our rivers, soils and ecosystems on a massive global scale.

  9. Simon Warriner

    June 15, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    TJ, I trust that wool is hand clipped from a suitably comforted and counseled sheep, one that has never been bullied by a dog, and has been dyed in entirely natural substances, and that the artwork is being stitched onto hand woven organic hemp. You have erred, perhaps terminally by opting for the anodised aluminum. It should have been windfall or repurposed timber, naturally preserved, of course. 😉

    Meanwhile, back in school during year 10 I got an “A” for an essay in which I developed the idea that “Civilisation is mankind’s ongoing attempt to remove itself from the effects of nature”.

    What Walsh is doing is forcing people to confront the reality of their “civilisation”. In balance I think the re-purposing a single bull from grinding beef to dog meat in the process of educating and provoking his audience to actual thought about the source of their beef is not the heinous crime many writing here would have us believe, and I suspect a fair amount of the outraged commentary is little more than virtue signalling. A bull was going to die the same death either way, it is just the fate of the corpse that has changed.

    If David Walsh drags people closer to understanding the reality around putting meat on their table then I see that as a good thing. It has certainly made me think about the issue. If it causes some to rethink their diet and go vegetarian I have no problems with that. Personally I find the waste of what is presumably perfectly good meat offensive. Once subjected to the “artistic” process as I understand it, it will not be fit for human consumption. I guess the dog’s home has been contacted and has it’s freezers emptied in readiness. And the quantity of blood? Artistic license is surely being taken, by the bucket full. Either that or Tas Water is in on the act. I read somewhere that there would be over 1,000 litres of the stuff. That’s a bloody big bull, given blood, guts and skin is roughly 1/3 the weight, meat about 1/3 and bone about the remaining 1/3. I suspect that part of the attraction for most of the participants is the opportunity to engage in a slightly suss activity and to see themselves as somehow “brave and adventurous”. Good luck with the smell that will reek from any unwashed item of clothing in a few days.

    I have a bull that weighs around 1300kg, and he is too big to fit up my loading race. If anyone needs a 5 year old Murray Grey Bull let me know. His calves are absolute stunners. He will need to go into the Jenny Craig paddock for a couple of months first. I have no wish for him to go to Greenhams, but he is now surplus to requirements as I am now rearing dairy bull calves, in order to grow them into dairy beef steers.

  10. Brigit Earl

    June 15, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    The public slaughter of this beautiful bull in Tasmania as art needs to be condemned and stopped. Its pure publicity seeking and gorging on blood in public. Disgusting. What has our society come to? A result too many American action movies and video games where killing is considered entertainment.

  11. Geoffrey Swan

    June 15, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    #12 TJ Smith – what a delightful little piece. Thank you.

    I oh so wish I had a copy of the snarling tigers head on my wall – it would look really lovely alongside my blue..green headed lady.. Monika Pon with her flowing black locks, flared nostrils, ruby red lips and her Asian inspired jacket.

  12. T.J.Smith.

    June 15, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Oh yeah!
    That grandstander David Walsh.
    Who does he think he is?
    Pushing his twisted little agenda on to thinking people like us.
    We’ll tell you what is good art and what is bad art.
    What does he know.

    How dare he drum up attention for his highly successful self funded world class art facility.
    What a childish bozo he is.
    Look at him……drawing people from around the world to Tasmania.
    How dare he show the inept, the shoddy, the get rich quick and the pseudo would be entrepreneurs how to do it properly.

    Cut this perverse overly tall poppy down now.

    What he’s doing is far worse than what happens in slaughter houses around the world.
    You won’t see this sort of thing in Indonesia or the Middle East.

    Meanwhile…… I’m almost finished my snarling tigers head needle stitch in wool.
    After it’s framed in its awesome anodised aluminium frame it will hang on the lounge-room wall next to the wife’s paint-by-numbers smiling wave surfing dolphin.

    Hang in there censorious uptights.

  13. Mitch

    June 15, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Nothing short of barbaric this cult stuff.

    Plenty of people being killed on the roads, plenty of blood being spilt, go and drink that in the name of art and spare that lovely animal for your ‘pleasure’.

    I really thought we had progressed beyond such sick mentality. Obviously not in Tasmania.

  14. Second Opinion

    June 15, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    By now, the beast will have been dispatched.
    All that remains is to ensure that David Walsh finds no comfort from this infantile act.
    His future role in Tasmanian life must now be in question.
    His Mausoleum, a standing monument to human conceit.
    There is no disguising a piss-take.

  15. Nicholas Gilbert

    June 15, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Perhaps the whole purpose of this performance is not to glorify but to shock and expose the hypocrisy of all meat eaters. Every person who consumes animal products is responsible for the killing by creating the demand.The sterility of the supermarket meat counter and butcher shop allows humans the delusion that they can be kind animal lovers AND carnivores by separating the killing from the eating.The recent spectacle of the idiot cattle baroness Janet Holmes a Court who has grown rich on the pain and suffering of cattle, joining the fray of those condemning the performance is deliciously ironic and pathetic.
    Sometimes art exists to challenge delusions and rattle cages so BRAVO bring it on!

  16. O'Brien

    June 15, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Dear Mr Walsh,

    If no other argument can sway you to chuck this spectacle of raw power. Please consider the context. Tassie can be, and in a sense is a haven from the ‘pollution’ of thought many of us have seen elsewhere & reject. Why is it so unthinkable to reject the “Sex & Death” element of Monanism? It’s tired, it’s a growth industry elsewhere and quite frankly boring. Take the opportunity to consider the Unomist/Umonist manifesto of Love & Life over Sex & Death. A worthwhile legacy for those that follow on after us. Ask yourself “What would Ian Fairweather have thought?”

  17. James Williamson

    June 14, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    My personal take is that art and it’s appreciation is about sensibility and the ensuing sensitivity . How does one goes about achieving this sense ability. Art provides the means to heighten one’s sense of the world by seeing, hearing and feeling. But Herman Nitsch’s work seems to be about traumatising us. Trauma de-sensitises us to the world around us. I think its cruel and insensitive. It exposes our innate barbarism as a species; rather than adding to the cloak of civilisation that I believe is the role of art. If I want to witness the horror and trauma of what we are as a species are capable of , I can look at Picasso’s Guernica or Goya’s black paintings , I don’t need to wallow in blood. If the artist is trying to make a point about our practice of flesh eating, try something less crude, cruel or insensitive.

  18. Second Opinion

    June 14, 2017 at 2:35 am

    I’m told there will be just an hour’s notice of the place for the event. Anybody got some goss?

  19. Liz Holloway

    June 14, 2017 at 1:51 am

    I did feel that David Walsh thrives on attention much like most 4-year olds, and that it does not matter to him if the attention is adverse. If he truly wanted to promote art he would not feel the need to highlight only the grotesque and shocking; that’s not necessarily true art, it’s showing-off, thumbing the nose, holding up the middle finger at the world.

  20. O'Brien

    June 14, 2017 at 1:50 am

    “Buy the ticket take the ride.” (H.S.T)

    Complex alright. Emma Haswell presents a solid argument. As a Tasmanian in exile due to bent carnivorous cops I would argue for Emma’s solution. There’s more than enough gruesome matter in this world, more than enough. Why should Tassie provide the means for a boring euro has been to roll out more of his tired Schtick? Stand up for thoughtful Tassie youth Mr Walsh. You have the power in the palm of your hand. The last thing Tassie needs is yet another artistic spectacle, there’s an oversupply. If the show must go on have your capable sculptor Ben Booth knock up a myrtle & watermelon Trojan bull. That way the euro blow ins can bedazzle the mainlanders with red stuff and tick off their fat first world lists. After the forgettable show pack the Austro-hack back to Europe along with that boring boomer Haddon and his cheap-jack synthetic Hirstarian daubs. Why import more euro-dross to this most unique, original & creative place on God’s green earth?

  21. john Hayward

    June 13, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Knowing that the bull presently living at Brightside Farm was to be specifically slaughtered for the performance changes the whole complexion of the thing.

    Footage from the normal activities of any abattoir, without any artistic pretences, would have greater emotional effect. Swap the blood for claret, as churches do, while playing recordings of today’s ABC RN’s Health Report, on the long-term effects of eating red meat.

    John Hayward

  22. Rom

    June 13, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Well said Emma.
    Unfortunately, Mr Walsh has demonstrated again and again that he has no interest in anything that does not give him the opportunity to grandstand and push his own twisted little agenda.

    I for one boycott everything to do with him and his disgusting Mona/Mofo rubbish. Perhaps if others thought a little bit more about how he gained his money in the first place, at the expense of fools and addicts, they’d think twice about pandering to his constant exhibitionism.

    Hopefully, this time, he has gone just a bit too far and outraged one to many thinking people like you.

  23. Allan Bennett

    June 13, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    I fully support the comments by Emma Haswell.

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