20 January 2019
Watercolor woodblock print (moku hanga)
17 x 11 inches (43 x 28 cm)
Made from 1 block, 5 hand-rubbed applications of color
Edition of 8 on Yukimi paper
A recent study of 40,000 farms in over 100 countries concludes that of all the individual acts a person can do to try to reduce their impact on the environment, giving up meat in one's diet is the biggest way to help the planet. In addition to deforestation, extinction of wild animal species, and greenhouse gas emissions, meat farming, especially farming of beef and pork, is lousy for water. Animal wastes pollute streams, rivers, and ultimately oceans, and large amounts of water are required to make a pound of beef, although there seems to be wide disagreement over exactly how much water — claims range from 450 gallons to 250 gallons of water per pound of beef depending on the farming methods used.
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.
To be clear, I myself am not a vegan eater. I rarely eat red meat, but I do eat fish and sometimes poultry. I also eat dairy, cheese, and eggs. I could picture myself giving up meat altogether, but I'm very attached to cheese and eggs. I'm not sure what, if anything, would convince me to stop eating those things.
This print is a reduction print (carve, print a color, carve some more, print another color…). I'm trying to loosen up my process a bit by utilizing only one block, a limited palette, working in small editions, and not doing so much pre-planning. It's fun.