can you tell me which of these bones were sourced ethically and which were not?
trick question. you have to define ethical before you can answer it.
If you've ever been to my booth in person, you'll see feathers, fur, hides and bones. Did you know that I personally harvested each one of those? I never buy bulk parts on eBay to resell. Every piece is from a kill I made or a body I collected, or a butcher day I helped with. That feels ethical to me.
I wonder when roadkill became the ideal "ethical" source for animal parts among bone collectors. If you consider bones and parts from roadkill ethical but the bodies of sustainably hunted or raised animals unethical, have you ever seen an animal get hit on the road? Have you ever felt in your hands every bone that was broken by the vehicle that ended their life? Seen the pain they were in before they slipped away?
The disconnect from the natural world that most people invariably experience in an industrialized society like this one has led people to feel absolved of death and pain if they didn't directly participate in it. Long ago I stopped referring to my roadkill finds as "ethical" in the hopes of attracting customers. The animals I hunt are treated with no more cruelty than the animals I salvage from the roadside, and often die easier deaths. Unless you live in a legal roadkill salvage state (which I do), and unless you find a car-hit animal when it's fresh, the whole body will go to waste. It's not often I chance upon a deer in the road that is fresh enough to skin and eat. In those animals, the meat, organs and hides go to waste and all we have are the bones. How is that pain and waste more palatable than an animal that is hunted for EVERY part of it's body, or a meat animal raised lovingly and consumed wholly?
This is not directed at anyone, or meant to preach at my followers (who are a pretty connected, critical bunch), just some general musings on the culture around animal-based art. Every time I go in the #vultureculture tag I see it right and left-- ethically harvested, sourced from roadkill, no animals died for my art. Really? Because I see bones in your hands.