Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sky Burial by Vulture

"...the Parsi community here intends to build two aviaries at one of its most sacred sites so that the giant scavengers can once again devour human corpses." How can you not get excited about a NYT article that starts that way? Diclofenac, a pain drug given to cattle, ended up killing the vulture population in part of India, which is why vultures have to be induced to return. (I worked on a U.S. formulation of this drug briefly and in my initial research ran across these kinds of articles. Wacky.) Tibetans have a very similar ritual, which makes sense if you live somewhere with low O2 and rocky soil.

Why am I posting this? Come on. Vultures eating corpses. How metal can you get?

I don't know if Italian artist Greta Alfaro had these rituals in mind when she conceived this art piece, but the vultures here (who show up after about 1m15s) make similar short work of this elegant vineyard-side table-setting.

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