Day One Hundred and Sixty Five - Beef

Three villagers take a break during the slaughter of a cow. They will soon carry the four quarters to a nearby tree where they can be hung, weighed, and sold. The head is already reserved. The intestines and tripe are collected by local women, and the hide is stretched out to dry in the sun. The vultures, waiting nearby, hopefully, are left with nothing but blood stains in the sandy soil.


  1. Hindus in India would not really approve of this. Cow is sacred animal.....

  2. Aha! Hello anonymous. You might be surprised to hear that most people in Britain would be upset by the picture too. People are happy to eat beef, but they prefer to buy it in small packages in a supermarket (or, even better, ground up and then hidden inside some bread . People don’t want to think about where their meat comes from. Whilst the supermarket may be the apex of the separation between the killing of an animal and the eating of meat, it is the result of a long history of denial regarding death and dinner. Hence, in English we would never go to a restaurant and order cow – only beef. We wouldn’t see a beef grazing in a field, just a cow.

    The title of the post – Beef – was chosen to emphasise this odd habit. In fact, the cow is clearly still a cow and not quite yet beef. By calling the post ‘Beef’ I am drawing attention to the slaughter of a fine animal in order to put food on the table (or at least, in the pot!).

    Clearly the cow does not achieve sacred status here in Guyana! In the South Rupununi, beef is an essential part of the diet. This could be a difficult place for visiting Hindus.