Ryan O'Hern. Butchery. Advocacy.
A lifelong interest in pastoralism eventually brought me to the shores of the Butchery arts. In the study of pastoral societies, I found a memory of right-relationship between animals, humans, and the land. Butchering became my experiential immersion into this memory.
After several years of commercial lobstering and apprenticing on livestock farms, I became enamored with Butchering. In butchery I found a deep rabbit-hole, providing all the physicality, artistry, paradox, and chthonic mystery that I had been searching for.
From 2009-2022 I worked in a variety of meat industry niches:
-retail boxed beef meat-cutting, retail whole carcass meat-cutting, and retail meat department management
-custom-exempt carcass fabrication
-USDA mobile slaughter unit
-USDA carcass fabrication
My butchery experiences shaped me profoundly and provided a spring board into community advocacy work. Through butchery, education, and counseling work, I hope to generate dialogue regarding the path forward for humanity. Eighty-percent of Americans today live in cities and grow up disconnected from the natural world. Rural communities remain marginalized and impoverished. Rural people and rural resources continue to be exploited. Farmers and hunters have been dwindling in numbers since the 1960's. The narrative around food, land management, and human infrastructure continues to be coopted by wealthy capitalists.
My hope is to amplify the voices of pastoral communities and ancestral food traditions. My hope is to participate in community interventions that bridge people to a memory of right-relationship between humans, animals, and the land.