I am a carnivore. I love meat.
All the years shooting “Wok the Dog” has not made a vegetarian out of me. I almost feel if I were a vegetarian, the project would have a little less impact than it does.
I stumble into the meat aisle in Kineara bazaar near the Agra train station. There are about 7 or 8 vendors selling buffalo meat. The meat is not smelling too bad and it looks fresh. But temperature is well over 100 degrees and there are flies everywhere. The flies cluster into tiny black clouds and cover every available surface of the meat. The butchers wave them off repeatedly and fruitlessly as the flies simply circle back around.
Oh, I think I might quit eating meat while I am in India!
Just when I thought I had understood the sanitation standard of butcher shops in Agra, I walk pass a butcher shop behind the Taj Mahal.
A single shop with green walls and an off-white curtain that covers the entryway. Occasionally the breeze picks up and you get a glimpse of the buffalo on the hook and the butcher sitting on the ground. With the help of a friendly Indian who is buying meat for dinner, I chat up the butcher and actually get to sit inside of his shop for a little while and shoot through a roll of film inside the tiny butcher shop.
In this shop, with the curtain that covers the entry way, there are only a nominal number of flies. The meat is fresh, the shop is clean and the butcher is doing a pretty steady business. I am told that he sells 400-500 kg of buffalo per day.
The butcher with 10 kids and a warm smile restored my faith in meat!
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