The Rise of “Friendly Faux” Taxidermy

fauxtaxidermyAn interesting new trend is emerging in home décor, one that eschews the arguably vicious centuries-long practice of adorning walls with stuffed animal heads. Once—and to varying degrees, still—considered an art predominantly consumed by the privileged—taxidermy is now falling out of fashion.

In an interesting New York Daily News article from January of this year, a woman hit her head against a mounted moose in a Manhattan bar. The woman suffered extensive head and neck injuries, and she ended up suing the restaurant. In response to this incident, the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent out a letter to the National Restaurant Association, urging all participating restaurants to give up taxidermy in their establishments. PETA moreover offered to replace each animal head with a “friendly faux” alternative.

In the letter addressed to the National Restaurant Association, PETA president and CEO Dawn Sweeney strongly suggested, as a New Year’s resolution of sorts, ” Take down and send us those old animal heads, which, these days, are more likely to put diners off than attract them, and we will provide you with an amusing and stylish faux head for the new year.”

Fair enough. However PETA’s offerings were not, as it turns out, an isolated incident of a somewhat infamously radical animal rights group inserting themselves in a rather absurd restaurant accident. For all intents and purposes, the faux taxidermy wall hangings are here to stay, at least for the moment. A quick Google search will reveal the various stores that offer such alternatives. Some are entirely focused on animal likenesses fashioned from recycled materials like, for example, Cardboard Safari. Cardboard Safari’s products are all made locally, and they’re individually laser-cut and painted. What’s more, the company offers not just wall hangings, but full body cardboard taxidermy as well.

However, even in more popular stores, like say, the high-end women’s clothing retailer, Anthropologie , those interested in owning environmentally-friendly animal home décor can still get their respective fixes. Anthropologie offers an interesting array of “Savannah busts“, which come in four options– zebra, giraffe, gazelle, and rhino. Each is made with repurposed cement bags and pages from antique French books.

In a culture that is becoming increasingly aware of the implications—both ethical and environmental—that are associated with hunting animals, a recycled alternative to taxidermy becomes a unique replacement that celebrates the wonders of the animal kingdom without harm.

This guest post is contributed by Mariana Ashley, who writes on the topics of online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.

by Mariana Ashley

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 at 06:40
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