horses in the city

The other day more than 500 horses were paraded down the main streets of melbourne, half a block from my office, a couple of us went to watch the strange sight. The city is sprinkled with old photos of what it was like 100 years ago. A few of them show some of the first cars along side trams and horses on the roads. It used to be a common sight, but now horses are the only thing on the road for the purpose of raising awareness and to protest.

The goverment has made a move to protect the Alpine National Forest by not renewing the agreement to allow cattle grazing in the park. This is a good thing IMHO but the ‘cattlemen’ (tho i saw a good number of ‘cattlewomen’) see it as an attack on thier lifestyle, livelihood, you name it, many of the signs they held gave a clear message of self interest, not in the land or integrity of the environment. Was a fascinating excersize.

A few days later i saw a photo in the kitchen of Carol’s Melbourne home, i originally thought it was an image of thousands of dead chickens, assembled in a city street. So i made an effort to not look at it in my past visits, due to being a recovering vegetarian, it’s hard enough eating meat for my health when my politics favor a vegetarian diet, than to have reminders of the nastiness of meat eating. Then as i sat at a different seat at the kitchen table than i normally do i noticed that one of the legs of what i thought was one in the mass of chickens had a knee bend that looked particularily human-esque. I realized that it was more likely to be a mass of humans, not dead featherless chickens. I looked again and recognized the steeple of the church, it appeared to be a good likeness of the one visible from my office window. I then noticed the yellow and rust colour theme of what could only be Flinders Street Station.

In the middle of our conversation about despair and empowerment in activism and our lives i asked ‘is that a picture of naked people?’ I then learned the story about the artist (who they think is Canadian) that takes pictures of large amounts of naked people all over the world. There were 5000 naked people in this picture i thougth was 5000 dead chickens! I sure was relieved to know the true nature of the image and that i could look at it with interest instead of guilt! Two of the 5 residents were in the picture and told me all about the adventure of participating in this artistic endeavor! They braved the rain and multiple locations of the photoshoot!

So it seems that unsual sights on Melbournes city streets aren’t so unusual after all! It was a treat to see the horses despite disagreeing with the purpose of their ride and it was a relief to find out the real scoop on the photo taken just a block from where the horses were.

I can’t wait to find out what the next mass of not so unusualness on the street is! Watch this space to find out!