How much water goes into producing a beef lasagne? How to show off a Cayenne Stubfoot toad to best advantage? How many planets would a meaty weekly shop use up? And how do you install two calves preserved in formaldehyde in a busy museum court? These are some of the questions the team at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History has faced in the last few months. Together we aim to serve up an exhibition to provide serious food for thought on what meat production and consumption may look like in the future. And thankfully Damien Hirst’s studio is dealing with the calves!
Originally due to open in October 2020, Meat the Future was delayed by Covid-19 and will open on 28 May. Staff at the museum have had to deal with the challenges of working remotely and have only returned to the museum’s building in the last few weeks. This means it feels especially celebratory to have a chance to invite the public to explore after all this time.
In the exhibition, visitors will be encouraged to sit at a dining table while they hear from our researchers, explore a bistro, stroll through a supermarket aisle, or take in the contents of a farmhouse dresser in order to consider the different impacts of meat consumption. What would our fair share of meat eating in the UK look like and which future solutions, including lab-grown meat, would consumers find acceptable? We also present LEAP’s new work on ecolabelling and its impact on consumers. The exhibition is packed with LEAP research, carefully written interpretation and attractive design work from Easy Tiger Creative and it has been a real joy watching it take shape over the last year.