22-year-old British taxidermist Elle Kaye has a pretty unusual eating habit, even by taxidermy standards – she actually consumes the meat of the subjects she stuffs for her art. Kaye mostly uses roadkill or animals that have died of natural causes, and she tries to eat as much of them as possible, as long as the meat is fresh.
The attractive young woman who studied art at Loughborough University said that she decided to eat her subjects because she wanted to recycle and minimize waste. “For me, it’s a lifestyle choice,” she says. “Doing what I do ensures I recycle a deceased animal, as a meat eater, there is no logic in wasting perfectly edible meat. It’s important to me, because it upholds all of the notions that underpin taxidermy, and it means that I do the animal justice in recycling all of it.”
“I’m a big meat eater and I believe strongly in the idea of recycling,” she says. “It doesn’t make sense for me to preserve the specimen then throw the meat away. If I can determine that it’s fresh, I wouldn’t hesitate to eat it. I’m very careful.”
Elle works a lot with animals like rabbits, squirrels, deer and birds like pheasants and wood pigeons – they all feature on her workbench as well as her menu.