A comment on an older post led me to a site by a Wichita taxidermist with unusual photos of mounts hung on trees. Maybe they are outside for good lighting, but outside is specifically the place we don’t expect to see taxidermy.While I’m not a hunter myself, nor do I have any stuffed animals at home, I am continually fascinated by this practice. Why? Well, a good taxidermy animal allows us the same possibility as a portrait or realistic sculpture of a person, i.e. the chance to get up close and really investigate something that we might not be able to experience in other ways.
Taxidermy is also a way return some dignity to an animal, especially overly numerous animals like deer. I wouldn’t say the same about an endangered animal, like grizzlies or wolves, so it’s sort of shades of gray for me here.
Finally, I’m interested in taxidermy because of the obvious skill and attention it demands as a craft or artform. And understanding the many ways people appreciate wild animals is one way to what I hope is the eventual formation of voting bloc composed of environmentalists, hunters and farmers. I think we all want generally the same thing (preservation of existing species, protection of wild places, good quality of life for humans and animals, etc) so if we can get these groups united, it would be an unstoppable political force.