Americans have a curious relationship with meat. Some love it, some hate it, and, apparently, some love to play with it. We’ve compiled a list of the most bizarre, shocking things people have done with meat. We don’t want to brag, but Lady Gaga’s meat dress can’t touch this.
10.) Meat tattoos
There are people who love meat. Then there are people who declare their love of meat by permanently inking it onto their bodies (in case they forget). Strewn across “ill-advised tattoo” websites all over the Internet, there’s the girl with cartoon bacon tattooed on her arm, the bacon-as-wristwatch tattoo, and the incomprehensible tattoo of a meat cleaver labeled “Meat Is Murder,” killing baby chicks.
9.) Meat business cards
If you’re not sure your relationship with meat warrants a tattoo, you can still declare your culinary preference, professionally, with MeatCards: laser-etched beef jerky business cards. Why would you want your contact info seared onto beef? According to the website:
Should you find that your corporate team-building dog-sledding exercise through the snowy wilderness has gone awry, do not eat your teammates. Instead, consume the delightful laser-etched meatcards that you were planning on handing out at that evening’s networking soirée. Then you can survive your coworkers until rescue and watch them try to roughly swallow their die-cut, foil-stamped, cotton-bond business cards with handfuls of melted snow.
Or you could just bring jerky without your company logo on it. (The site also offers a vegetarian option, for those who admire the aesthetics of jerky, but don’t want blood on their hands.)
8.) Bacon bouquet
Does your relationship need some extra sizzle? Forget red roses, give her a greasy bouquet of bacon rolled into flowers.
7.) Meat as fine art
In 2008, a meat-themed, group art exhibit titled Meat After Meat Joy got the world’s attention. The show was meant to comment on “raw meat, the concept of meat, its symbolism and viscera.” Okay.
But meat art is much more than a one-exhibit wonder, it’s an art cult phenomenon with a history at least as varied and fascinating as taxidermy or Bodyworlds. It’s not clear that Van Gogh would have approved of the above meat-rendered version of his “Sunflowers,” however.
6.) Meat as dessert
Over at the magazine, we wrote about cupcakes made exclusively for dudes. But meat-infused cupcakes and beef sundaes have taken it to a whole new level. Meat sundaes employ round-cut steak, gravy, potatoes, cheese, garlic bread, and tomato, all arranged into a pleasing sundae shape. (Unfortunately, these tasty treats are only available in Nebraska.)
The cupcakes are pretty much the same idea, just in cupcake form. Check out a recipe here.
5.) Meat you can make yourself
We don’t mean farm your own animals—we mean make meat from scratch. The Cocoon meat and fish “maker” lets you throw a packet of pre-prepared muscle cells into the above machine like a bag of Pop Secret, but instead of a bowl of popcorn, you get a fillet of fish or meat. The machine won the Electrolux Design Lab contest last year; the judges described it like this:
Cocoon addresses a controversial issue that is very real: humankind’s continued desire to eat meat and fish. A great design concept polarizes opinion, and this is exactly what Cocoon achieves by exploring this issue.
4.) Old meat dyed to look like fresh meat
In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration gave several large meatpackers permission to give their meat a makeover because they were losing so much money over meat that turned brown after too much oxygen exposure. This doesn’t mean that the meat has gone bad. But consumers tend to judge food by its color.
While the additives haven’t been proven to pose a health risk, they’ve still raised some concern among consumer advocacy groups, who worry that the bright red color could mask spoilage and dangerous bacteria in meat that actually has gone bad.
3.) Meat water
This is exactly what it sounds like. MeatWater, the “high-efficiency survival beverage,” brings to mind Willy Wonka’s dinner-as-chewing-gum idea. Only it’s incredibly gross, even to the most meat-lovingest meat-lovers among us. (Don’t let the pastel, Vitamin Water–esque packaging fool you.)
As Meatwater’s website puts it:
Protein shakes, energy drinks, and power bars are all ways people seek to get nutrients without spending all the time that eating requires. MeatWater addresses this impulse by creating a product in the marketplace that fulfills the desire for streamlined sustenance while embracing your inner carnivore.
MeatWater comes in these flavors: Beef Jerky, Beef Stroganoff, Cheeseburger, Chicken Teriyaki, Dirty Hot Dog, Fish’n Chips, Hungarian Goulash, Italian Sausage, Peking Duck, Tandoori Chicken, Texas BBQ, and Wiener Schnitzel.
Sure. I mean, is there anything quite as thirst-quenching as a wiener schnitzel?
2.) Meatballs made with human fat
Remember how we said that meat can be art? This makes us want to take that back a little. Chilean-born artist Marco Evaristti mixed liposuctioned fat removed from his own body with ground beef to make meatballs. He then fried them in olive oil and displayed them in a public gallery. While many consider his work publicity-seeking and in poor taste, Evaristti explains,
What I’m trying to do with these works is to give society a jolt and make it ask questions. I want to show people that meatballs made with my fat are no more disgusting than the meatballs you buy in the supermarket … it’s a dialogue with a modern society that lives to eat, rather than eating to live, as it should be. You eat, and when you’re fat, you go to a clinic, have an operation, have your fat removed and you start to eat again.
1.) Meat faces sold in grocery stores
While some think that these “female cranial fillets” were a publicity stunt, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re meat slabs shaped like human faces being sold in grocery stores.
The worst part is that through all our research, we couldn’t find out what kind of meat the faces were actually made of.
(And yeah, that one eye is looking at you.)