Pigs/Cows + Insulin =
I definitely wasn’t looking for livestock syringes as I perused an antique store, but when you have diabetes and pigs and insulin on the brain…things like this pretty much have glowing halos of light around them.
Now what to do with them…
Insulin, the precious liquid that keeps me and millions of other diabetics alive, was actually discovered pretty recently. Prior to insulin, when someone developed diabetes, it was fatal. In the 1920s, Frederick Banting and Charles Best were able to extract fluid from the pancreas of slaughtered cows and they learned that it could be used to manage diabetes. Animal insulin, mostly from cows and pigs, was the only treatment for insulin-dependent diabetes until the 1980s, when a synthetic insulin (human insulin) was created. Today, most diabetics use the synthetic insulin, but animal insulin is still available.
I was pretty young when someone told me that my insulin came from pigs. I wasn’t happy about it. I was diagnosed in 1994, well after synthetic insulin was invented, so it’s very possible that I’ve never injected myself with animal insulin. Nonetheless, it’s a theme I began to explore this past summer and I plan to do more work about it in the future.
Life or Death
Ink + Acrylic
9″ x 12″
9″ x 12″