Black Market Pudding is a twist on the traditional Irish blood sausage. It represents a completely novel, ethically-conscious food product, combining congealed pig blood with fats, cereals and spices. Black Market Pudding is manufactured using blood taken from a living pig. It proposes a cyclical business model to ensure a uniquely fair deal for farmer, animal and consumer.
Through a routine veterinary procedure, blood is obtained from the animal in a humane, healthy and safe way. Producers are then compensated for costs associated with breeding and maintaining the animals that are kept outside of the traditional food chain. Consumers pay a premium market price for the pudding and the reassurance that no animals are harmed in the making of this product.
Black Market Pudding was produced and consumed legally in the Netherlands and Poland in 2012.
John O’Shea is a UK-based artist working with unconventional materials and social structures to create new and experimental approaches to artmaking. Black Market Pudding confronts us with the taboo of consuming blood taken from a living animal, echoing the harvesting habits of vampire bats and other blood consuming animals. However, the artist argues that it is no more unusual than drinking milk, eating eggs or wearing wool. Difficult to produce, Black Market Pudding highlights how comparatively easy (and legal) it is to kill an animal while there is no clear-cut legal process for taking and consuming the blood of a live animal.