Northern Italy is now home to a crappy new establishment named Museo della Merda, which translates to the 'Museum of Shit.' Built on the grounds of the Castelbosco dairy farm, owned by Gianantonio Locatelli, it is being praised as a demonstration of how to transform a bothersome byproduct of animal agriculture into something useful and, possibly, even charming.
Locatelli mans a factory that can turn the dookie into plaster, fire it into bricks, and extract the methane gas for alternative uses. Architect Luca Cipelletti assisted in the transformation of a medieval castle into the museum which stands there today. The rooms are warmed by the methane gas, which also is used as fuel for bioluminescent bacteria stored in jars in one distinct display. The galleries also integrate reused iPads and iMacs to display information about the caca conversion process.
But, honestly, on a scale of dung to 100, how well does this museum rate in overall environmental sustainability? The answer is likely somewhere between tushy tots and stink pickle. And here’s why: the 100,000 kg of dung produced daily by Locatelli’s farm is just as needless as the intended product, cow’s milk. Not only is animal agriculture unnecessary for the human diet to thrive, is a leader in contributing to water and ground soil contamination, air pollution, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, acidification of ecosystems, ocean dead zones, and the introduction of harmful pesticides and antibiotics into the food supply.
Additionally, the lives of animals raised for consumption are fraught with abuse, terror, pain, and turmoil. Dairy cows live especially miserable lives as they are forcibly impregnated, kept in often squalid conditions, develop untreated infections, and have their newborns torn away from them hours after birth so that their mother’s milk can be collected for human consumption.
Museo della Merda may deserve some points for creativity, yet gets a grade of F (for “fecal flop”) for missing the point entirely.
Images via Museo della Merda