Have you ever heard of taxidermy? While it’s not as popular as it once was, it’s still an art form that many people take seriously. Taxidermists work hard on their craft and they still have many motivated buyers!
If you’ve seen taxidermy in the past, you may wonder if these animals that are frozen in time are actually real. These animals are “stuffed,” so they’re fake, right?
We’re here to talk about it. Keep reading to learn all about what taxidermists use to make their art.
First: Are the Animals Real?
Before we get into the details, the animals that taxidermists use are real. Your local taxidermist takes animals that have passed away and turns them into art.
This might feel “icky” to you, but it’s not cruel or unsanitary. This isn’t too different from using leather, fur, or snakeskin in clothing and accessories.
When a taxidermist gets an animal to create their art, they skin the animal and tan its hide. This preserves the skin of the animal so it doesn’t rot when it becomes a taxidermy project.
The bones and insides of the animal are removed and replaced with a mold. Most of the time these molds are made from foam. Then, the skin of the animal is draped over the mold.
If there are any additional parts (such as antlers), they’re added to the mold after the fact.
If you see mounted fish, the process is a bit different. Once the meat, organs, and bones are removed from the fish, the taxidermist will preserve the skin with alum or borax. They will then stuff the body with foam or sawdust while the fins stay wet.
Where do the Animals Come From?
There are many places that a taxidermist can source their animals from.
If a taxidermist does custom pieces, like the professionals at All Taxidermy, they use whatever their client gives to them. Clients may want to preserve hunting trophies to display them, or even pets that have passed away. Many people find peace through preserving their pets in this way.
Some taxidermists will hunt animals for their own projects, but this is less common in current times.
If a taxidermist is selling artistic work or making projects for themselves, they may use animals that they find already dead, such as roadkill that’s in good condition.
Overall, most taxidermy is ethical, even if it doesn’t seem that way from the surface.
Taxidermists Use Real Animals for Their Projects
It might be unnerving to you if you thought that the animals were fake, but taxidermists do, in fact, use animals that have passed away. Using the inedible parts of animals is a great way to avoid waste.
Before judging taxidermy, look into it on your own, and even consider looking at a project up-close. You’ll find that this is a beautiful and professional art style.
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