Milking Parlour: the film

Can we eat meat and drink dairy – and still live sustainably?

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 4 July 2016

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod


As industrialised agriculture is one of the largest contributors to climate change, one of the most urgent questions we face is how we can feed the planet without it costing the Earth?

Can we still eat meat and drink dairy and live sustainably? What are the alternatives and how do we get there? Food is complex and the choices we make on a daily basis shape our current food and ecological system.

The Milking Parlour

Challenging our values

In April 2016, Artist in Residence Nessie Reid lived with two pure-bred Guernsey cows in the centre of Bristol’s Anchor Square for four nights and five days. The exhibition questioned how milk has become cheaper than bottled water, and challenged some of the values we hold towards our food and farming system. The show is a culmination of an intensive eight-month research residency exploring the UK dairy industry.

The Milking Parlour documents Nessie Reid’s journey during her Cape Farewell Rural Residency over the last 18 months.

The film follows Nessie as she produces and runs the fabulous ‘Milking Parlour’, a live show with two cows set in Bristol’s Harbourside, to invite us to consider the climate change impacts of what we put into our shopping baskets. Milk was used as the perfect medium through which to explore our current farming system.

Organic farming exhibition

A Milking Parlour screening and artist talk by Nessie Read is coming to Schumacher College, Devon 29 June-27 July 2016, to launch its Language, Landscape and the Sublime Symposium.

Alongside the screening will be an exhibition from land artist Chris Kay and writer Kay Syrad will explore local South West farmers’ connection to the land.

The works will explore the creativity and resilience of organic farming, and show just how much we all need to value the complexities of food production and our long-term relationship with the land.

The exhibitions then move to Dukes Fine Art Auctioneers, Dorchester, 4-30 August 2016.

Click here to find out more about the Milking Parlour.

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