The Another

    in the North, mucus and sated mouths – Liberation




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    In Râches, Michael Collins owns an artisanal farm where he raises nearly 400,000 crawling animals each year. Targets of many received ideas, these animals, intended for festive tables, require exceptional know-how.

    Michael Collins has illustrious namesakes: an Irish revolutionary who died in an ambush in 1922 and an American astronaut who disappeared in 2021 who spent eleven days, two hours and five minutes in space. The first two not being available, we only had to interview the third, whose profession is almost as rare as the two previous ones. He is one of the 300 breeders (and not producers, he will take us back) of farm snails in France, and contrary to popular belief, most of the breeding is not Burgundian but “is imported from Africa, Asia, and especially Eastern Europe” (1); Only 5% comes from an artisanal farm. Michael Collins’ livestock numbers between 350,000 and 400,000 animals depending on the year, which progress very slowly under the humid sky of Râches, in Douaisis (North).

    There, the grass is lush, the sky is grey, and time seems to be slowed down by this helical activity where everything is done by hand. “It takes five months to make a snail”, he comments in his kitchen, blowing on a huge mug of English tea. “In the spring, they breed calmly, in a breeding room. We water them and we light them eighteen hours a day, otherwise they fall asleep! After twelve hours of foreplay, they mate for thirty-six hours. Then, it is the laying. If it is not raised on a farm, the snail free of its slow movements can live, in the nature


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