Below is a video that is not easy to watch. I came across it today in one of the Care2 newsletters that I receive each day. I witnessed a very similar situation many years ago when a boyfriend at the time was picking out his “free range, organic” turkey from a local farmer just north of Barrie, ON. There was a big windowless building and the farmer opened the doors to let light in revealing hundreds of turkeys on the floor of this barn…they stared back at us wild eyed, scared and squawking hysterically. That experience has been seared into my brain. I can recall it as if it were yesterday. What an eye-opener to learn that these creatures were/are considered organic, and free range.
As well, below are two new images I created in honour of a recent visit to Farm Sanctuary NY.
I am donating a couple of limited edition giclées for their annual Turkey Day held this weekend on Nov. 20th: a big celebration FOR the turkeys, where they are fed and pampered rather than what happens in way too many households this time of year (ending up in people’s ovens and stomachs).
I attended a vegetarian/vegan event this past Sunday called Compassion Marketplace at the Wychwood Barns Artscape event space. There were vendors with yummy veggie food, books and info about going veg, and promoting kindness and compassion for our fellow animals.
Although I fully support that there be more events like this, I couldn’t help this little voice inside me that kept saying- ‘This is great- but it’s kind of like preaching to the converted.’ I felt like the majority of people were there because they’re already compassionate towards animals, humans and the planet. An event like this one needs exposure in an everyday setting, smack dab in the middle of town, maybe at an event completely unrelated so perhaps those not so inclined might stumble upon this wealth of information.
One vendor in particular caught my eye, Jo-Anne McArthur . Her space was filled with powerful photographs of animals and humans. Her work has made a lasting impression on me. I find it hard to get certain images out of my head, (also, I don’t want to dismiss them!). She shoots footage of unbelievable abuse and hardship that is inflicted on animals by humans. She exposes what goes on in factory farms, in research labs, the streets and backyards of our world’s cities, animals being used for our medicine, our entertainment, our greed. It’s not easy to digest, but how can we turn a blind eye to what goes on all around us? Wake up!
She also documents incredible acts of kindness and compassion carried out by humans towards animals. For example, the wonderful work of the those at the Farm Sanctuary.
It’s not all doom and gloom, but for me, a very clear message is being conveyed here: these horrific occurrences cannot continue. I believe it makes the viewer question our very humanity. I hope that looking into the eyes of these sentient beings will affect you in your core. Animals need and deserve our respect and the right to live out their natural lives unharmed by human animals.
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