Bournemouth artist calls for compassion to animals
March is National Veggie Month, and Bournemouth artist, Kathy Livick, has produced a series of bold paintings called Songs from a Slaughterhouse, in the hope of raising awareness of the suffering of animals killed for the dinner table.
The six canvases, painted in acrylic, depict a hen and her chicks, a pig, calf, goat, lamb and horse in beautiful, dreamlike landscapes. To illustrate the vast distance between the paradise shown and the reality of their unhappy, unfulfilled lives, lines from famous songs are incorporated into the works. The ear tag on the calf, for example, reads ‘Then like my dreams they fade and die', while the one on the lamb reads, ‘Don't let the sun go down on me'.
Kathy said: "Back in the days when I used to eat meat I always knew at some level that something was wrong. I was lulled into apathy by all the 'Happy Cow' adverts and I buried, like so many others, the thoughts and feelings around the killing. Recently, however, I began to look at how we treat animals and, as the knowledge and the horrors unfolded, I became fixated on making things better for them. So apart from writing to my MP and the government, I joined Animal Aid, and became a vegan. And I started to paint.
"The painting, ‘Calf', was the first in the series. It's dedicated to a cow I saw in a field close to my house. I pulled the car over to go and meet her and her pals. She was so curious and friendly, gave me kisses and we had eye contact. I felt some communication, some mutual understanding. I have driven by every day since but they are all gone. The painting is dedicated to her, and all the others like her wherever they may be."
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Animal Aid head of campaigns Kate Fowler said: "In my view, the most interesting art makes us confront difficult subjects and re-evaluate our beliefs. When I saw Kathy's paintings, it was immediately clear that she understood that animals' lives are as important to them as ours are to us. Simply put, they do not wish to die. I found Kathy's work so very moving, and I'd urge others to take a look at them and ask themselves: if I had to see what these individual animals are put through, just so that I can eat their meat, would I choose a kinder way?"
Anyone, like Kathy, who wishes to choose a more compassionate diet, can order a free Go Veggie pack from Animal Aid by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The paintings can be seen www.feralartworks.co.uk.