Friday, November 14, 2014

My refusal to participate in the violence of Thanksgiving

I'm going to depart from my usual blog posts of announcing my art events, because what's on my mind are the 45 million turkeys who have been raised in horrifying conditions and killed in even more horrifying conditions so that Americans can participate in the Thanksgiving ritual. I wish so much that people would wake up and realize the hidden violence behind the societal requirement to eat the body of a tortured turkey in celebration of this holiday.

The dead turkeys that will be on most American holiday tables on November 27th were babies who never saw the light of day, who lived in conditions that, were dogs and cats subjected to them, would be illegal. And yes, this is true of free-range turkey "farms" as well as factory farms.

Like other birds, turkeys have no protection under the Animal Welfare Act or the Humane Slaughter Act. A single slaughterhouse can kill 360 birds per minute, or 518,000 in 24 hours ( Think about it, and let the reality of what that means penetrate you emotionally.

I haven't eaten a turkey since 1980, and I'm just fine. The best nutritional science tells us that humans have no need for animal protein. Really, it is okay to go against society's expectations, especially when those expectations require participation in a violent system. Non-violence begins with the fork.

"The Cruelest Holiday" (c) 2013 Michelle Waters

Monday, November 3, 2014

Vegan art calendar to benefit Hillside Animal Sanctuary!

Hello, and happy Fall! I'm really proud to be a contributing artist to the 2015 vegan art calendar sold to benefit Hillside Animal Sanctuary in England. This is a collaborative project involving 12 different artists from around the world, which was coordinated by artist Leigh Sanders of Spain. To purchase calendars, please visit the website. Below is my piece that I did for the calendar:

"May All Beings Be Free" - (c) 2014 Michelle Waters
acrylic on paper

Here is my statement about my piece:
"I was spurred to become a vegan animal liberation activist because of my connection with my companion animals. I realized that farmed animals have as much love, and as much an inherent right to live their lives unharmed as the animals I share my home with. I painted 'Free From Suffering' to show that when it comes to suffering, a dog is a chicken is a pig is a person. We all feel pain."