The Animal Experience (On the Peaceful Prairie Signature Billboard Campaign)

April 17th, 2010 11:28 am by Kelly Garbato

Peaceful Prairie - Signature Billboards

Eight of Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary’s sixty-two Signature Billboards, all from the “We Know Our Victims Well” series. Clockwise from the top left:
They long to live as much as we do.
(A single white duck gazes into the camera.)
They long to be loved as much as we do.
(Hen and rooster Libbie and Louie find refuge in one another’s touch.)
They face life together like we do.
(A pair of ducks wander through the snow.)
They love their children as much as we do.
(An adult llama and his child smile together.)
They need their mothers as much as we do.
(A cow nuzzles his mother.)
They protect their children as fiercely as we do.
(A cow and her calf stare defiantly ahead.)
They raise families like we do.
(A duck family – complete with five youngsters – strolls along in harmony.)
They fall in love like we do.
(One cow licks another with obvious affection.)
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A few weeks ago, the always-awesome Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary unveiled a new campaign to aid activists in combating speciesism – and all the oppressions it sanctions – specifically that directed towards “food” animals. With its Signature Billboards, Peaceful Prairie gives faces, individualities, life stories, and emotions to the many animals we call “food” – cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, sheep, lambs, goats and fishes:

They speak for themselves…

We don’t always have the opportunity to raise awareness of the animals’ plight during daily email correspondence but now, with Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary’s latest campaign, we’ve made it easy and effective for anyone to learn how their actions can save the lives of other animals, lives that matter to them as much our lives matter to us.

The graphics – each of which pictures one or more nonhuman animals, as well as a brief but powerful statement about her life experiences, relationships with/to other nonhumans, and/or personhood – are organized around four main themes:

  • We Know Our Victims Well;
  • 55 Billion Reasons to Live Vegan;
  • Humane Farming, An Oxymoron; and
  • Subjects of a Life

Designed for use as email signatures, you can also display these graphics on your blog or website, or share them on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Collectively, the images illustrate what I like to call “the animal experience.” While many people operate under the assumption that humans – and only humans – experience profound emotions such as love, grief, sorrow and joy; that humans – and only humans – are capable of reflecting upon their lives, yearning and striving to be better, and expressing delight at pleasures great and small; and that humans – and only humans – are “people” deserving of life, anyone who has every truly known a nonhuman animal will tell you that this just isn’t so. Animals love, grieve, suffer, play, fear, cry, rebel, defend, fight and make nice, much as humans do. They think. They feel. They live and they die. In every way that matters, nonhuman animals are much more similar to humans than they are different than. Forget “the human experience”; this is the animal experience.

By the by, if you’re looking for a sweet, vegan Mother’s Day gift – or just want to spoil yourself or a friend – check out the upcoming Ninety-Five: Meeting America’s Farmed Animals in Stories and Photographs. Published by No Voice Unheard, the book features some of Peaceful Prairie’s own nonhuman residents (including sanctuary patriarch Justice as the cover model), as well as stories from sanctuary volunteer and heartstring harpist Joanna Lucas. In anticipation of the book’s release, Peaceful Prairie is currently running a special: the first 50 supporters to donate $50 or more will receive a free copy of Ninety-Five.

Perhaps Mom would like to sponsor a sanctuary resident either way?

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See also:

Libby and Louie (a Valentine’s Day Love Story)

Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary: Don’t Let Him Kill Me!

Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary: Dairy is a Death Sentence

Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary: Don’t Kill My Baby!

Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary: Milk Comes from a Grieving Mother

On being someones, not somethings.

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