Written by Jeff Mackey
For the past few years, PETA has been working with the College Art Association (CAA)—a national art organization whose membership includes more than 2,000 departments of art and art history in colleges, universities, and other institutions and more than 12,000 art professionals—pushing for the implementation of clear policies regarding the use of animals in art. In an important victory for animals, the CAA Board of Directors approved the publication of a statement of principles regarding animals in art that will help guide the practices of artists and curators. The principles state, in part, "No work of art should, in the course of its creation, cause physical or psychological pain, suffering, or distress to an animal."
It's unfortunate that these guidelines are even necessary, but certain intellectually and morally bankrupt "artists" turn to animal exploitation since they know that it will cause a cheap sensation and generate buzz. Their dubious number includes Tom Otterness, who shot a dog for an "art" film; Nathalia Edenmont, who kills and stuffs mice, rabbits, and cats for her work; and Marco Evaristti, one of whose installations involved putting goldfish into blenders, all but daring jaded thrill seekers to turn them on and shred the living animals—and some did.
The new CAA statement will encourage the creation of truly imaginative work that will offer new ways of looking at our fellow beings—without causing them harm in the process.
Please check with the art department at your college or university to make sure that it's aware of these guidelines and will be adhering to them, and be sure to alert PETA if you ever see live animals used in an art installation or discover that any animals are being killed for art.
Written by PETA
As part of its new sculpture park, the Memorial Art
Gallery (MAG) at the University of Rochester is planning to install a piece by Tom Otterness, who notoriously
purchased a dog from an animal shelter, tied him to a fence, and shot him to
death as part of a 1977 "art" film. Although he has since apologized,
he reportedly has yet to make any meaningful gesture of regret, such as
donating time or money to a reputable
Public outcry has led to the cancellation or postponement of other Otterness
sculptures, including a planned New York Public Library sculpture that was
canceled after PETA
protested. So far, MAG has ignored
the most recent protests and plans to proceed
with Otterness' commission.
PETA is urging people to avoid visiting MAG so that the
gallery will get the message that killing animals is always cruel and that animal
abusers should be held accountable. Instead, we encourage people to check out
artists such as Miru Kim
and Nafe Nanfeng as well as art collective Neozoon, all of whom use their
work to help stop cruelty to animals.
by Heather Faraid Drennan
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.