What Happens When PETA Protests a Live-Animal Exhibit at a New York Gallery?

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

Mere weeks after New York’s Guggenheim Museum canceled two exhibits that pitted reptiles against each other and glorified dogfighting, PETA is protesting another cruel exhibit. On Saturday, a giant “mouse” with a sign proclaiming, “Terrifying Mice Is Cruelty, Not Art,” descended on Castle Fitzjohns Gallery in New York City to denounce the use of live mice in Joseph Grazi’s “Prehysteria” exhibit. The terrified animals got a little bit of peace when the cruel exhibition closed three hours early to avoid a confrontation with protesters.

Image courtesy of Ruth McDade

After gallery staff pulled down the metal security gate hours before the planned 7 p.m. conclusion, activists spotted Grazi across the street. A few approached the artist in the hope of speaking with him, but he fled.

Image courtesy of Ruth McDade

On October 31, PETA sent an urgent letter calling on Grazi and the gallery’s owner to do the decent thing by immediately removing the animals and sending them to safe adoptive homes, which PETA has offered to assist with.

As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk pointed out, “Forcing small animals into distressing situations is not creative but shows only an abiding ignorance of who animals are, their nature, and what makes them tick. Expressing an artistic vision and making social commentary are no longer acceptable if it is attempted by exploitation of powerless individuals.”

What You Can Do

You can speak up for these animals, too. Click the button below to tell Grazi and Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to stop exploiting mice immediately and commit to never using live animals as props again:

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind