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Human Puppets

Gartenlaube der Kunst
Am Bogen / Ecke Rathausstr.
85521 Ottobrunn
15.11 – 15.12.2020 – (extended until 15.01.2022)

(As part of the 1 year program titled ‘dear animal’ organised by Gartenlaube der Kunst.) ‘gartenlaubederkunst’

 
“Why do we keep some animals as pets while we eat others?
 
It’s a known fact that some farm animals are more intelligent than our favoured cats and dogs. Pigs come to you when you whistle for them and they love to be petted just like a dog does.
 
But billions of animals suffer at the hands of humans every year in the meat and dairy industry, yet household pets like cats and dogs continue to multiply at an unprecedented level and are treated in the Western world as human companions; our human puppets.
 
Unlike our favoured pets like cats and dogs the farm animal will live its entire life in an intense farming system and is unable to express its normal behaviour. Their life spans are cut short, their living conditions are inhumane and cruel and these animals are purely processed like manufactured commodities.
 
In 2019, 59.7 million pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and horses were slaughtered in Germany. In addition, 703.4 million chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and other birds were also slaughtered.

 

(source: Statistisches Bundesamt/Albert-Schweizer-Stiftung)
 
EU regulations stipulate that a pig weighing 50 to 110 kilograms needs just 0.75 square meters of space. Based on these figures and the size of this glass house I calculated that almost 8 fully grown pigs would live their entire lives inside this small and suffocating space. (266cm x 221cm)
The empathy we have for particular animals over others is such a paradox in our society today that the system continues to fail billions of animals while it favours others.
 
This absurd process comes down to a persons unwillingness to accept responsibility for their own actions as a consumer. On one hand we love our cat or dog and treat it like part of the family, yet on the other hand we consume the flesh from a chicken or a cow without even considering its life.
We need to find compassion for all animals to end the suffering of the selected few.
 
This installation represents the animals humans have chosen as their friends and companions. Made to look like an expensive marble monument to our pets I am hoping to highlight this extreme paradox in human behaviour. It is my hope, as a conceptual artist that this work makes you think more about the plight of ‘the other animals’ that humans treat in an insufferable way for their own consumption.” – Katie Jayne Britchford