After a very slow start, flowers at our house are starting to bloom. Birds and insects must be happy to see this; I know I am. Click on pictures to enlarge.
While my very tired and very dirty camera and lens are in the shop getting a good cleaning, I thought I would celebrate this fabulously sunny day with a few of my favorite landscapes. Click on pictures to enlarge.
I do some volunteering for The Vegan Society mentoring new vegans. I love doing this! I get to help with recipe ideas, tips for what works and what does not, and provide support in a world that is not always so vegan friendly. I was thrilled when The Vegan Society asked for donations to their “Vegan’s Got Talent” auction. If you like my pictures and want to help out, you can purchase one here: http://www.givinglots.co.uk/event/vegans-got-talent There is also tons of other neat stuff. 🙂 All of the funds go directly to The Vegan Society. Take the vegan pledge.
Sunflowers grow well in many climates, but they are not drought intolerant. I am so glad to see some doing well, though not quite as numerous as last year. Still, the cooler temperatures of late make morning walks pretty amazing. Click on pictures to enlarge.
This handsome guy is a first for our feeders. It is so exciting to have him hanging around for the last few days.
This sure makes the idea of living in the country appealing. Click on pictures to enlarge.
During the past month, United Poultry Concerns, working with Animal Outreach of Kansas (www.animaloutreach-ks.org), has published 5 Action Alerts urging people to contact the Spencer Museum of Art and related institutions in Lawrence, KS to insist that an “art” project that these institutions were supporting, called “The Story of Chickens” by Amber Hansen, an artist-in-residence at the University of Kansas, be cancelled. To view these Alerts, see www.upc-online.org/alerts/.
As originally set forth, Amber’s project involved carting 5 chickens around town in a decorated coop in April, after which they would be slaughtered in a public ceremony, and eaten. Last week the City Attorney’s office informed Amber that her project was illegal within city limits. Today in response to our alert to their Kansas bureaus on Saturday, the Associated Press reported “Lawrence: No Chicken Slaughter for Art”: http://cjonline.com/news/2012-02-28/lawrence-no-chicken-slaughter-art.
Yesterday, Lawrence resident and Animal Outreach of Kansas activist Judy Carman and University of Kansas professor Elizabeth Schultz met with Amber Hansen to discuss the project. Here is Judy’s report on that meeting.
Meeting with Amber Hansen, her partner, Nicholas, Elizabeth Schultz and Judy Carman
2-27-12, 10:15 am to 1:15pm
Regarding Amber’s “The Story of Chickens.”
According to Amber at this time, there will be no chickens on display in public and no chickens publicly slaughtered as planned at the end of the event. This is great news and is largely a result of the laws in place preventing displaying on public property and killing in city limits, but I believe she has also been affected by all the letters, emails, postings, etc. that you all have sent as well.
She still plans to build the “coop” which, it turns out, is a large (approximately 12 feet long) enclosure with no floor. It is meant to be set on different grassy areas so that the chickens (had there been any) could forage. She needs to get permission from the city to display the empty coop in three different areas in town and plans to do so. She made the comment that the empty coop will be symbolic of the disconnection of urban spaces with animals.
March 30 marks the opening of her event. This will be a showing at the Percolator Gallery of the coop itself with no chickens in it. She is also inviting local artists to display animal related art, poetry, etc. that night at the Percolator. She is in the process of creating a submission form for artists who wish to display art. This Opening will be followed by her displaying the coop in several other public places without chickens in it.
April 21 will be the end of the event. On that evening she will host a Public Dialogue and a meal prepared by 4 chefs. I asked if one or more of the chefs could bring vegan dishes, and she agreed to one. She has funding for the food and can pay each chef up to $250.00. Of course, this means the other 3 chefs (friends of hers) will no doubt bring meat dishes and possibly even chicken, but there will be no public slaughter and no eating of chickens that were to be part of her original plan. We suggested that the meal be entirely vegan, of course, but she stated that her message is not to promote veganism but rather to get people thinking and realizing they have choices.
She will have speakers at this Dialogue. She asked both Beth [Elizabeth Schultz] and me to speak so that is great.
Amber grew up on a farm and participated in slaughtering animals. She said she doesn’t enjoy eating meat and tried to be veg but ended up being convinced she had to have meat to be healthy. Now she says she eats very little meat and only when she knows how the animal was raised. My feeling is that she was traumatized by the slaughtering in her childhood and is trying very hard to reconcile that disconnection within herself. She says most of her art involves animals.
She wants all the art at the opening night to be from local folks. So if you have any vegan artwork, writings, etc. to display, please consider sharing it at the opening event. However I am going to ask her if she would be willing to have some non-local artists display their vegan art.
Well there you have it. Hopefully, she won’t backtrack on us. I gave her a copy of my Peace to All Beings book, United Poultry Concerns literature and magazine Poultry Press, Farm Sanctuary literature, and a DVD containing Meet Your Meat, Egg Farm Investigation, and Bruce Friedrich’s Veganism in a Nutshell. She has seen Earthlings. She is also a fan of artist Sue Coe. Our next step will be working to get the galleries here to adopt a no live animals policy.
Thanks to everyone for all your hard work on this. This is such a great opportunity to raise consciousness and compassion for the animals. – Judy Carman
To learn more about protecting animals from exploitation as “art objects,” see the Justice for Animals Arts Guild Website at http://www.brittonclouse.com/jaag.htm. Established by Chicken Run Rescue director Mary Britton Clouse, JAAG exists to support artists whose art and actions advance the rights of animals and oppose the harm and exploitation of animals in the making of art. Mary has been an invaluable participant in this campaign to stop the use of chickens in Amber Hansen’s “Story of Chickens.” The real story of chickens here is about how artists, activists, scholars and caring people, in Lawrence, Kansas and around the world, have banded together for chickens and their right to be treated with compassion and respect.
Please see the alert from United Poultry Concerns below.
Here is the current board of directors for The Percolator. Slaughter is not art. Make your voices heard.
Dave Loewenstein, chair
Jordan Yochim, vice chair
Christina Hoxie, secretary
Eric Farnsworth, treasurer
On February 8 we published an alert that a Lawrence, KS “artist,” Amber Hansen, was planning a chicken slaughter “art” exhibit sponsored by the University of Kansas’s Spencer Museum of Art: Protest Chicken Slaughter “Art” Project in Lawrence, Kansas.
Comments and letters posted to the Spencer Museum Facebook page and The Kansas City Star
(http://www.kansascity.com/2012/02/17/3436536/art-project-destined-to-end-in.html) overwhelmingly oppose the “Story of Chickens: A Revolution.” Check out those Comments!
Quick background: Five chickens are scheduled to be wheeled around town in a fancy coop starting March 30. On April 21, the coop is scheduled to close and the birds are to be slaughtered in a communal bloodfest celebrating “respect for animals” at the Lawrence Percolator, a nonprofit project space of the Lawrence Corporation for the Advancement of Visual Arts. (Note: Restaurant 715, originally set to prepare the dead chickens for the meal, has canceled out. Yay!)
What Should I Do?
Please urge The Percolator to cancel its agreement to provide space for the chickens to be slaughtered at its location. Urge The Percolator to withdraw its support from and involvement with this project. The only reason The Percolator, Spencer Museum, Rockets Grants, Amber Hansen and their allies can get away with calling this fascist project “art” is because society abuses farmed animals with impunity and vested interests can exploit the total helplessness of chickens especially and clothe their cruelty in cheap rhetoric about “humane” farming, “free expression,” and fostering “public dialogue.” Tell The Percolator to WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE. Sticking knives in animals’ throats is Not art. And it certainly is not “revolutionary.”
Dr. Saralyn Reece Hardy, Director of the Spencer Museum of Art and an original Advisory Committee Member of The Percolator. Email: SRH@KU.EDU. Copy all correspondences to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For our three previous alerts about this snuff “art” exhibit,
see Latest Alerts at www.upc-online.org/alerts/.