The Following Paper is part of a Thesis Paper Written by Jill Sluka in Reference to the images you are viewing on this page!!!
(Written in Fall of 2000).
Introduction: Short Story
I. The issues of the fur trade
A. My philosophy on slaughtering animals (Briefly stated)
1. Realizing all people are an equal species
2. Why we feel other species are lesser
B. The facts of the cat and dog fur trade
1. In China the main investigation
2. United States laws items under $150 imported = does not have to be labeled.
3.Humane societies press release of 2 million cats & dogs being killed each year for fur trade.
4. Product names.
II. Why I chose the subject matter & the style
A. What I want my work to result in.
1. Sue Coe quote
2. Good art & a message to hopefully influence others.
B. Short philosophy on influences
C. Why I chose a form of realism
1.Easier to get point across.
2.Abstraction more about expression than politics.
D. Why the subject matter of anti fur.
2.Speaking out for those who can’t.
3. Why dog and cat emphasis.
III. The actual creations
A. Process and how and why and changes
1. Original intentions of quantity
2. Why two mediums and how it changed to mixed media and why it changed to mixed media.
B. How the changes to mixed media effected my work and thoughts for the future in my art work.
C. Weaknesses of work and strong points
Conclusion: Brief descriptions of my beliefs of animals since child hood and my philosophy on art and how it changes the human world and how it is our world.
Oh, Look! A friendly face after walking aimlessly around lost, waterless, and hungry for countless days. “Hey buddy, I’m so happy to see someone. I’m lost and in bad need of some water.....Ouch, AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!(Whimpering)”. The guy... the friendly face... just... just... kicked me... The ground is rubbing against my body -scrapping- eating at my flesh... burning.. I find myself thrown into a small metal room smelling of urine and shit. The room becomes enclosed and the darkness grows.. grows with the evil of this human controlled world. I feel intense pain in my lower ribs as a lay on the cold mobile floor. Why did he not respond- where is it I’m going - beaten...why? Exhaustion sets in and I must have fallen asleep because when I awoke there was three others worse of then me. One was missing his flesh on his arm. The other well... too painful to describe and the last one was young very young ,too young ...too young to have experience life and too young to have to experienced what was about to happen... well not...Silence, The room opens and about 12 others arrived in all types of sizes and conditions. It was so crowded and I almost didn’t know which body was mine. The yelling and whimpering was almost not tolerable.
I only hope I or my family finds me...”Shut up Shut UP Get over here”, yelled someone. I jerked my head up and crawled out from underneath one whom bled to death from his beaten wounds during the ride. A Strange man put a mask on my head and now I’m suspended in the air with the weight of my body starting to dislocate my limbs. Why, Why I yell.... yell no one responds and others yell and yell. Uuhhhh... stabbed in the groin and now the blood.. flows everywhere.. dripping drops... is it because I look different.. is it because they don’t know how to speak my language.. maybe because I cant read or right.. why me whyyy.. droplets ..splat ....If they only knew some how... how I felt if they could only understand me, maybe they some day will see that I am and others like me are the same; maybe....drip, drip, dry.
The narrator of this story is a dog whom was someone’s pet and is killed to make a fur coat for people to wear. It could take an average 10-12 dogs or 25 cats to make one fur coat. Domesticated animals and other animals should not be killed in this day and age for any reason, but especially for clothing. We can and know how to survive without killing purposely except for greed. Yet, mercilessly humans kill billions of animals every year.
Once not that long ago people of differing skin colors and women where treated as a lesser species. Finally years of torture, torment, and rebellion allowed us to all see that we should all be equal; but is it because we found a way in which we can all communicate successfully. Is that the reason we still torture other species? Is it only because we can pretend to ourselves that they cannot reason and that we are better than they are? It is as much our fault as it is theirs - that we cannot break the barrier of communication and so does that give us a right to cruelly treat these other species? Do we torture, experiment on, trap and cage people whom cannot communicate through speech or an existing understood language? Why aren’t they a lesser species? They can’t possibly reason if they cant communicate; therefore giving us the same thought process as we have for so called lesser species in which we cruelly slaughter. So, then why don’t we slaughter these people? Anyway, if you ever spent a large quantity and quality time with one of another species you would know that they all reason. Also, that they all have their individual personalities. So, why is it we still have a right to cruelly treat them and kill them?
In China, Philippines, and Thailand, dogs and cats are being slaughtered for use in fur coats. These fur coats are being sold under code names so people do not know they are getting dog or cat furs. They are being sold in Europe, Russia, and even in the United States.
In Germany a coat might have the name Gae Wolf and Germans think they are buying gray wolf and meanwhile they just purchased several dead German Shepherds. These German Shepherds were hung by their heads and stabbed in the groin left to bleed to death. Most of them were beaten severely before this. They could have been someone’s lost or stolen pets. (Human Society).
“ There are animal cruelty laws in the United States that would prevent dogs and cats from being slaughtered for their furs. But there are no federal laws preventing anyone from importing dog and cat fur to the United States. If the imported item cost less than $150.00, the importer doesn’t have to reveal what it is made of”( www.msnbc).“ In South Korea, it is common to eat dogs and cats. This is not done in a humane manner, but by torturing them to death by hanging, strangulation, and beatings with such objects as bricks, large rocks, heavy rod - like objects and electrocution. This brutal execution is done to dogs, because many South Koreans believe the flesh from a dog who is tortured to death has aphrodisiac qualities and tastes better” ( Korean Dog Atrocity).
The following information was from the Humane Societies press release: The investigation focused on practices in China, Thailand, and the Philippines. More than two million dogs and cats are killed each year for use in the international fur trade. The dog and cat fur is sold in the US as hats, gloves, decorative accessories, and even toy stuffed animals. These animals are kept in unheated rooms with dead bodies hanging from hooks. Products are offered as Gae-Wolf, Sobaki, Asian jackal, Wild cat, Goyangi, Katzenfelle and many other fake names. (Skinned Puppy.com). It is impossible to know exactly what you are buying. So the best answer is to ban fur all together. All animals deserve a right to life - a good free life!
In November of 2001, President Clinton passed the law basically saying it is illegal to import or export cat and/ or dog pelts in the United States.
“The law calls for the U.S. Customs Service to
publish a list of parties known to have engaged
in the dog and cat fur trade, and to certify
laboratories that are qualified to determine
whether an item contains fur from dogs and cats.
It establishes a $500 reward for information
leading to the successful imposition of a civil
penalty, forfeiture or debarment for violating
However, any product coming into this country that is under $150 still does not have to be labeled. So, it is still advised that we just avoid all fur products to guarantee we are not buying a dead dog or cat.
In this day it is not necessary for survival to slaughter any animal for their fur. So, why kill any of them? It is through my work in which I allow my reflections of this situation to be presented. “ My dream is that people don’t discuss the work, but discuss the content”- Sue Coe(Coe, Sue Flashart). In many ways I can relate to this statement because I ,too, rather people talk about the subject matter amongst themselves spreading the word of horror. Don’t get me wrong I’d like people to remember me and my work, but that is not nearly as important as them remembering the animals pain. What really matters to me is to produce art that is good but at the same time work that sends a message out to people in order for them to reevaluate their own personal beliefs. I don’t expect to change the world. I don’t expect to change one person. I do expect for my viewers wheels to start turning and essentially have an influence in their lives.
In my beliefs it would be impossible to talk about every person that has influenced my work and me. I believe that every person you meet, yell at, punch, listen to, laugh with, see, cry to, pass by and never really know has had an influence on you; whether it is positive or negative. If a leaf falls and hits a window and you see it or heard it that leaf has changed your life forever helping to create whom you are today. So, I believe every piece of art I have seen or heard about has had an influence in my life even if I couldn’t name the exact way it did; even if I never knew the artists name nor the title of the piece.
Through out years of training I have created highly abstract work to renaissance realism. However, the group of artists that seems to be most like my work started in the 19th century, Social Realism. This group seems to focus on political themes. I chose to work my ideas through realism because I feel the subject matter in order to reach the viewers calls for this style. Abstract work seems to talk more about emotions and the actual process it took to create it. Then it does a strong political message. I don’t see it as possible to portray my message clearly in complete abstraction. My thesis work is politically charged and it has a focus...” on communication and how our values are encoded in our culture” (Betti 267).
“The fur ads we see in magazines and commercials portray fur coats as a symbol of elegance. But these ads fail to show how the original owners of these coats met their gruesome deaths. Approximately 3.5 million fur bearing animals... raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, lynxes, opossums, nutria, beavers, muskrats, otters, and others are killed each year by trappers in the United States. Another 2.7 million are raised on ‘fur farms’”(HSUS). So, in my art, a universal language, I speak out for those whom cannot speak a human language. Especially, in this body of work in which I put an emphasis on the cat and dog fur trade because I think people will sympathize more so with domesticated animals. The goal is to inform people of my feelings on this issue and in hoping to reach someone’s heart and in doing that maybe they will start to have feelings for the other animals that are also used for fur. (http://www.peta-online.org).
Originally, in these few months, I intended to create 6 different images in prints in two different techniques; making 2 series of three. Also, 3 paintings making this body of work 3 series of three. Why three? Since I was younger it has been a number that is always on my mind. It has nothing to do with the content it just is. After the first three prints viewers were not getting the message. The first three were too personal, like a private art for an exclusive audience. Prof. Chuck Magistro suggested I change my ideas for the second technique and instead of drawing the images to “..show them that it is real”. So, I decided to try it out and after the first print of images made on the computer it was a success. My message comes through and these three images seem to be more towards propaganda. That is not necessarily the result I was looking for but my message comes through and in that my goal is achieved. The six prints balance each other but need each other in order to successfully express my message.
It is within the six that the viewer’s can see the subject as private/personal and as an issue for them to be concerned with. In the first painting I wanted to paint a nude to attract viewers to my work. Something beautiful to make them want to look. My “Parasitic Venus of Slaughter” is like bait for people to want to see something that they don’t want to know about. I figured Titian’s Venus had the perfect mood and setting for the image I wanted to create. So, I used his composition and some scenery objects. Also, because I wanted viewer’s to feel a comfort has though the kind of know this creation. Some do know it and then realize the darkness that lies within. The two paintings that follow it are within the same setting. They are the darkness that lies behind the beauty. They become the truth. They become what it is that we do not want to know, see, and what we want to never think about. They are the ugly truth. The Cat/ Baby was originally going to be just a baby. It took hours of thought to come up with the problem that many viewers’ get upset and angry when they see dead babies. A dead baby is the only way I can express the thought that the animals are like children.....they are of innocent nature, precious, usually have done nothing of intention to hurt anyone, can’t communicate well, and have not been corrupted of societies ways of life (too much thinking/not caring about consequences).
Basically, I had to make this relation in my creation in order to hopefully make people think how similar it is that we all are. So, I chose to do a mutation in which expresses my opinion better than my original idea and hopefully I don’t piss the viewer’s off as much.
Someone asked me what I was going to do with my extra prints and so I thought about that. Some how it just all came together and I started to build a paper jacket of all the little animal prints. The spool with the animals just fell in place. This piece became my favorite. The animals coming off of the spool = the threads that make the jacket are the animals. The traps I use also become favorites because to me these two ideas are far more powerful than my flattened images on paper and canvass. Why? An answer that I will not truly know. After coming to WPU my style and thoughts of art have changed dramatically. It is in this that allows my mind to be free of restrictions in my creations. My art no longer has to be a certain way; the only rules I must follow are the ones I give myself (In whatever way that may be). I used more than one medium and/or media because I felt it necessary to do. Many mediums and forms of media are border line. Well, I can say I created all drawings in this body of work because it is drawing that it took to create my final images or I can say I created a body of work in which it is. In my future work I will continue to work in what I consider bodies of work.
One of the weak points of my work is that pieces within the body of work can not work alone and depend on the other pieces to help tell the story. It is also possible that by wanting to clearly tell a political issue that I drift away from the art allowing my message to become more powerful. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing because in some of these creations have the opposite effect, not allowing the message to come through clearly. I enjoy my creations when it comes to composition, color, and technique, etc.... Basically, everyone has their own opinions when it comes to colors and emotions in which they would like to see in a work of art. I chose to use what my ideas called for and I wouldn’t change any of them for this body of work.
I will continue throughout my life to create political images it is a part of my life and the issue I choose become my fire. Since I was 12yrs. old I started to realize the world and that behind the burger lies I life of depression, torture, and a life deserving to live. Every day, I must live knowing that in order for me to live others die. Even if I unintentionally kill, I’m still killing. I type on this paper and a house for thousands was chopped down and many probably died. Why is it that my life is worth more than theirs.. Why do I have a right and they don’t? Because they are different. No. They have just as much as a right as I do to live.
Would I want to be caged, experimented, or watch my families be tortured and killed for food or to be clothing? Well, I have a choice because I am not of another species in which are not given the option to live free or die. It doesn’t seem right and because it was this way since any of us can remember still does not make it right. So, in order to live this life I must try to give something back, I want to be deserving of something that is taken a way from those whom are different. It is within my work that I try to give back by teaching and/or informing the viewers of situations in which are wrong. Art is everything in which this human world is made up of. It is a reflection of our lives and the future of our lives. It is one of the strongest influences in our lives. We show a child a picture of an apple to teach them the word apple; the toys we play with are designed and created by artists; our products are advertised through art; art is the strongest communication our species has and it is that communication is art. Art influences are lives through music, written creations, visual creations, etc.. Hopefully, my work will and it will influence change and provoke thought. At least I know I try not to be a parasite by not buying certain products that will save some lives in a human world that runs off supply and demand. If you don’t buy the chicken for dinner the next chicken wont be slaughtered.
This one might already be dead but don’t request the death of another. It is not necessary for our survival.
“The love for all living creatures is
the most noble attribute of man”
- Charles Darwin
Andriana Furs. 12 June, 2000. 9 Sept., 2000. <http//www.adrianafurs.com/furtypes.html/>.
“Betrayal of trust: A Web Documentary”. The Humane Society of the United States.22 Sept, 2000. <html://www.hsus.org/current/dc_fur/web_doc/fur_2.html/>.
Betti, Claudia, and Teel Sale. Drawing: A Contemporary Approach. Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, Inc., 1992.
Brown, Clint, and Cheryl Mclean. Drawing from Life. 2nd edition. Forthworth Texas: Harcourt Brace Publishers, 1997.
Coe, Sue, Flash Art International (G. Politi, Milan), May/ June 1986, p.47 <http://asuam.fa.asu.edu/coejimmy.htm/>.
Luzwick, Dierdre. Endangered Species: Portraits of a Dying Millennium. 1st edition. NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Inc., Publishers Springfield, Massachusettes.1995.
Regan, Tom, and Peter singer. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. NJ:Prentice - Hall, Inc.,1976.
Swain, Rick. “ Investigation: Victims of Fashion? The Global Trade of Dogs and Cat Fur”. Dateline NBC. 9 Sept.,2000. 9 Sept.,2000.
Zelanski, Paul, and mary Pat Fisher. Shaping Space. 2nd edition. Fortworth: Hartcourt Brace College Publishers, 1995.
These Additional references have little information, but to avoid not giving credit where it is do; they are shortly mentioned:
·Factsheets: Wild life pg 1 of 3; 10-10-00.
Humane Society Reports. <http://www.msnb.com/news/223630asp.> pg 3 of 4; 9-22-00.
Korean Dog Activity, pg 1/1; <http://www.animalalertnews.com/al_koreandogs.htm.>
Skinned Puppy. com
<http://www.peta-online.org>;Peta Media Center.
WWW.Fur Free Friday