• Sangeet Anand

Veganism through Artwork

As we move into a world that is rapidly digitizing and where even education is shifting to one that is visual-based, we, as a society, have switched to using art as a tool to convey powerful messages and ideas. Art is a powerful instrument because it transcends the language barrier and communicates to masses of people with just pictures and visuals. And just as art was a staple part of nearly every culture in the world centuries ago, it has remained a critical part of our culture today. From WW2, when Rosie took her claim to fame in the famous “We can do it” propaganda poster to now, where artists create their masterpieces online through digital tools, art has persisted even in American culture. Artists today are able to communicate powerful messages through their artwork through the use of different genres even. For example, surrealism is a genre of art that goes beyond traditional methods and ethics of the tangible world and transports viewers to a completely different light. It is art like this that leaves an imprint on us. This method is no different for our fellow artists in the vegan community. As we move to a more web-friendly environment, vegans who champion animal rights seek to convey powerful messages are now more than ever able to do so through touching works of art. And not only is this true in the vegan community, but everyone in the world can use it to gain support, following, or to simply leave a message. Art, in other words, is a campaign in itself for causes even beyond veganism. Today, I am going to walk you through some of my favorite works by some of my favorite artists and show you my take on the artist’s original intent behind each.

1) Pals. Palatable? By Dana Ellyn

I personally connect with this painting because this is the story that I am most often reminded of when people tell me why they went vegan/vegetarian. “I love animals too much,” is one of the most popular answers you will probably get from a person who turned vegan. I believe that one of the main symbolic elements of this painting is mere hypocrisy. How can one, who loves an animal so dearly, resort to eating an animal at the exact same time? This painting evokes emotions which remind the viewer of the exploitation of animals in our daily life.

2) Vegan Sidekick

The Vegan Sidekick is a famous cartoonist who has gained popularity for his cartoons in recent years. What started off as a hobby posting these cartoons on social media for fun, the cartoons now deliver strong messages to the public and in which the characters mimic real life people. In this particular cartoon, we see the widespread misconception that going vegan is unhealthy as compared to one that is not vegan. Then again we must remember that anything and everything can be unhealthy for us. We have to take a step back and analyze the foods that we are putting into our bodies. Is this healthy? Is this filling our body with vital nutrients? Is this good for our bodies? In this case, the non-vegan was shown a hypocrite because his other non-vegan counterpart came in eating burgers and fries, which isn’t the healthiest option out there. Here’s a reminder of our motto: “Eat Clean. Eat Green.” To be able to eat clean and green, we must ensure that we are consuming nutritious foods that are suited for our bodies.

3) Rafał Olbiński

This is truly one of my favorite artworks because it speaks not only to veganism but addresses environmental issues along with it. This piece portrays an upper class woman who is eating as she pleases at the expense of the entire planet, the animals in the forests, and the plants that are growing in them. I believe this piece of art demonstrates the toll that our actions, as humans, take on our surrounding environment.

Looking at these works remind us that there is a community of artists out there who can change the world through the action of art. As many of you may have heard, “actions speak louder than words.” The act of these artists painting such powerful messages is transforming the world for vegans today and leaving the planet a more healthy and sustainable place for the generations to come. That is all for this time folks. Leave a comment down below on which art piece was your favorite! 


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