Thursday, 8 September 2011

Paint Party Friday... just vegging...

So the last week I've been anything but productive. I've got so many ideas running through my head of things I want to try painting but none that have made it from my brain to the page via my left hand!

I have done a little more on the portrait of Brodie that I started a few weeks ago. Work on this was interrupted by the rush to get all the stuff finished for the style fair but now I have nothing else in the pipeline I really don't have an excuse not to have finished it already.

A work in progress - got a way to go yet.


To be honest, my mind has been consumed with all things vegan, animal welfare and anti-vivisection over the last month or so.  Ask S and he will tell you (with a ma-hoosive rolling of the eyes) that recently every other sentence I utter starts with "is it vegan friendly?".

You see, about a month ago I made the mistake of Googling stuff.  Stuff about animal testing on beauty products, stuff about how the dog meat trade is huge in the Far East, stuff about how being a vegetarian really isn't enough because by wearing leather and wool and consuming dairy products and anything else with animal by-products in them (which I've come to learn is practically everything man-made whether edible or not) I  was still contributing to the suffering of mass farmed animals and lab caged creatures the world over.  Even free range hens aren't actually the happy hens I'd been led to believe by the marketing men.

I visited website after website and ordered copies of the Compassionate Shopping Guide and the Animal Free Shopper not to mention Viva's L-PLate Vegan, and it was at this point that S's eyes rolled round in his head so much they nearly got stuck and my head imploded with all the infinite possibilities and intricacies of how manufacturers sneak animal by-products into our lives and how convoluted my future trips to the supermarket are going to be until I become a vegan expert!

If it isn't bad enough that I need to double-check the packaging on every morsel of food I want to eat (even salt & vinegar crisps have milk powder in them, for frig's sake!), I was even more gutted to realise that something I use on a near daily basis also has sneaky animal by-products in them.

What could it be, I hear you cry? Yup, you gesso'd it - even my art supplies!  (I swear I nearly cried when I discovered by beloved Indian Ink contains Shellac (some kind of insect gunk) and I've no way of knowing if it is made from actual insects or a synthetic version!) Watercolour paper too can be sized with gelatin although I was relieved to discover my Windsor Newton pads are sized with gum arabic - phew!

Anyway, this isn't meant to be some fanatical diatribe about the vegan way of life - I just wanted to share what's being going on in my head and my life this last month.  I'm not about to start on a huge vegan preachy rant trying to convert all the meat eaters amongst you - I firmly believe that everyone has free choice; it's just that the animals don't get those same choices and so I've decided to choose to eat and use only those things that are vegan friendly. Of course,  not being one of the Hilton Sisters/some other obscenely rich person, the best I can do is replace each thing (leather boots included) as they wear out or run out with vegan-friendly alternatives. I did find a wonderful post on a Veganomaly which perfectly sums up the very reasons I realised I had to become vegan, if anyone does want to learn more.

Sorry this is a bit of a heavy post this week and only slightly related to art, but I kind of needed to write about it and, as I say, it has inspired a seed of an idea that I hope to start working on this weekend.  Happy Paint Party Friday, folks, make mine a vegan-friendly wine spritzer please and I'll bring along the meat-free sausages!

30 comments:

  1. I feel your pain, I too wrestle with this everyday,, I was raised on a farm and we all know what theta entails but I have so much trouble with it all now and I think I've been to all the websites you spoke of,,its heart breaking,, although I've not taken the full plunge its in my future,, I just know it, bravo for you,, it shows your tender hearted nature,

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's quite a dilemma! How about all the chemicals in our food? Can't wait to see what's up your sleeve for your next art project. Happy PPF~

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love how your doggy drawing is developing, and you are right about the animal products, so many animals are hurt for our convenience. Valerie

    ReplyDelete
  4. OK I shouldn't mention, but what about palm oil... don't tell your hubby I told you BUT although palm oil comes from palms (hang on I better copy this)...

    "The single greatest threat Rainforests orangutans today is the rapidly expanding palm oil trade. Rainforests are being cleared at the rate of 300 football fields per hour to make way for oil palm plantations.

    While there are millions of hectares of degraded land that could be used for plantations, many oil palm companies choose to instead use rainforest land to gain additional profits by logging the timber first. Palm oil companies also frequently use uncontrolled burning to clear the land, resulting in thousands of orangutans being burned to death. Those that survive have nowhere to live and nothing left to eat."

    AND it's in friggin EVERYTHING, it takes me 2 hours to do a 20 min shop because I don't want to buy products with palm oil, reading all the labels, they should come with warnings, it's truly wiping out the habitats & animal life because they just get it from virgin not planted forests.... UGGGH
    It's really hard to do everything right because sometimes you think you've done everything & the freakin' capitalists are still f-ing everything up... I think the next generation are more aware, those with compassion & foresight will make decisions, other wise we won't have a future, everyone with their 'shares' all they want is profit margins, how does anyone think money = success if there is no planet left... OMG so sorry & then I better not get started on genetically modified food, I don't CARE if my tomato has a grass hopper bite I don't WANT my food to come via a lab that makes it insect resistent... there you go Pointy Pix, there are like minded people (mostly creatives me thinks LOL)
    We actually purchase a lot of vego products in this house & we (because we aren't very brand savvy) say... did you get the 'I can't believe it's not bacon' or dad, did you remember the 'I can't believe it's not a burger' maybe we should start a new line, because most things can be substituted as you mentioned...

    OK I should say of course I LOVE your work in progress, I just wanted you to known have allegiance from many 'undercover' dudettes out here ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I admire you for your values and I will support anyone who stands up for animals. I made the mistake (a bit like you) a while back by logging onto a site, and I wish I hadnt. People may loathe the ex Mrs McCartney for whatever reasons but she was the one who bought the vile Chinese dog "fur" trade to light, I remember her actually strapping a video player to herself and walking around showing this disgusting practice to whoever had the guts to watch, as you can imagine not many people realised what they do to their dogs, so good on her.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Loving your WIP with Brodie. You definitely have some tough choices ahead, especially with your art supplies. Happy PPF, Annette x

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is probably why I'm a vegetarian and not a vegan. This and cheese. :) I really don't want to get frustrated about every darn thing I eat, use or wear. It's just riddiculous how hard it is to be a vegan. But there are black lists and white lists for vegans. You might want to check that if you haven't already. It makes it easier for you to know which brands you need to avoid.
    Oh, fab drawing you're making. I was wondering where you left it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love your WIP of Brodie! ~ I find I have to 'pick and choose my battles" ~ can only do just so much ~ We humans have a long way to go ~Happy PPF ~ Carol (Share the Creative Journey)

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is looking amazing! It looks SO detailed! Will look forward to seeing it finished :0)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, how I enjoy the detail of your work. It is just amazing. Well Done!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Brodie is amazing ~ can't wait to see what he looks like finished. Very nice work!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Brodie is soooo amazing! I understand you dilemma and wish I was a better gardener and I would grow everything I eat! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. There's just no end to the horror we humans can inflict on everything around us, is there? I admire you for trying to find a way to take animals out of the equation for yourself. If we all tried to one good thing for the earth or for animals every day imagine how much nicer the world would be.

    The portrait of Brodie is going to be wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  14. your WIP is coming along beautifully. Good luck in your vegan quest.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Personally I believe we evolved to eat a certain amount of meat; there is some evidence that early humans ate off lion kills and such. That being said I do agree that the modern meat factory system is appaling and I'm working my way out of that a bit at a time by growing my own. Second of all I'm even more concerned at the insidiousness of Monsanto and it's like with the GMO issue. Almost all of the wheat, corn, cottonseed and soybeans in the US are GMO. Try finding things at the grocery store that don't contain them! Anyway nice doggie. I find it interesting that you work one section at a time. I'm more inclined to build up all over in the beginning, then come back section by section making my darks darker. Happy PPF!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love the way Brodie is coming along Pointy. I know he is going to be just beautiful. I'm with you on everything you talked about. We are doing good on our second week of veggies but my husband being the meat eater has to at least once a week have something with meat. So we are working our way and it's a lot better. Unfortunately although I lost a little weight and feel good about that, I am feeling a little weak at times and not sure if it's because of having just greens? Anyway I admire you and your causes and doggies are my cause too. Take care and be well and learn learn learn the veggie way, then let us know more.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love this wip!!! your work always makes me smile...the details are amazing and I love the model!!! Happy Friday!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great drawing! I can tell where your heart is, Nicola!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love where you're going with Brodie- perfect accompaniment for Reuben!
    Happy PPF,
    Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  20. tis a tricky one for sure...I'm not sure I would buy anything ever again if I truly knew where it came from, had been tested on etc etc (and I tend not to buy mainstream stuff)....
    Did enjoy the image of the imploding eye balls of your sweet man though :) (does that make me a bad person??!!hehe!)
    Brodie is looking gorgeous! Hugs to you x

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love how Brodie is progressing. You have a great talent and I am eagerly awaiting your finishing this beautiful portrait. Faye

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your pen work is gorgeous! Can't wait to see him finished! Wishing you a superb Happy PPF!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have to search for vegan for my son, he's not vegan, only gluten and dairy free but to do that it's easiest to look for vegan, even though he also eats meat. Sorry to admit after reading your post, but it's hard enough as it is to read all those labels,... lovely art!
    -Andrea

    ReplyDelete
  24. Yeah my Jeff just brought an article to my attention about all the antibiotics in ALL of our food ( even vegetables because the fertilizer is from the cows that were fed the stuff!) and because of this, there are big time yucky killer viruses that are becoming immune to the antibiotics and were gonna be doomed! I was too terrified to even read the thing after Jeff told me. I'm afraid to eat ANYTHING right now unless we grow it ourselves! Love your WIP of adorable Brodie!!!Deb

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow!!!! You guys are freakin me out!!!!

    But I do love your drawing. It is coming along. Your detail is amazing!!

    Happy PPF!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love all of the details you put into your pen work... absolutely beautiful! I also admire your dedication and I love how your pure kindness translates into every aspect of your life :)

    xo
    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  27. I totally agree with you. I've felt this way about the animals since I was little. I would cry when my Mother would put a chicken on the table to eat. I went through many years of sadness over this. I realized I could only do what I could do. So I voluntered at and donated to animal sanctuaries. I educate family and friends about these issues. And I do my best to eat vegan. Love your art by the way!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm in love with Brodie's sweet face. There is already so much expression in that one eye. Looking forward to seeing the finished work!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think once we become educated we start getting a conscience about it. I don't know as much as you do and I appreciate your offering the links, which I hope to return and read as time permits. I do admire your new way of thinking about the foods and products you buy, but now I know for a fact you will not want to come to my family's home for dinner. :/

    Beautiful work on Brodie, btw! So sweet. :)

    PS - It's me, Ileana/Scarlet from "arroz con mango." For some reason it's been telling me I don't have access to view this blog when I sign into my Google account. It's been happening for a while now and I don't know why. :/

    ReplyDelete
  30. Brodie is looking great. You have such patience!

    And I applaud you for commitment to animals. I just recently read about the dog fur trade and was horrified.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...