Tag Archives: Animals in Advertising

Coming Back, Moving Forward

My husband Julian and I spent last weekend at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York. Neither of us had been before and we spent two nights in a tiny house (part of Farm Sanctuary’s bed and breakfast accommodations) and two full days getting to meet rescued farm animals: turkeys, cows, pigs, goats, sheep and ducks.  I wrote a post about it and included some pictures of the animals over at my other blog so if you’d like to read more about our visit, just click here.

Since going vegan in 2013, I have discovered that there are only a few places where I can just exhale and not have to be on guard at the meal table or wonder if someone is going to say something stupid about vegans: one is our home, one is around other vegans, and the other is at animal sanctuaries. In these surroundings I am able to truly relax; to be allowed to be a vegan without having to censor myself in some way or worry if I’m going to have to defend my choice to not eat animals at any given moment. And while I have never regretted my decision to go vegan, for me it is crucial that I have people and places like this in my life where I can be myself, with full acceptance of who I am and what is important to me. Without them I think the reality of how our world views, portrays and treats animals would be unbearable. Continue reading

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Live vs. Alive

Language and our choice of words is something I’ve blogged about before, and I’ve slowly been trying to eradicate certain phrases from my vocabulary like filthy pig or stupid cow…phrases that I’ve used to complain about someone while also affixing those unflattering attributes to animals (don’t worry: “dumb jag” and “stupid wanker are still very much in my daily lexicon).

While a cow or pig doesn’t know I’m insulting them, that’s not the point.  By using these phrases, I perpetuate a language – and hence a stereotype – that certain animals are stupid, silly, dirty, etc., and it’s one of those subtleties that has seeped into our culture, shaping our view of animals probably more than we realize.  Some may view this as political correctness gone too far but I see it as reclaiming our language to include all.  Take gender roles for example: the word firefighter includes all genders whereas the word firemen only includes males. The word stewardess only implies women in the role but now flight attendant is much more inclusive to all who are in that profession.  It may seem small and insignificant or eye-rollingly petty to some, but change has to begin somewhere and language seems as good a place to start as any; I see no reason why animals cannot be included in the conversation around damaging and inaccurate assumptions and using different language to represent them properly.

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Childish Things

Do you remember when you were a kid and thought Santa Claus was real? In fact, most of us did more than just think he was real, we believed it.  Why?  Likely because our parents and other adults in our lives told us so each year at Christmas.  Our belief in this magical tale was further bolstered with such stories and annual TV specials like, The Night Before Christmas or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

And do you remember when you found out it was bullshit?  Hopefully when you did you were of an age that was old enough not to be insulted nor completely devastated by it either.  I found out when I was nine or ten and it was by accident.  I used to love going through my mom’s jewellery box as a kid, usually while she was getting ready to go out.  I would try on her rings and bracelets and she would tell me the history of some pieces.  One day I opened a tiny box I’d always wondered about and found a bunch of teeth in there.  For some reason – I don’t know why – I thought they belonged to my Nana who had recently passed away.  When I asked about them, it was then that my mother looked sheepishly at me and told me they were mine. Continue reading

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Advertising Animals

Among the many hundreds of things that piss me off on a daily basis, food advertising is high on my list, particularly when animals are assigned personalities to sell the very product that required their confinement, exploitation and early death to produce in the first place.  When I recently saw the one-minute ad for The Laughing Cow cheese brand, I wanted to find the nearest light socket and stick my tongue in it. Continue reading

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