In April 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak and worldwide shutdown,
I was inspired to return to painting subjects that would, in some small way .......attempt to make a difference to animals suffering cruelty, so I made a pledge to raise funds for organisations who would monitor and put pressure on officials to enact policies that would respect both wildlife and domestic animals.
The outbreak of the virus has been devastating to many people and has highlighted an important issue...
Mankind's inhumanity to animals. . . the trade of wild animals.
National Geographic UK clearly summarises...
'Buying, selling, and slaughtering wild animals for food is one way an animal-borne disease may infect people. Viruses can spread more easily if animals in markets are sick or kept in dirty, cramped conditions, such as in stacked cages. When animals are under duress, viral pathogens can intermingle, swap bits of their genetic code, and perhaps mutate in ways that make them more transmissible between species. In the case of respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19, the virus can jump to food handlers or customers through exposure to an animal’s bodily fluids.'
It is important to be aware that according to surveys, China's population was turning away from eating wild animals even before the pandemic.
The progressive city of Schenzen went a step further and banned the consumption of Cats and Dogs. China has now classified Dogs as companion animals and not as livestock.
Real change is happening however China faces complex cultural issues and beliefs
The commercial sale of wildlife for pets, traditional medicine, or ornamental uses has not been banned.
There is still much to be done and this is where the work of organisations like
Humane Society International
......a leading force for animal protection, have been making a huge difference through online petitions and much more, I ask that you think about these issues and raise awareness and perhaps find ways of helping if you are able to do so.