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Banksy’s NYC Art Truck: Slaughtering Ignorance


I’m VERY excited because one of my favorite contemporary artists, Banksy, is in NYC for the month of October. If you caught The Colbert Report (my favorite TV show) last week, you’d already know that he’s in town. He’ll be adorning random buildings with his famous (and valuable) “street art” (which instantly make that part of the wall worth millions, so don’t be surprised if you see big chunks of buildings suddenly missing!)


One of the main reasons I love Banksy is because his art carries a message, and is usually tied to an ethical question. His latest is no different in this department. Check out this video to see the truck, and the ‘animals’ (and their puppeteers), in action:

I was browsing through the YouTube comments, and about 1 out of 50 comments seemed to ‘get’ it. For the other 49, the point was not only completely lost, but they seemed to think that the best way to react is to mock  animal suffering, profess their intent to immediately go eat some bacon, and then ignorantly state that animals either don’t have feelings or aren’t intelligent enough to warrant our compassion. Yeah, right on dudes. Smart. :-S

Believe it or not, people used to think that babies don’t feel pain. Really.

“…[He] took a look at what was going on in the operating room. He was shocked to discover that babies were having surgery with little or no anesthesia. This was back in the dark ages of the early 1980s at Oxford University, esteemed home of the world’s first anesthesiology department. Operating on babies without anesthesia had been a common practice worldwide for nearly 40 years. “At the time, it was the accepted notion that babies don’t feel pain.” –USA Today article

For me (and I suspect anyone with pets), it’s hard to believe that there’s still a perception out there that animals don’t feel pain or that their behavior is instinct-based rather than thought and reasoning-based. Scientific proof often lags far behind old-fashioned common sense, but thankfully the scientific community is coming around and finally gathering cold-hard-proof that animals have the same feelings that humans do. All kinds of animals can be empathetic, altruistic, heroic to the point of self-sacrificing to save loved ones. They feel fear, love, loss and joy, just like us. In fact, many adult animals have been found to be more  intelligent than your average pre-schooler. Just because they don’t speak English doesn’t mean they don’t have thoughts.

Don’t believe me? Check out this NY Times article about MRI tests on dogs, which show that their brains react to stimuli the same way yours and mine would, which means they’re not as different than humans as some had thought — they just look different.

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