Reprinted with permission from
LABL [Live A Better Life]
See original PDF
See Amy-Le's animal rights art here
I produced a series of paintings, exposing animal cruelty through a theme of role reversal. I found this approach to be very effective as the public's initial reaction was one of disgust, then shock and disbelief as they realised it is them who are mindlessly contributing to this onslaught.
My name is Amy-Le Owens and I am a nineteen year old artist and aspiring author. At age twelve I relocated from Britain to Ireland where I lived and worked on our family run animal sanctuary. Having witnessed multiple cases of animal cruelty during my stay, I found myself venturing down the path of veganism and taking a stand against animal abuse and exploitation. The more I studied, the more I realised how far the cruelty reaches; from the bear bile farms of Asia, to the fur farms in my own back yard. Not only this but the dire consequences of what animal exploitation is doing to our planet and to humankind. The unconscious destruction of our world and of our compassion was something that burdened me deeply. I knew that I had to do everything within my power to help expose the barbarism of animal abuse, and promote a more selfless approach to life.
I returned to the UK to attend art college during which time I produced a series of paintings, exposing animal cruelty through a theme of role reversal. I found this approach to be very effective as the public's initial reaction was one of disgust, then shock and disbelief as they realised it is them who are mindlessly contributing to this onslaught. As well as art, literature is a profound interest of mine. For my paintings of bear bile farming and animals in captivity, I wrote poems to go alongside the images. I could never have imagined, nor prepared myself for the phenomenal response I received for my work. It was truly humbling to hear the likes of legendary activists such as Jill Robinson, Brian May and Virginia McKenna praise and share my work so kindly.
The inspirational support I have gained from the public for my work is more than I could have ever wished for.
ABOUT MOON BEARS AND BILE
I have spent my life in this cage,
incarceration is all I know.
The bars clenched tight to my body,
they are my tomb and my home.
Veiled by terror and sorrow,
there is barely room to breathe.
To think of anything but the inevitable end
would be senseless and na´ve.
I have seen my friends before me.
I've heard their gasping breath.
Dragged across the bile stained floor
as they near the valley of death.
Inside I rage and scream,
but externally I cower.
For to draw attention to myself
would closer my final hour.
If this is all I'm good for,
Just ceaseless, needless pain;
Then why gift me with a life?
why must I remain?
Can't you hear our shouts for justice?
Can't you hear our mournful cries?
Can't you witness our fear-ridden bodies?
Please God won't you open your eyes?
I cannot fathom your reasons,
behind this sickening game.
We all feel hurt and emotions
and our hearts they beat the same.
People who are so eager,
so willing to take a life,
if the tables were turned I'm sure you too
would beg them to drop the knife.
You think you have right of privilege,
to do with us what you please,
because you have left us defenceless,
begging on our knees.
If I could only speak,
then these are the words I would say.
It doesn't take much to realise,
that it should never have been this way.
Give us a chance to feel safe,
let us feel life's glory.
Look into my eyes,
gaze upon the despair
and please listen to the words of my story.
I am trapped, miles from home and though I may have little,
And despite the fact that everyday I grow more fragile, more brittle,
I have come to posses a hope that is rare
A hope that will conquer, if I believe if I dare.
As I sit and I wait, in my cage, in my prison,
For the moment to come when justice is given,
I reach out my arms, far between the bars,
And I keep them there beneath wind rain and stars,
Because I sense that one day they will look at me and say,
"What ever were we thinking, treating them this way?"
And then they will realise, as they talk more between them,
That I do not beg for food, I only beg for freedom.
And slowly but surely the process begins
Were they right all their wrongs and abandon their sins,
And liberate my chain, return me to home,
To be content and reunited and never again alone.
But until that day comes, I shall wait in my tomb
Just remember next time that you pass me...
I do not want food as so many assume,
My freedom is all that I'm asking....
Final thoughts from Amy-Le:
I hope that people will continue to spread the positive messages that they embrace and raise awareness in any way they can.
I can only trust that we, as earthlings, will stand together in helping bring an end to this catastrophe that blights the animal kingdom, our planet and humankind.
Ignorance will never evoke peace, and each cannot be left to their own devices if the consequences fall gravely on others, which is why we must do what is right and be the difference that we wish to see in the world.
Amy-Le is currently writing poetry, creating art and completing a novel. She is also establishing a business, in partnership with her mother, Ann-Marie Owens, Co-founder of Hand in Hand with Asia's Animal Activists.
Their new venture, Phoenix Apparel, will upcycle clothing to create
unique garments. This will prevent clothing waste and promote a sense of
Phoenix Apparel will be at LABL Fair Liverpool in October and will feature in a future LABL Magazine competition.
Return to Animal Rights Articles