On September 20, 9 pigs in a sanctuary here in Italy, were killed by the local health organization, helped by law enforcement. The official reason was the swine fever that is spreading across industrial farms. To contain the damage from the virus, 40 thousand pigs were killed this year. Wherever there’s a case, all the pigs in the nearby area get killed. (Go vegan).
This illustration had a rough start. Here’s why.
Sadly there were cases near the sanctuary too, and one of the pigs got ill and died. But the other nine pigs were in perfect health and showed no sign of the virus. As the problem arose all of them were kept in a restricted area and had no contact with other animals. But none of the efforts to keep the pigs safe were of use.
On September 20, they were murdered by law.
This day was preceded by many protests and appeals that were of no avail. For days activists from the whole country took turns guarding the animals. But that day, 10 police vans full of policemen wearing anti-riot gear arrived and attacked the activists who were unarmed and peaceful, as sanctuaries are dedicated to nonviolence. They broke into private property breaking everything. They assaulted the activists with batons, insulting and pushing them to the ground, and taking them away by force. Some of the activists were hurt and had to go to the hospital. None of them reacted to the assault.
The pigs were killed. There are videos where policemen are seen laughing while the dead pigs are taken away and thrown like garbage into a truck.
A similar act of power abuse took place a few weeks after, during a rally for housing rights, where some students were beaten by policemen. In a video, a commander is clearly seen saying he is fed up with the kids and ordering them to attack the students. The policemen, once again in full anti-riot gear, assaulted the front line a millisecond later with violence. And, in my opinion, some pleasure. This assault left a few students with bleeding faces.
Then Israel’s attacks on Palestine. And another similar scene. At a pro-free Palestine demonstration, people were attacked with batons for no reason, again. Maybe another commander was bored and looked for some action?
After these events, and having had unpleasant experiences with the police in my youth, where I was mocked and insulted instead of receiving help, the desire to run outside and shout things at anyone wearing a military uniform was a lot.
But I live in the open countryside, there are only cows and cats here!
So I did what I always do whenever I need to let things out: I started drawing. I should never draw when I’m furious: I drew a cat angry at the world, with a threatening face, scary. I left it on the table and went to sleep.
The next day I looked at it and no, it wasn’t what I wanted to see around in the world, much less in my shop. I don’t want to see more angry faces or anything that reminds us of bad things. We get enough of that already. Violence calls for violence, in any form or shape. But I still wanted to have my say.
So I took an old illustration I made for a fundraiser and changed the words.
Irony helps to dissipate rage, maintain clarity, and perhaps to get to the goal quietly. Tip-toeing. Usually, people in high places become so full of themselves and lose all capacity to look around and read the room. They certainly cannot understand when someone is teasing them.
I surely don’t think I can change things with illustrations of cute cats, but just imagine how cool and incredibly fun it would be if everyone at protests wore cute cat t-shirts with the words
ACAB – all cats are beautiful
but with the writing ‘ACAB’ significantly larger than the rest because we all know what it means and we’re saying it through cute cats!