Stop The Cull, Keep Up The Art
A blog on how seeing direct action taken against the cull on badgers got me selling my artwork!
How It All Started
About a year ago I was sat in on my bed, I was watching videos and posts from the online account of Underground Badger Syndicate and reading the facebook posts of Hunt Sab groups who were taking action against the cull. I felt so angry with what was happening and so helpless, at the time I couldn't give up any of my time, and I was skint so couldn't donate, I decided to try and do some badger drawings.
I created my badger drawing, and asked about online to see if anyone would be interested in buying prints if I donated a majority of the profit to a group working to stop the cull. After receiving some interest as soon as pay day came I decided to order the prints, and this was the first time I was selling my artwork so it was a bit nerve-racking but also for a good cause which got me over that.
I originally had 30 prints done, and think in total to date have sold about 17 of them, (unfortunately only about 2 since the beginning of the year) not only am I grateful for those who brought the prints as it meant that I was able to send donations to the Underground Badger Syndicate. But it was also what kick started me selling my artwork, from then I decided to start working on drawing photos from the Save Movement. From then on I decided i wanted to use my art to either help raise funds for direct action and sancrturies or to have a vegan/animal rights message to raise awareness.
Everything has just kind of snowballed from there, to setting up my Etsy shop, my Holly Merry Art instagram account, exhibtions, commission work and this website. I am working on some pretty exciting projects at the moment after the year I have just had I cant wait to see what the next year holds.
We Love Badgers
Its because of that first initial print and the reason behind it that I decided that my logo should be of a badger, and since then I even picked myself up a little knitted badger mascot from the South Cambs Hunt Sabs.
Iv also done a few other bits aimed more at highlighting awarness of the cull such as stickers and a "stop the cull" mug, and maybe not this year but at some point I plan on doing more badger related work that I can use to raise funds and awareness to fight the cull.
So What Is The Cull?
I guess some reading this may not know much about the badger cull, I didn't until after I went vegan and got involved in animal rights, and I also know other activists that actually went vegan because of learning about the cull.
The cull is rolled out each year in designated areas, from my understanding this is most often near dairy farms as bovine TB can spread form badgers to cattle and vis versa. The idea being that by culling badgers farmers will be able to stop the spread of bovine TB to their herds by controlling the numbers of badgers in areas around dairy farms/cattle fields.
BUT lets face it there are quite a few issues with this "theory", for one we shouldnt be keeping herds of animals on farms to be used for milk anyway, as animals are not here for us to use. from the vegan perspective thats pretty self explanatory, but incase you are unaware of why dairy is unethical, here is a short 5 min video you can watch.
And of course we shouldnt be trying to solve an issue by going out and needlessly killing animals (which seems to be the excuse for a lot of hunters), according to the Wildlife Trust there is no evidence a correlation between the number of cattle with TB and the number of badgers killed. You can read more about it here.
So How Can You Help?
There are a number of ways you can help, so many so that everyone can do a little something to help save our furry friends, here is a list of different actions that you can help with and ways you can get involved.
- Social media and online - This is something that is free and the majority of us can do, for a start make sure to follow your local hunt sab group and anti badger cull groups. Share the posts and information they post about the cull and what they are doing on the ground, this way you can help educate others on what is happening. Make sure to keep an eye out for petitions and online actions, emails to write, anything that might help towards showing a support against the cull in a political manner.
- Funding - The next thing is to try and help those who are in the cull zones and trying to bring an end to the cull, even if its just the cost of a coffee each week it will all help. I obviously understand that not everyone is in a position to donate funds (like I wasn't) so maybe you can be creative in a way to help raise funds! or how about posting a fundraiser on your facebook account for your birthday and ask your friends to donate to a selected group.
- Feet on the ground - If you are able to then you can get in contact with you local hunt sabs or anti cull group and donate your physical time in the cull zones helping to protect the badgers.
- Always defend direct action
- HMA X
P.S If you would like one of my badger prints then you can find them here.