"Mind-blowingly honest. Daring, truthful, mesmerizing, haunting. The most thorough examination in art of what humankind is doing to the rest of the animal nations. Read it and weep, but more importantly, read it and do something to stop our disgrace." —Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA
Longtime activist illustrator Sue Coe, a pioneer defender of animal rights, has produced a striking new work that furthers her career-long exposé of the exploitation of animals raised and slaughtered for human consumption. Richly illustrated with full-color paintings and drawings throughout, Cruel conveys the terrible beauty, and intense suffering, of both the animals so sacrificed and the workers involved in their violent destruction. While unexpectedly beautiful in its depiction of the brutal consequences of meat eating, this is a deeply moving, upsetting work, not for the faint of heart. Armed only with her sketchpad, Coe is often allowed access to places no photographer or reporter is admitted: the result is a passionate testimony to the waste and violence perpetrated by one species against so many others—and as both the text and unforgettable illustrations of this book make clear, these actions will come back to haunt humanity.
Aside from factory farming, in Cruel Coe also sets her sights on lesser-known, yet equally shocking, methods involved in commercial fishing, the wool industry, the flagrant use of pesticides, and livestock "protection" collars. This is social and political art at its most powerful, in the tradition of Goya, Käthe Kollwitz, and Diego Rivera.