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The condition of the environment is the most important issue of our current age. What does it matter how much material wealth one has if you can't drink the water or breathe the air. Outmoded, harmful technologies that are preserved due to greedy corporations, lobbies and political alliances endanger all living things. Humans are the first species to have control of the existence of all other species. We are doing a dismal job witnessed by rampant extinction rates.

Modern society seems to have a bigger and bigger disconnect with the natural world. This is a disturbing and perverse aspect of human nature. People go to supermarkets and have no clue as to what's involved producing what they're eating. Factory farm operations swallow up smaller more ethical farms and cut corners for the bottom line. The fact that creationism is being taught over Darwin at some schools is frightening. People seem to have forgotten that we too are animals. The highest form of primate; but animals nonetheless. Go to the monkey house in any zoo and you will see hundreds of similarities in looks and behaviors.


I try to give the animals I paint a noble, heroic quality. I want to depict them as intelligent and feeling without anthropomorphizing. They are individuals and are deserving and entitled to an opportunity to survive. A world full of humans and domesticated animals is a scary, dangerous prospect.

I've painted animals we depict as evil, for example sharks and wolves. Now we've practically wiped out both species. Who's the evil entity here? Initially, "The Misunderstood" looks like a straight ahead realist painting. The wolves are out on pack ice and the sharks in arctic waters. Places they'd never be. They (as many other species) are being driven to the corners of the earth by encroaching humanity. Environmental changes are further indicated by the red mountain range (eg. nuclear activity and global warming). In New York City I've painted the "native" wildlife: cockroaches, rats, mice, and pigeons.

As far as cattle paintings go; I would paint these doomed creatures in stanchions, auctions and stockyards. I used to feel the bucolic, pastoral paintings were a sellout (an unrealistic depiction of the cattle industry). So few of the cattle I saw were able to graze freely. Most dairy cattle are chained to stanchions and forced to eat cheap corn or sometimes worse forms of feed (mainly ground up animal by-products). This makes them sick. 75% of the antibiotics made in this country go to cattle. We get meat and milk from animals raised this way.

Cattle are ruminants; They are meant to eat grass. When they do they are healthier and we get a food product untainted by antibiotics and hormones. Cattle that eat grasses have fat that contain omega-3 fatty acid, instead of the inferior omega-6 variety. Milk from grass-eating cows contains a natural source of conjugated linoleic acid which fights obesity and tumor production. 3rd world countries wouldn't dream of giving corn to cattle. That's for human consumption, cows eat grass. They also have a fraction of the rampant breast, prostate and other forms of cancer we have in the US. Cattle out in the pasture is an artistic tradition going back to bison and prehistoric man. It is where all cattle should be. This benefits all involved.

Email: brenconart@yahoo.com  www.brendonconnors.com


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