An Artistic Argument For Veganism At Charter Oak

By Susan Dunne, October 11, 2018, Hartford Courant

“The Death of Topsy” memorializes an elephant killed in 1903, whose death was recorded on film. (Joel Silverstein)



Animal rights through veganism — and its connection to Judaism — is pondered in a new exhibit at Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford: “Through Compassionate Eyes: Artists Call for Animal Rights.”

One painting depicts the electrocution of an elephant. Other artworks show an emaciated trapped pig, a piece of meat with eyes.

“It is our hope that this exhibit begins a dialogue and urges the viewer into deeper levels of social thought and action, say the shows curators, Julie Seidman, Joel Silverstein and Aimee Rubensteen, in a program essay.

“Honoring animal rights and abstaining from their consumption affirms that all creatures are worthy of respect. The parallel concept in Jewish thought is called Tikkun Olam; a religious mandate to literally repair the world through righteous action.”

Not all of the artists in show are vegan. Not all of them are Jewish, either. But each has his or her own reason for choosing the themes of their artworks. A look at a few of them:

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Jane Lewis’ “Greyhound” contrasts the beauty of the dog and the reality of its racing life.
“Fur Farm,” depicting a fox in a cage, by Diana Kurz.