The Nonhuman Rights Project would like to thank our latest Featured Volunteer, Jo Frederiks of Murwillumbah, Australia!
Jo is a visual artist who has generously contributed numerous sketches of nonhuman animals for use in the NhRP’s social-media infographics. Rich in detail and empathy, Jo’s artwork has given our supporters a compelling way to help raise awareness of our mission.
I recently asked Jo a few questions about herself, her work, and her support for nonhuman rights:
LC: Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to be an advocate for nonhuman animals?
JF: I was raised on one of the largest cattle stations [ranches] in Australia, so I witnessed firsthand how we mutilate, exploit, enslave, and violently kill sentient beings. I’ve been a dedicated vegan and animal rights advocate for 21 years now. Feeling overwhelmed at the magnitude of the suffering we inflict on animals led me to create a vast body of work, which resulted in part in the acclaimed Animal Holocaust art exhibition held last year. Philip Wollen OAM flew in directly from speaking in the Parliament in The Hague to open the show. His speech, combined with my images, served as a powerful message to people about how we treat our fellow creatures in this world (you can view the video here – LC).
LC: Why do you support nonhuman rights and the NhRP specifically?
JF: Nonhuman animals are not “things,” they are not our slaves, and they are not ours to exploit and abuse; their lives belong to them. They deserve Justice. They deserve personhood. In the end, our own future is based on a reflection of how we treat our fellow nonhumans.
LC: What role do you think art (either your own or art in general) plays or can play in animal advocacy?
JF: I believe art has the power to move people and inspires them to search their own morals and ethical stance towards nonhuman animals. Art reaches people where graphic photographs or the written word cannot. Art is and should be a mechanism for social awareness and a platform for the demonstration of what the single mind can do to change the world.
Thanks again for your help and support, Jo!