Sue Coe’s art is stark, polemical, and gruesome—and beautiful in spite of itself.
Me Drawing in a Slaughterhouse, from Sue Coe’s new book, Cruel: Bearing Witness to Animal Exploitation
When it was published in 1996, Dead Meat, Sue Coe‘s graphic exposé of the meat-processing industry, was as
Since the publication of the original book, do you believe
you’ve made a marked impact on behavior? You’ve turned me off red meat forever.
Absolutely. My art has made thousands of people vegetarian or vegan. It is said
that one needs to hear the truth ten times before one can change, and my work
may have been lucky and been that tenth time. More important, my inspiration is
other animal-rights activists, so I consider myself part of a team that is much
larger than any one painting or drawing. The people I know are truly
courageous. I am just an artist standing behind them, part of a team that will
never give up, never stop working, a team that the meat industry and its paid
lobbyist lackeys fear very much.
You’ve used your art to
How do you stomach being in
How so? An example is my
congressman, Maurice Hinchey, an animal-rights activist; he says so very
clearly and directly when he cosponsors animal-protection legislation. This
is so different from even a decade ago. There will come a day when eating
meat will be illegal.
Cover for Cruel: Bearing Witness to Animal Exploitation (left);
You Consume Their Terror (right),
Perhaps. But for now, I can
Happier meat is more
Do we actually need to eat
“The highest quality I can aim for is: ‘This drawing kills
the animal-exploitation industry.’ ”
In your experience, how does
As an artist, do you feel
Is your art entirely in the