From our earliest days of childhood, our exposure to other species is confusing and contradictory, with animals like the beloved characters who fill our storybooks moulded into unrecognisable shapes and served up to us in deceptively friendly packaging. With a recognition of this cognitive dissonance as a starting point, this project seeks to explore the inconsistency of teaching children to love and respect animals whilst at the same time to accept the eating and usage of them.
To do this, I collaborated with a primary school class and an animal sanctuary, combining the analogue and the digital in the context of a classroom-based workshop run via video call. The workshop utilises design practices in the form of interactive presentations, creative activities and educational games to explore the topic of animal rights. My goal was to provide a space for students to critically evaluate mainstream attitudes and assumptions towards nonhuman animals, and by extension, to question current norms surrounding animal use and consumption. It’s time to bring this conversation to the forefront of our ethical considerations.