Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour


Submitted on
March 15, 2012
Image Size
4.2 MB
Submitted with


35 (who?)
CE: Friends - not property! by Toto-the-cat CE: Friends - not property! by Toto-the-cat
This is my entry for the animal rights contest held by :iconmauriciokanno: --> [link] .

About the drawing:

:heart: Friends - not property! :heart:

I chose this theme cause I think there already exist a lot of work pieces showing abused, mistreated, prisoned animals... I wanted to share a positive side, a side which we all should achieve - the possible friendship between nonhuman and human animals. ;)
Also I wanted to pick out a special theme, apart from veganism/ vegetarianism, animal testing etc. The theme I chose is how people treat "pet" animals, animals that live in people's houses. These animals live there for reasons like entertainment, having a friend for cuddling, or just cause there are children in the house and rabbits are oh-so-cute. It happens quite often that "pets" are given as presents for birthdays or for Christmas... And then they become a duty or simply boring after some time and are given away. This is only one example which depicts how animals who are meant in our society to be human's "pets" are seen - as objects which are property of someone. Pet animals (also "other" animals) aren't seen and treated as autonomous being who are equal to humans. :no:

Some words about the three panels:

:bulletpink:Panel 1 - morning
This panel shows a person and a cat sitting on a wall somewhere outside. Cats are typical "pets" which are objectified and treated as belongings to persons. Especially when they are young kittens there are very "attractive" to sell and buy. (Dogs could have also placed in this panel.)
The two in the pic look a bit like me and my cat friend who I always treated (or tried to treat) as autonomous friend, who could be outside in the garden or inside the house whenever he wanted and wasn't forced to cuddle when he wasn't in mood (which means when he didn't come to me from his own will).

:bulletpink:Panel 2 - sunset
Here is shown another animal species which is often an object for entertainment in human's houses - it's birds. Whether it's canaries who sing a lot or budgies who just look cute and stay in their cages or even parrots who learn to talk... Most people don't even know how exotic birds are caught and then "delivered" to our countries.
The same goes for fish. They are just another accessory in people's house inventory. You cannot pet them, you cannot go out with them (or leave them out), you cannot tell them what to do (like giving commandos to a dog).

:bulletpink:Panel 3 - dusk
Here I chose to show rabbits who walk freely on grass. Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice... These are pets that are attractive to children - they are cute, can be cuddled, are easy to "handle" (like to clean etc.). They are a perfect mix of plushies and animals and cause no noise.
In pet shops they are either sold only when they are young or they stay there for their lifetime, because adult "pets" aren't very attractive to buy. (The product must be fresh and new - and must have cute eyes and soft fur.)
I decided to draw the free rabbits on the grass in a dusk setting, cause rabbits in nature go out on the grasses in the early morning or in the evening/ dusk time. When they live at people's places they automatically have to live how the human's living rhythm is.

To sum it up - this drawing means that we all should treat our animal brothers and sisters with respect and love. Just because we are a "higher leveled" species (wtf?) we don't have the right to mistreat "weaker" ones as how we want it. In opposite, we have to learn that it's our responsibility to care about them and to help them whenever it's possible. This begins with changing our view on how the situation is now - that we in our role as humans have the power above the animals, and we totally utilize this constructed status of "weaks and strongs" in which strongs dominate on weaks. (This doesn't go only for the social status between humans and animals btw.)
To clarify it: Animals are treated as products and objects in our capitalistic world. They live to serve "us humans" as food, as workers, as entertainers etc. This is false and a very sad institutionalized situation. Veganism, animal liberation activism and other things are only some steps everyone can take to get out of this brutal "normality". But everyone can already start with activism in his/ her own house - start treating your furry or feathery or scaly friend as friend, as autonomous being with own wishes, own will and own self-determination.


X True Nature X - One Species
:music: [link]

Time: 5h
Materials: Copic Ciao markers, Shinhan Touch markers, white gel pen, black edding profipen 0.1, pastel chalk.
Add a Comment:
sailorsilverfalcon Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I can't believe I didn't see this before- but this is beautiful Toto :heart: Such a good message beautifully done!
Toto-the-cat Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013
Thank you! :) ♥ And glad you find it that way, it means a lot. ♥
sailorsilverfalcon Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wahyawolf Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
LOVE this! Wonderful message and amazing artwork :D
Toto-the-cat Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Aaaw, I think it's an important message/ lesson. ;^; And thank you, thank you!
MauricioKanno Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Hi, dear Toto-chan, I´m using your triple painting, that was an entry in my International Contest for Animal Rights last year in this video with my musical carnival parody against zoos, ok? ;)

- Video with me singing in Portuguese and many of the zoo images from last contest: [link]
- English translation in dA: [link]

By the way, don´t forget! I hope you join the contest again this year! The new deadline is March 31st! :D
- 2013 Arts for Animal Rights Contest: [link]

What do you think? :D
Toto-the-cat Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
Thanks for the info and sure sure, you can always use the piece! :D I will watch the video later, just stood up here. :B But thx for sharing! ^^

And yes, I am still aware of your contest. ^^ I have the info journal open in my inbox. ;)
Cinzia-chan Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
that's a great message :) :love:
Toto-the-cat Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012
Aaaw thanks! :love:
Cinzia-chan Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
your welcome! :hug:
Add a Comment: