In memory of Grandpa Ed and in celebration of an Age of Empathy

I didn't want to tell my Grandpa Ed, a sixth generation dairy farmer I was vegan.  When I finally did, his reaction surprised me. He said he understood. He said he was proud of me. He said, “It is pretty neat that we live in an age where you have the luxury (and he emphasized the word luxury) to live such an empathetic lifestyle.” That was almost 20 years ago. He’s been gone six years this spring. Seed catalogues and chickens make me think of my Grandpa Ed and lately I've been thinking about him a lot. He loved chickens. I have a scrapbook he made as a child and it is full of pictures of chickens.  This is a photo of him and me and Chicken Alfredo.  Chickens liked him too.

I would love to have a couple of chickens, but I live in an apartment in a big city. I work hard so that I can have a lifestyle someday that will allow for another rescue dog and some rescue chickens. Yep, I said rescue chickens. Every year, domestic fowl, mostly chickens, are impounded by Minneapolis Animal Control. These birds are victims of neglect, abuse and abandonment. Some are the discarded outcome of "nature lessons” for children or after a hobby that no longer holds interest. After their release, Chicken Run Rescue provides the birds with temporary shelter and vet care, locates and screens adopters within 90 miles of the Twin Cities and transports the birds to their new homes. I have been pondering over how Grandpa Ed would feel about Chicken Run Rescue. I think he would find it both absurd and fascinating. I think he would say it was pretty neat to live in an age where people had the luxury to live an empathetic lifestyle. I think Ed would have been down with chicken empathy. I recently decided to un-follow all animal rescue pages on facebook because it caused me too much sorrow to not be able to help. Then a wise friend said, “You don’t need to adopt to help, why you don’t use your art and your
audience instead for now?”

 So that is what I will do. In memory of Grandpa Ed and in celebration of an Age of Empathy I will donate 50% of the retail price of all my art that contains a chicken to Chicken Run Rescue. I have just posted 4 new hand-painted Gocco prints on antique journal pages of song lyrics from the 1930’s. I have more chicken art and will continue to add pieces as they sell.
Here is the link in case you missed it in the text: www.etsy.com/shop/amyriceart?section_id=13192785

1 comment:

Katie Young said...

Hi, I'm Katie, the fulltime "shelter staff" at Chicken Run. Welcome aboard and thank you for sharing your beautiful art. I can't wait to meet you. My Grandpa loved chickens too, and inspired me to work on their behalf. He has been gone for most of my 53 years, but his heart and his memory live on in each bird I hold in my arms.