London’s Protest Stickers: Vegetarianism and Veganism

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There were quite a few stickers relating to veganism and animal rights stuck on these phone boxes in Charing Cross Road (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Charing Cross Road, 23/03/17).

I have written about protest stickers related to animal welfare before, but I have since collected enough stickers to put together a post solely about vegetarianism and veganism. According to The Vegan Society, there are more than half a million vegans in the UK. Whilst this isn’t many, it’s more than three and a half times the number there was in 2006. There are also around 1.2 million vegetarians in the UK and the variety of vegan alternatives in shops and restaurants is increasing all the time. Whether it’s a fad or a lasting trend remains to be seen, but there are certainly plenty of protest stickers on the issue.

To see whereabouts in London I found these stickers, check out the Turbulent London Map.

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This sticker makes a connection between veganism and the environment, arguing that meat production contributes to global warming and pollution, amongst other things (Photo: Hannah Awcock, 14/02/17, Tate Modern).

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This sticker implies support of veganism rather than actually spelling it out. Rain has caused the ink to bleed, making quite a pretty pattern (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Charing Cross Road, 23/03/17).

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This sticker is disputing the argument that animals for the meat industry can be killed humanely (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Charing Cross Road, 23/03/17).

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This sticker targets the stereotypically British drink, tea, as a way of protesting the mass consumption of milk (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Charing Cross Road, 23/03/17).

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This sticker goes into more detail about the milk industry, portraying it as vicious and cruel (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Charing Cross Road, 23/03/17).

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This stickers builds on the arguments above by suggesting milks derived from alternative sources. The web address belongs to an organisation called Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT–I suspect the name was chosen for the acronym rather than anything else), which promotes veganism and animal rights (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Charing Cross Road, 23/03/17).

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This sticker focuses on fish, listing characteristics seemingly intended to invoke sympathy. I suspect that most people would not normally associate these attributes with fish, and many vegetarians do eat fish (pescatarians) (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Charing Cross Road, 23/03/17).

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This sticker aims to persuade the viewer that veganism is healthy, suggesting that eating meat leads to higher rates of cancer. It also promotes a YouTube video, a particularly common tactic on animal rights stickers (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Charing Cross Road, 23/03/17).

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The key slogan of this sticker has been obscured, but it’s message is clear, condemning the attitude that human appetites are more important than the suffering of animals. It utilises another common tactic of animal rights stickers, photos of cute animals (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Pentonville Road, 23/03/17).

 

Protest Stickers: Plymouth

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Plymouth Hoe is a beautiful spot near the city centre, overlooking the sea (Photo: Hannah Awcock).

Plymouth is a city of a quarter of a million people on the south coast of Devon, close to the border with Cornwall. There has been a settlement there for hundreds of years, and the city has had some brushes with radicalism during that time. For example, the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth for the New World (America), in 1620. They left because they were not allowed to practice their Puritan Calvinist beliefs in England. In  December 1913, Emmeline Pankhurst was due to be arrested as soon as she arrived back from the United States. The boat she was on was due to dock in Plymouth, and suffragettes descended on the city, determined to prevent this. Emmeline was arrested before the boat docked, and over the following months the city was targeted for revenge attacks of what were considered to be ‘cowardly’ arrest tactics. For the last century, the city has been an important site of naval shipbuilding. As such, it was targeted for aerial bombing during WW2, in what became known as the Plymouth Blitz. As a result significant parts of the town had to be rebuilt after the war, and there are few historic buildings in the town centre.

When I  visited the city recently, I found a wide variety of protest stickers, more than I would normally expect for a town of its size. Below are images of what I found.

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Charles Church is one of the few historic buildings that was left standing after the Plymouth Blitz. It is now a memorial to those who were killed during the bombing. (Photo: Hannah Awcock).

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I found several stickers around Plymouth imploring people not to vote Conservative. This one is making reference to the party’s support for fox hunting (Photo: Hannah Awcock).

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@sozfortheinconvenience is a Plymouth-based Instagram account that specialises in “fighting patriarchy and insulting people kindly one sticker at a time.” Personally, I am a big fan of polite sarcasm (Photo: Hannah Awcock).

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This sticker isn’t obviously associated with any specific protest group or organisation. Its bold text and bright colours are quite effective (Photo: Hannah Awcock).

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Earthlings is a 2005 documentary about the treatment of animals in factory farms, research labs, and other similar situations. It is often referenced on pro-Vegetarian/Vegan protest stickers (Photo: Hannah Awcock).

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This sticker argues against borders. It was produced by CrimethInc., an anarchist collective that promotes alternative thoughts and actions.  (Photo: Hannah Awcock).

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In contrast to the previous sticker, this one is promoting one of the most common pro-Brexit arguments, that it would give Britain the ability to ‘take back control’ of our government and our borders. Take Back Control organises pro-Brexit events in several locations around the country, including Plymouth (Photo: Hannah Awcock).

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There is a quote in A Knight’s Tale about how love should always end with hope. I think blog posts should end with hope every once in a while too (Photo: Hannah Awcock).

Sources and Further Reading

Rowbotham, Judith. “The Suffragettes and Plymouth.” Plymouth University. Last modified 5th November 2015, accessed 26th February 2018. Available at  https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/news/pr-opinion/the-suffragettes-and-plymouth

London’s Protest Stickers: Animal Welfare

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You find stickers of all kinds all over London, sometimes even in posh places, like these outside the National History Museum in South Kensington (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Exhibition Road, 30/08/16).

As regular readers of my blog will know, you can find all kinds of different issues represented on the protest stickers that plaster London’s streets. Over the last year and a half, I have written about protest stickers relating to immigration and race, housing, and the EU referendum, amongst others (see the Turbulent London Map for locations of all the stickers I’ve featured). But all of my topics so far have been rather human-centric, and many activists concern themselves with the non-human. The way that humans treat animals has been a topic of fierce debate for decades. It’s a complex issue, which can escalate rapidly into a philosophical debate about whether or not animals are entitled to certain rights in a similar way to humans. The debate also manifests itself in practical ways however, such as opposition to experiments being carried out on animals, and concern for the treatment of farm animals bred for human consumption. In recent years, ethical consumerism has reduced the amount of product testing carried out on animals, and vegetarianism and veganism has increased (the number of vegans in Britain has gone up 360% in the last 10 years (Source: The Telegraph, 2016). This has not been enough to satisfy everyone, however, and animal welfare continues to be a topic of protest stickers.

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This sticker equates animal with human liberation, mirroring the symbolic raised, clenched fist with a raised paw (Photo: Hannah Awcock, New Cross Road, 23/08/16).

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The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) use of animal experimentation is a common topic of protest stickers in London. The British Heartless Foundation is an organisation that aims to promote the fact that the BHF fund experiments on animals- they argue that less people would donate money to the BHF if they knew that was the case (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Euston Road, 11/03/15).

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The British Heartless Foundation produce a variety of different stickers. This one features rats (Photo: Hannah Awcock, East Street, Southwark, 04/06/15).

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According to the British Heartless Foundation, BHF also fund experiments on pigs (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Tottenham Court Road, 19/05/15).

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This sticker references recent culls of badgers in an attempt to prevent the spread of bovine TB. The effectiveness of the policy has been questioned by campaigners, who argue that the policy is cruel and unnecessary (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Southbank, 12/09/15).

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A lot of protest stickers promote vegetarianism and veganism. This sticker equates killing animals for food with murdering a human (Photo: Hannah Awcock, New Cross Road, 20/03/16).

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The Friendly Activist is a vegan who campaigns for animal rights and the environment, amongst other things. He seems to have gone quiet recently though (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Borough High Street, 26/06/15).

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Animal Aid campaigns against all forms of cruelty against animals and promotes what they call ‘cruelty-free living’ (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Russell Square, 15/04/15).

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This sticker is relatively low-tech; it is not very waterproof, so is likely to deteriorate quickly. Veganstickers.co.uk sells vegan protest stickers, and Earthlings is a documentary  about animal cruelty (Photo: Malet Street, 08/03/16).

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This sticker is a similar style and quality. It is advertising vegankit.com, a website that provides advice, information, and links to vegans and people who are considering veganism (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Malet Street, 08/03/16).

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This sticker is the same as the last, although its condition suggests it has been out on the street for longer. The photo was taken two months after the previous one and close by, so they could have been put up at the same time. Someone has crossed out the YouTube videos and web address, perhaps because they disagree with the sticker’s message (Photo: Hannah Awcock, 03/05/16, Gower Street).

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This sticker was also located in the same vicinity as the previous two; they may have been put up by the same person (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Malet Street, 08/03/16).

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Location can be very important for protest stickers. I found this sticker outside a McDonalds in Islington (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Upper Street, Islington, 01/12/15).

If you want to see where all these stickers were located, take a look at the Turbulent London Map.