CAFOZONE was started by people living near Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and our supporters, hoping to find new ways to talk about CAFOs, and looking for creative ideas. (Graphic detail from Jane Mudd’s painting, “Bull Fair.” For the whole picture, click here)

Even with rural America’s dwindling population and dwindling incomes, CAFOs are the most divisive issue. Whether you’re a CAFO neighbor, dealing with the smells, the sights, the sounds, the trucks or whether you’re an employee, owner, or investor that loves the government handouts, CAFOZONE wants to hear from you. Do you have creative work to share? We’ll post it.

Capture Project

For the Captured Project. Inmates draw portraits of corporate criminals.  Below the portrait  are two lists, one of the artist and his crime and his sentence, the other of the portrayed corporate criminal and his/her alleged crimes.  This portrait is Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith and we might add "stealing markets from thousands of small U.S. chicken farmers."

Bull Fair

Jane Mudd painted this derivative, riffing on “The Horse Fair” by Rosa Bonheur, for an exhibit called “Mimic the Masters” at The Art House in Fulton, Missouri. Bonheur was a Victorian with the audacity to dress like a man and visit horse fairs, slaughterhouses and stables to learn the anatomy of horses. In her painting, the Saltpetriere Asylum for Women hovers in the background, the dreaded lockup for women who thought they had a grander place in society than being servants to men. In Mudd’s version, the asylum is replaced by the U.S. Capitol, suggesting a confinement space for the bulls.

Marionette

Dolores Cullen is artist and photographer for the Storm Lake Times, an independent Iowa newspaper owned and administered by the Cullen family. The twice-weekly newspaper has been a unique voice, standing almost alone in Iowa for their community, family farms and rural residents, and against the industrialization of agriculture. This illustration of a puppet farmer was the cover for Progressive Populist, a national “journal from America’s heartland”. The headline on this issue was, “Fixing our food system—and reviving rural America—means breaking up Big Ag: Anti-trust regulations addressing agricultural consolidation could solve the farm crisis.”

CAFO Capitol

John Darkow is a cartoonist and watercolorist, and a native of Columbia, Missouri. He has been active as a cartoonist in many Missouri publications, and lived in “COMO” for most of his life, with time out for good behavior in San Antonio, Texas. Two-time winner of the Missouri Press Association best cartoon of the year, his bio says that he “also received a perfect attendance award in ninth grade. He is an avid bicyclist, hiker and friend of small animals.”

Riot: Fowl the Cage

Sue Coe: Riot: Fowl the Cage. 2011.
Copyright © 2011 Sue Coe
Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York

Sue Coe grew up in Hersham, an English village near London. Her home was close to a slaughterhouse, but just a few miles away was a swanky golf club so plush that, as she says in an essay, “even John Lennon couldn’t join because he just wasn’t ‘the right class.’” As she learned, “So our reality of the hog farm and the slaughterhouse was not a personal reality but a class reality.”

Farm Scene with CAFO painting by Sandy Eccles

Canton, Missouri artist Sandy Eccles presented this painting to Missouri Rural Crisis Center. Eccles is an environmental artist and posts her art in her yard in the effort to educate the public about the root causes of environmental destruction. This painting focuses on the stream, running black from the CAFO and blue through the pasture. She told an interviewer for the Canton Herald-Whig, "  "We need to be less ‘consumptuous' and realize that the resources we have are very finite."

Sue Coe

New York Artist Sue Coe portrays animals in CAFOs and feed lots in dark tones. She says, "We despair for the fate of animals, the senseless cruelties inflicted upon them by our species, their and our own helplessness in the face of mass slaughter--all this is true. And if we could really see what we have done to the earth, we would go mad. Alongside that is yet another truth: there is a palpable goodness all around us, even in the most terrible times, that all things point to, like the north star."
Sue Coe: Feed Lot. 1991.
Copyright © 1991 Sue Coe
Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York