London’s Protest Stickers: Animal Welfare

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.

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).
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).
The British Heartless Foundation produce a variety of different stickers. This one features rats (Photo: Hannah Awcock, East Street, Southwark, 04/06/15).
According to the British Heartless Foundation, BHF also fund experiments on pigs (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Tottenham Court Road, 19/05/15).
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).
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).
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).
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).
This sticker is relatively low-tech; it is not very waterproof, so is likely to deteriorate quickly. sells vegan protest stickers, and Earthlings is a documentary  about animal cruelty (Photo: Malet Street, 08/03/16).
This sticker is a similar style and quality. It is advertising, a website that provides advice, information, and links to vegans and people who are considering veganism (Photo: Hannah Awcock, Malet Street, 08/03/16).
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).
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).
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.

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