These pig paintings and sketches are by the renowned artist Sue Coe, “Graphic Witness” to the horrors of factory farms and slaughterhouses. As an animal advocate and artist, Sue lectures, gives workshops, and has displayed her work in exhibitions in Japan, Austria, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, and all over North America.  She has written many articles and eight books, including Dead Meat, winner of the 1991 Genesis Award, and Sheep of Fools, winner of the 2005 PETA non fiction book of the year. Her paintings are now housed by art museums, institutes, libraries, foundations, and universities internationally. Sue says, “My aim is to use art to change the world, not reflect it.”

* Please double click images to enlarge.

Sue Coe grew up in Detroit in a neighbourhood with a pig slaughterhouse. In the artworks below she recounts the grief she felt when she and her mother saw an escaped pig recaptured and, in the next one, she and her sister witness the vicious use of electric prods to unload pigs from trucks.

My mother and I watch a pig escape the slaughterhouse, by Sue Coe

“My Sister and I, outside a hog slaughterhouse in Detroit, the dead pigs were thrown to the side of the road. They were being electrocuted in the eyes, to get them out of the truck,” by Sue Coe

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The next set of 11 pig paintings and sketches provide a chronology of the treatment of pigs from World War I to the banal abuses in industrial factory farms and slaughterhouses. The last print provides some repose, leading us to a fully humane way of living with our fellow creatures.

World War I pigs. Outside a brothel in occupied europe. Painting by Sue Coe.

Pigs eaten alive by maggots. In the sow gestation crates, they cannot turn around or move, imprisoned for their entire short lives, eaten by maggots. Painting by Sue Coe.

Lete Concentration Camp. This is a modern pig farm, built on the site of a concentration camp, for the Romany peoples, in the town of Lete, Czech Republic. Painting by Sue Coe.

Gassing hogs, 6 at a time, instead of one at a time, more profitable for the industry. Painting by Sue Coe.

Tail docking. Sketch by Sue Coe.

Ear notching sketch, by Sue Coe.

Auschwitz copy. By Sue Coe.

Injecting Piglet. By Sue Coe.

Teeth cutting. Sketch by Sue Coe.

Factory pharm, the animals went insane. By Sue Coe.

Go Vegan. By Sue Coe.

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The next 10 drawing and paintings by Sue Coe are available as prints on her website Graphic Witness. These images graphically explore the scale and extent of injustices and exploitation faced by farm animals  and end with a Dickensian death bed scene in which “modern man [is] haunted by the ghosts of his meat.”

“Triumph” print by Sue Coe

“Picnic” by Sue Coe

“Turnabout” by Sue Coe

“Lawyer” by Sue Coe

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quicksilver3x3 | 20 December 2010 |

“A collection of some of Sue Coe’s paintings and drawings to expose the truth about humanity’s absolutely unacceptable treatment of innocent, wonderful animals. These things ruin our world. Stop condoning/supporting animal exploitation in every way you can…study nutrition objectively, and GO VEGAN, please. The song is ‘Young Men Dead’ by The Black Angels and the poem is ‘A Voice for the Animals’ by Jenny Moxham.”

6 Responses to "Art by Sue Coe"

  1. Reisa Posted on January 31, 2011 at 5:05 am

    What fabulous art! Thank you for the inspiration. I need to start drawing and painting more of the atrocities I have witnessed. Much love and light to you, Sue.

  2. Ming Posted on May 16, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Thank you for posting these art works! Hope more people with artistic talent will join hands in this!

  3. joe Posted on August 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Searing, visionary images that burn through the veneer of a sham normality to reveal inexpressible depths of cruelty and anguish. Here, illumined with the livid flames of human depravity, are the dark satanic mills, built to satify appalling cravings and bloodlusts. Here are the wretched of the earth, tormented, violated, harrowed, defiled by profane hands. The artist is wonderfully gifted: with the ferocious eloquence of a moderm Goya or Grozs , she etches in lines of acid the savagery and moral squalor of our nightmare world, where innocents suffer and bleed, while Everyman –leering, soulless, insensate, ghastly — carries on his ceaseless work of desecration. This is art’s highest vocation: to make the scales fall from our with a convulsive shock of hallucinatory realism. It may only the artist who can restore our capacity to SEE.

    • torontopigsave Posted on August 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      So eloquent and perceptive Joe. I will forward your comments to Sue Coe. She’s a huge supporter of our group and yes her art is that of a modern Goya or Kathee Kollwitz. Thank you for your comments.

      • joe Posted on August 25, 2011 at 9:21 am

        It’s simply wonderful that artists of this calibre are engaged with the cause of nonhuman animals. Even if I didn’t care about nonhumans myself, I would have found these works utterly arresting. Emily Dickinson’s words come to mind: “If you feel as if the top of your head is about to blow off, you know it’s poetry.’ I think I can say the same about Coetzee’s novels; quite apart from their laudable moral commitment, they are glorious artworks. Oppressed nonhumans need this kind of creative brilliance.

        I’m sorry I’m such a careless typist. In my haste , I dropped a couple of obviously inferable words in my earlier remarks. I’m afarid that’s not unusual for me. The point, though, is that I found that these images, for all their unrelenting bleakness — or more exactly, because of their unrelenting bleakness–possess an extraordinary aesthetic dignity. I shall never forget them.

  4. Samantha Bound Posted on November 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I wish Sue could come to Toronto soon to give a lecture or workshop.

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