How AI Can Draw Attention to the Suffering of Animals | Barky Supplies Expert Tips

How AI Can Draw Attention to the Suffering of Animals

Can artificial intelligence (AI) be used to draw attention to the suffering of gentle cows and dogs exploited by animal-abusing industries? To answer this question, PETA recently paired up with artist Shad Clark to create our first AI-generated ads.

Portland-based AI artist Shad Clark's depiction of a pug dog, which is a breathing-impaired breed, hooked up to an oxygen machine with an oxygen mask over their face

Artist Shad Clark Uses AI to Shed Light on Deadly Plight of Breathing-Impaired Breeds

In a series of AI-generated images titled “You Make Me Sick,” Clark shows breathing-impaired breeds (BIB) of dogs on ventilation machines and in an iron lung, unable to breathe without the aid of medical equipment due to having been deliberately bred to have deformities. Although some people think it’s normal, even cute, when BIBs snort, grunt, and pant, those sounds are signs of physical distress as they struggle to breathe. Clark’s use of generative AI technology helps viewers visualize the plight of these dogs and the cruelty of dog breeders, who purposely breed them to have flattened faces, restricted airways, and other grotesquely distorted physical features.

Portland-based artist Shad Clark's depiction using AI of a bulldog, a breathing-impaired breed, inside a cylindrical oxygen tank

Greedy breeders sentence BIBs to a lifetime of suffering because they know they can turn a profit by selling them to buyers fixated on a particular unhealthy and unnatural look. Pugs, boxers, English bulldogs, French bulldogs, and other BIBs endure a multitude of health problems and a daily struggle for oxygen over the course of their short lives. Breeding these dogs also exacerbates the companion animal overpopulation crisis, which sees around 70 million animals homeless in the U.S. at any given time.

Portland-based artist Shad Clark's depiction using AI of a frenchie, a breathing-impaired breed of dog, hooked up to an oxygen machine with an oxygen mask over their face

Throughout “You Make Me Sick,” Clark uses AI to remind people that as long as breeders continue to profit, they’ll keep on producing unhealthy dogs, regardless of how many suffer and die to fuel their insatiable greed.

How Generative AI Can Be Used to Reveal the Cruelty of the Dairy Industry

Working with PETA, Clark created “WHAT KIND OF MAN STEALS FOOD FROM A BABY!?” and “Dairy Is Scary,” which use AI to visually highlight the cruelty and sadism inherent in the dairy industry. These unsettling images broadcast themes of perversity and violence to remind viewers that the dairy industry is built on the cruel practice of separating mothers from their calves, often within hours of birth, so that the milk meant for the calves can be stolen and sold to humans instead.

Portland-based artist Shad Clark's depiction using AI of a man drinking cow's milk from a glass pitcher as a mother cow and her baby calf watch

Both images from the surreal, unsettling series “WHAT KIND OF MAN STEALS FOOD FROM A BABY!?” pair adult human men with calves, a stark reminder that cows produce milk only as a result of giving birth and only to nourish their young but that dairy industry propaganda is designed to mislead consumers into thinking that drinking another species’ milk is natural, which it isn’t. In the dairy industry, workers forcibly impregnate cows via artificial insemination, tear their calves away from them, and hook the mother cows up to milking machines.

Portland-based artist Shad Clark's depiction using AI of a man about to drink cow's milk from a glass while holding his hand over a baby calf's mouth to block them from the milk

Cows are sensitive, playful individuals who love their calves, enjoy socializing with one another, and mourn the deaths of their loved ones. There are countless cases of mother cows crying out and chasing after their stolen calves, who are either doomed to lead the same miserable lives as their mothers or sold into the veal industry, in which they’re kept chained up and deliberately malnourished for the entirety of their short lives.

Portland-based artist Shad Clark's conceptual depiction using AI of a human's head splattered with cow's milk that destroys the human's health, including half of their scalp missing

“Dairy Is Scary” reveals the dark, terrifying reality of the dairy industry, in which workers subject cows to horrible cruelty. Because cow’s milk is meant for calves, drinking it often makes humans sick and has been linked to ovarian cancer and weight gain. Clark’s alarming work reminds everyone never to consume bovine mammary secretions, which are always obtained through abuse and exploitation.

How to Take Action for Dogs, Cows, and Other Exploited Animals

Although only AI can create such disturbing, revealing images at the snap of a finger, everyone can do their part to reduce the suffering of animals by going vegan and never buying an animal from a breeder or a pet shop.

Protesters wearing pug masks holding signs against BIBs outside dog show

Click below to help cows abused for their milk and to ask Starbucks to drop its vegan milk surcharge:

And please contact PETA if your dog is a BIB with health or behavioral issues:

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