The “The New Paradigm” (2012) political cartoon by AGB and Jesse Lee Johnson features a sun shining above two clusters of trees. A cluster on the left is labeled “Liberal,” and a cluster on the right is labeled “Conservative.” The sun that shines above both tree clusters is labeled “Humane.” As the editorial cartoon makes clear, the simplistic, dualistic thinking of the past—in which all political matters could theoretically be plotted along a single, linear continuum—has been superseded by the real criterion by which modern political decisions and positions are to be measured: the ethical criterion best summarized as “humane.”
Modeled after Benjamin Franklin’s 1754 “Join or Die” political cartoon, the “Unite for Animals” (2012) political cartoon by AGB and Jesse Lee Johns depicts a snake consisting of several discrete parts that have not yet come together. These parts are labeled with many of the labels that currently divide the animal protection community: animal liberation, abolition, animal welfare, animal rights, animal sanctuary, spay and neuter, animal rescue, and environmental protection. As with Franklin’s original earlier work, the present political cartoon calls for unification so that greater strength can be achieved.
Franklin’s “Join or Die” woodcut political cartoon may be considered the first editorial cartoon in U.S. history. Franklin was a visionary and man of action of the first order: an internationally known scientist, author, publisher, ambassador, inventor, postmaster, signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the nation’s most important early treaties—the list of his achievements reads like those of several lives, not just one.
The “Interview with a Sauropod” (2012) political cartoon by AGB and Jesse Lee Johnson features a brachiosaurus wearing a “Kiss Me, I’m Vegan” t-shirt as she is interviewed by a human being. The human asks a question that omnivores often ask vegans and vegetarians, “Where do you get your protein?” The relative size disparity between the interviewer and the interviewee highlights the oddity of the question posed.
Brachiosauri belong to the sauropod family of dinosaurs, whose herbivorous ranks include the largest known land animals who have ever lived on the planet.
The “Reality Strikes the ‘REAL’ Seal” (2012) political cartoon by Jesse Lee Johns features a logo that reads “RAPE”; the RAPE text is surrounded by a shape that mimics that of the cow milk industry’s “REAL” Seal. The REAL Seal is an image that the cow milk industry uses to distinguish its rape-based foods and beverages. Incorporating this reality into a seal, the cartoon’s RAPE Seal offers in many ways a more real representation of the cow milk industry’s products than does the REAL Seal.
Many cow milk-drinkers believe that cows produce milk perpetually. This perception derives from a lack of awareness that cows are raped by the cow milk industry so as to forcefully impregnate them; childbirth, in turn, causes cows to produce milk just like human mothers or other mammalian mothers.
The vast majority of cow milk-drinkers are similarly unaware of what happens to the “by-product” of the rape process: the mother’s calf. Female calves are added to the rape queue; male calves are tortured in crates so as to make them “tender” and then killed to produce veal.
To provide political and editorial cartoons that inform, enlighten, and entertain our audience.
Why Political and Editorial Cartoons?
Political cartoons and editorial cartoons are a very effective, concise, high-density communication medium. In a single glance, a well-conceived political cartoon can convey a message that would otherwise require a long discussion or video presentation.
Complex issues can often be presented much more simply through a format that combines visuals and text than through written or spoken arguments that contain no visuals. Humor, meanwhile, enables readers and viewers to open their minds and hearts to subjects and thoughts that might otherwise be perceived as threatening.
In the United States, political cartoons and editorial cartoons can be traced back to Benjamin Franklin, whose 1754 “Join or Die” woodcut may be regarded as the first political cartoon in American history.
Who Can Use Our Political and Editorial Cartoons in Their Own Publications?
Political cartoons and editorial cartoons that appear on the political-cartoons.org website are available for use by organizations who expressly promote cruelty-free life choices. If your organization meets this criterion and would like to use a cartoon in your print or electronic materials, please feel free to contact us for publication rights.
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