Cartoon Campaign Against Whale & Dolphin Cruelty

Mike Stokoe, Sarah Boyce and I weilding our cartoons outside the Commons with additional cartoons on the boards from Dean Patterson, Martin Rowson & Clive Goddard.

Glenn Marshall writes:

Procartoonists are pleased to be working in collaboration with Whale & Dolphin Conservation on a cartoon exhibition and campaign on the theme of captivity. We became involved after Ed Fox, Director of Marketing & Communications at WDC contacted us about using cartoons to highlight the cause. Ed had long been collecting cartoons on whale and dolphin themes, particularly from the New Yorker. The PCO team of Sarah Boyce, The Surreal McCoy and I had regular online meetings with WDC where we formalised ideas about how best to use cartoons to get across their message.

One of Ed Fox’s favourite New Yorker dolphin cartoons courtesy of © Paul Noth

The exhibition focuses on WDC’s campaign #EndCaptivityForever. In particular pressing for legislation for an outright ban on keeping whales and dolphins in captivity in the UK. Although the last dolphinarium closed here 30 years ago there are no laws preventing these creatures being held captive in the future. If the UK joins other countries that have already banned this cruel practice it’ll put pressure on others to do the same. 

Orcas and dolphins are completely unsuitable to be kept in confined spaces. In the wild they live in large social and family groups and travel huge distances. There are some tragic stories of how they are treated – one I found particularly upsetting was about an orca who has been in captivity in Florida for over fifty years. She was first captured around the age of four in 1970…to put that in context Harold Wilson was Prime Minister at the time! There are plans now to release her into a sea sanctuary off British Columbia, from where she was first taken. It’s believed her mother is still alive in those waters and is the age of 90!

Me demonstrating that I could’ve done with oracy training in schools when I wor a lad. Cartoons displayed in the background by © Henny Beaumont & © Mark Winter (aka Chicane)

The exhibition was launched at the House of Commons last week. The event was kindly hosted by Labour MP Virendra Sharma. WDC’s Carla Boreham made an impassioned speech on the issue. I spoke on behalf of PCO, fortunately none of the attending MPs bayed like banshees or waved their order papers, not even when I said “one of a cartoonist’s main jobs is to antagonise and ridicule you lot!” In fact we got a lot of support. Poet Matt Harvey recited his specially written odes ‘Smile, Take Me Off You’re  F****** Bucket List’

Simon Ellinas drawing Poet Matt Harvey

I was joined at the launch by fellow PCO members Sarah Boyce and Mike Stokoe. We also had Simon Ellinas on hand drawing live caricatures.

Cartoons on printed boards by © Archaz Von Hardenberg and © Chris Williams

Cartoon by © Tony Husband on the digital carousel.

Thanks to all the cartoonists who contributed and produced some great work on the theme.

You can sign the #EndCaptivityForever petition here.

Herne Bay Festival poster cartoon by © Rupert Besley

The exhibition moves on to Herne Bay Cartoon Festival, 4th-17th August, where The Surreal McCoy and I will also be running a whale and dolphin cartoon workshop.

There are plans for an online virtual gallery of all the cartoons (I’ll add a link to this once it’s available)

Boards by © Jeremy Banx and © Kerina Strevens

All photos by © Hayley Flanagan from WDC

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