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Goldfish, with a Side of Fries

The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill(villagepetstore.jpg)

I don't eat animals. I like them too much. I have two pet goldfish who I feed every day, and couldn't turn them into fish fingers. British graffiti artist Banksy, however, has done just that – but with a huge side order of irony.

The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill(villagepetstore2.jpg)

His exhibition, The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill, found a home on New York's 7th Avenue in October last year, causing confusion to passers-by, and of course, quite a few headlines. Thanks to the web, it's still doing so.

banskypets-02

At first glance, it looks like a regular pet store. Creatures in cages and aquariums. Then you look more closely. Fish fingers instead of goldfish. Hot dogs being drip-fed mustard. Chicken nuggets grazing on ketchup. A bunny applying makeup.

banskypets-01

Then it dawns on you… We keep them as pets. We eat them. We experiment on them. We turn them into clothes. This is not cute. This is our cultural hypocrisy being thrown in our faces.

I'm not the kind of vegetarian who would throw paint at women in fur coats. Mine is a personal decision. But I have to say I love Banksy's pet store. Sometimes, there's nothing more subversive than humor. RM

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