Living in a city can be an all-encompassing experience. As we rush between our jobs, our family, and our friends it’s easy to get sucked into our own personal world. We can forget that there are trees, nay entire forests, and millions of creatures that are living their own lives outside of human cities. But these animals are painfully aware of us. There are over 700 marine species that are endangered with extinction because of plastic waste and as we continue to produce 300 billion tons of plastic a year, it only adds to the problem. Meanwhile, we are responsible for massive amounts of deforestation across the world, most of which is done to make room for animal agriculture which results in the destruction of numerous unique habitats and in turn, leads to more endangered species. So how can we be sure that we, as a community of informed humans, stay conscious of the precarious status of so many other living creatures across the world?
Roger Peet, a painter and activist based in Portland believes that art is the answer. He is a co-founder of the Just Seeds Artists’ Collective, a group that aims to, “[produce] socially and environmentally engaged works [of art].” Peet has been traveling to major cities across America painting massive murals of endangered species and ecosystems on the sides of buildings.
This is his eighth Endangered Species Mural in Knoxville Tenessee.
It’s 230 feet long and 14 feet high.
It shows the endangered freshwater mussels of the Tennessee river.
Peet’s mural in Butte, Montana depicts, “the grayling, a glacial relic that is the last population in the lower 48 states- a dramatic and beautiful fish threatened by agriculture and climate change.”
His mural in South Minneapolis reminds the public about the dwindling Monarch Butterfly population and suggests the community plant milkweed to save this beautiful creature.
Art has the power to inspire us. It has the ability to light a flame of empathy in our hearts and spur us into action. Roger Peet’s Endangered Species Murals help to bring the plight of wildlife around the world into our cities, and his larger than life artwork makes it impossible for us to ignore the problem any longer.
To see more of his work or other members of his collective visit the website. The best way that you can help protect these endangered species is always choosing to #EatForThePlanet and by joining One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.
All image source: Roger Peet