Illustrating the book was a joy and a challenge. There was a wonderful list of animals to draw, and what Louise and I wanted to create was a tribute to the living, breathing animal that was chosen to represent each chapter, most of whom were killed and eaten in the narrative. We wanted to honour the animals in a way that reflects the message of the book – that we must not forget that meat was once a living creature that generally someone else killed for us to eat.
Louise wanted some quite specific looks on the faces of the animals and I was sometimes recreating moments she had seen on her journey through abattoirs and fields that only existed in her mind’s eye, like the stag in the gloaming frontispiece above. With Julie Bailey at Bloomsbury we worked through a few different roughs for quite a few of the images before the final illustrations below came together.
It was a pleasure and a privilege to be part of this fascinating and important project.
Blaze the rabbit for the prologue.
Recreating a flourishing undersea habitat around an oyster bed.
A magical ‘brownie’ brown trout.
Gloucester old spot piglets.
A tribute both to the lambs in the book and the lamb I met that led me to going veggie aged 10/11.
Cheeky veal calves.
A moment Louise had looking into the eyes of a cow.
Free range pigs.
A sheep Louise met on a roof top in Morocco
A rescue hen sitting in a laundry basket.
Pheasant in flight.
A cheeky fat grey squirrel.
Mackerel the ‘tigers of the sea.’
A house cricket.
Rabbit sitting in good company on a bookshelf in the Bloomsbury office.