A Monument To Animals We Do Not Mourn

Location:  Hartsdale, NY
United States
Project Description: 


Artist Linda Brant is building a monument dedicated to animals that are not typically mourned, such as cattle, chickens, turkeys, pigs and sheep. The Monument for Animals We Do Not Mourn will be the first public monument in the United States honoring animals that are largely overlooked and rarely regarded as grievable. The monument will be installed in Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, also known as The Peaceable Kingdom because all species are welcome there. The Monument for Animals We Do Not Mourn is a memorial, a contemporary art project, and a historical statement.  It is a public expression of the views of many people in the United States who believe these animals deserve to be remembered. This project has been funded in part by a creativity grant from the Culture and Animals Foundation. Additional funds are needed for its successful completion.

How it began...
In March of 2015, artist Linda Brant received an initial grant from the Culture and Animals Foundation to create and install a monument dedicated To Animals We Do Not Mourn in Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in New York.  A second creativity grant was awarded in March of 2016 and the monument has been in construction ever since. 

Every aspect of this monument is symbolic.  The two halves of the monument represent the divide between human and nonhuman forms of life.  The divide is bridged at the top with the cattle skull featuring a hand-faceted quartz crystal in the position of the third eye, as a symbol of compassion.  Why this placement of the crystal?  When cattle are slaughtered, they are first shot between the eyes with a captive bolt stunner. Ironically, the site of the injury corresponds with that of the metaphorical third eye. The Monument to Animals We Do Not Mourn features a hand-faceted quartz crystal in this very position; symbolically transforming the place of pain into something that represents its opposite. The crystal will reflect the sunlight and call attention to the need for mindfulness in our care and treatment of these individual animals. The top of the bronze skull will be 55 inches high, about the same height as a cow or steer at the time of slaughter.

Why Create a Monument To Animals We Do Not Mourn?

This monument probes the question of what constitutes a grievable life.  It is an expression of loss, mourning and compassion for these anonymous individuals.  The monument will serve as an unambiguous acknowledgement of the significance of their lives.  There is currently no such monument in the United States.

Why Hartsdale?

Established in 1896 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places,Hartsdale is the oldest known pet cemetery in the United States. There are over 80,000 animals of all species (including humans) interred at Hartsdale, but there is currently no monument dedicated to cattle or other unmourned animals.  The Monument To Animals We Do Not Mourn will be prominently placed near the cemetery's famous War Dog Memorial.  A highly visible and publicly accessible cemetery, Hartsdale has been featured in numerous articles, books and films. The Monument To Animals We Do Not Mourn will be located on the cemetery's protected land; thus future generations of visitors and scholars will be able to view it and contemplate its meaning and historical significance. 

Next Steps

Construction of the monument is currently underway!  The bronze skull has been completed. A fundraising campaign has been launched to cover the cost of the granite structure, the cemetery plot and the installation of the monument.  Your support of the project at any level is most appreciated!  Learn more at www.unmourned.net 


Thank you!

Linda Brant