"There is a spiritual terror, the promise of hell that makes them difficult to look at, and even more difficult to look away from." —Los Angeles Review of Books

"Mind-blowingly honest. Daring, truthful, mesmerizing, haunting. The most thorough examination in art of what humankind is doing to the rest of the animal nations. Read it and weep, but more importantly, read it and do something to stop our disgrace." —Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA

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About the Book

Longtime activist illustrator Sue Coe, a pioneer defender of animal rights, has produced a striking new work that furthers her career-long exposé of the exploitation of animals raised and slaughtered for human consumption. Richly illustrated with full-color paintings and drawings throughout, Cruel conveys the terrible beauty, and intense suffering, of both the animals so sacrificed and the workers involved in their violent destruction. While unexpectedly beautiful in its depiction of the brutal consequences of meat eating, this is a deeply moving, upsetting work, not for the faint of heart. Armed only with her sketchpad, Coe is often allowed access to places no photographer or reporter is admitted: the result is a passionate testimony to the waste and violence perpetrated by one species against so many others—and as both the text and unforgettable illustrations of this book make clear, these actions will come back to haunt humanity.

Aside from factory farming, in Cruel Coe also sets her sights on lesser-known, yet equally shocking, methods involved in commercial fishing, the wool industry, the flagrant use of pesticides, and livestock “protection” collars. This is social and political art at its most powerful, in the tradition of Goya, Käthe Kollwitz, and Diego Rivera.

Cruel includes notes supplementing Coe’s own texts and illustrations by Judy Brody, with whom she has previously collaborated. Brody runs the website Graphic Witness ( “social commentary through graphic imagery.”

OR Books offers a limited edition of Cruel, in a paper-bound case with silver foil stamping, signed in silver by the author on maroon endpapers. Produced in a limited edition of 75 copies, with color illustration throughout. More

Publication May 2012 • 208 pages, color illustrations throughout
Paperback ISBN 978-1-935928-72-0

About the Author

sue coe author photo

Sue Coe was born in England and grew up next to a slaughterhouse. She studied at the Royal College of Art in London and left for New York in 1972. Early in her career, she was featured in almost every issue of Art Spiegelman’s groundbreaking magazine Raw, and has since contributed illustrations to the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Nation, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Details, Village Voice, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Esquire and Mother Jones, among other publications. She is widely regarded as one of the best and most scathing artists of her time. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museum around the world, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Her previous books include Dead Meat, How to Commit Suicide in South Africa, X, and Pit’s Letter.

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This capacious, high-quality tote features an illustration by Sue Coe. Printed red and black on natural, 100% recycled cotton. Reverse side sports the OR logo in black. More

In the Media, October 28th 2013

Dickinson College, October 15th 2013

Red Pepper, October/November 2012

ARTnews, October 17th 2012

Our Hen House, August 13th 2012

Bomb magazine, August 2nd 2012

Huffington Post, May 17th 2012

Print, April 2012

PETA, March 15th 2012

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