I’m so thrilled to be able to share this post today. It’s been a long time coming.
I first stumbled onto the Beauty Without Cruelty organisation some time last year, and that’s when I decided I was going to do something with my photography for their benefit. It took a long time, but I finally started putting together my series of Couture Creature shoots as a formal introduction to my support of the BWC. One woman in particular, whose name kept popping up as I started engaging with more and more animal lovers, was Toni Brockhoven. Toni is the media and public liaison for the BWC and has made a huge difference to their cause. I finally got Toni into the studio and this is my chosen image of her for this series.
I asked Toni to share her story of how she became a staunch animal supporter and also to tell the story of her chosen creature for this shoot…
“When my eyes were re-opened in 2004 to the horrors chickens underwent, in an expose, I knew I would become vegan, and vocal! Over 9 years later I find it incredible I was ever non-vegan.
My need to pay more than lip service began when I started the No Foie Gras campaign a couple of years later, now affiliated to BWC. This has been a successful and ongoing campaign. I had the opportunity to leave my standard job and work for Beauty Without Cruelty on a full time basis, through timing and circumstance, and the last several years have been fulfilling, yet at times, tough going. While a quiet child and young adult, I found my voice in later years and realised that sitting on the fence is not for me. I will firmly and unfailingly stand up against injustice to animals; our lives are intertwined, and the day-to-day violence meted out to fellow earthlings, under the guise of normality, heritage, religion and culture is something I find hard to swallow.
Lambie was my first Christmas gift, at the age of 6 months, and 53 ½ years later he is still with me! I wasn’t one for dolls, and those given to me were donated, still wrapped, to the kids at Westlake TB clinic every January. I should have realised the significance of this loved, single remaining toy a long time ago!”