Animal Abuse and Domestic Abuse: Using Art to Explore the Link

Link Between Animal Abuse and Domestic Abuse

"Safe Animals Safe Kids" Mural by BZTat

Last week, Mary Haight introduced to us Elephant Parade, a project which uses art to raise public awareness to the plight of the Asian elephant. This week, we’d like to introduce you to a similar but still very different project.

Okey’s Promise, like the Elephant Parade, uses art to raise awareness. However, in this case, the focus is on making the public aware of the link between animal abuse and domestic abuse.

Animal Abuse and Domestic Abuse and the Link Between Them

There is a strong link between animal abuse and domestic abuse. Those people who abuse animals are also likely to abuse people, particularly those weaker than themselves. Their victims may be children, spouses, the elderly, or other individuals incapable of defending themselves. Whoever their victims may be, the abuser may be themselves a victim of past abuse.

Most people tend to think of animal abuse as only a problem dealing with animals. Okey’s Promise seeks to change that perception by educating people about the link to domestic abuse and the fact that many times both forms of abuse are occurring simultaneously.

Okey’s Promise: Art for a Cause

Okey’s Promise uses art in many of its different forms to pass on its message. Whether through the paintings of artist Vicki Boatright (who prefers to be called BZTat) or through the dance of 13-year old Miah Thornton, the message, though ugly in its origin, is wrapped in a presentation filled with hope. BZTat is quick to point out that, though the images of abuse are ugly, she doesn’t like to paint ugly things. And her painting is anything but ugly, as evidenced by the image above.

Particularly noteworthy for Okey’s Promise is the involvement of the younger generation in passing on its message. Both BZTat and Miah believe that reaching the youth of today is one of the best ways to change tomorrow. And Miah, being a member of that younger generation herself, is a good ambassador, not to mention being a talented performer with a sense of purpose that is rare (and admirable) in one so young.

The Interview

This week, Lorie Huston, Animal Cafe’s resident veterinarian, talks with artist BZTat, dancer Miah Thornton and Miah’s mother and choreographer, Chloe Divita. Please take a few minutes to listen as they discuss Okey’s Promise: Art for a Cause.

Don’t forget to join us next week right here on Animal Cafe for another insightful interview. In the meantime, check out Okey’s Promise to learn more about the link between animal abuse and domestic abuse. Start the Change is also highly recommended.

You might also enjoy this video.


  1. […] out Lorie Huston’s interesting interview with the artists at Animal Cafe. […]