Instead of eating animals, Sarah Krause paints them.
Krause became a vegetarian at age 13 and vegan as a first-year student after seeing “Cowspiracy,” a documentary about the meat industry’s carbon footprint. As an artist, Krause uses her work to depict farm animals in a way that return the sovereignty they’re denied on farms that raise them for slaughter.
“I realize I’ll probably be labeled as a crazy vegan trying to push her worldview, but it’s something very important to me,” Krause said.
After a short stint in neuroscience, Krause switched her major to art during her first year at Pitt. Among her science classes during her first year, Krause took a drawing class for general education requirements — and it was the only class that really interested her.
Switching her major, she said, “was very impulsive but was something I’ve never looked back on.”
Her interests in art began in camps she attended as a child growing up in Pittsburgh’s North Hills. It was a form of expression she immediately latched onto, and what carried her through adolescence.
Krause added a second major in social work, which combines a number of her interests – including politics and psychology – and allows her to help people. After Pitt she plans on going to law school to study either human or civil rights law.
“It sounds very cliché but I knew I wouldn’t be fulfilled if I wasn’t doing a selfless endeavor,” Krause said.
Krause explores varying themes in her work. She’s been revisiting self-portraits and femininity — both early interests — in drawing classes at Pitt. Lately she’s also been able to gently push her own agenda through her work by drawing viewers’ attention to the subtle reminders of mistreatment in the food industry.
“People need to come to terms with what it means to eat meat on their own. You can’t aggressively force it on people,” Krause said. “That’s the line I’m trying to walk.”