Freelance illustrator and comic artist Jenny Jinya has amassed quite a following. She has 163K followers on Facebook and 203K on Instagram alone, and her Good Boy and Black Cat strips are the perfect reasons why. Not only does Jenny create compelling characters and interesting narratives, but her works also highlight serious issues that both domesticated and wild animals face in today’s world. Abandonment. Habitat destruction and pollution. These are just a few problems that the artist has already tackled.
Her latest comic deals with animal abuse in circuses. Jenny imagined the life of a lion at a facility that forces the king of the jungle to perform. Once again, she did an excellent job showing how cruel people can be towards the creatures we share the Earth with.
Image credits: JennyJinya
Jenny told Bored Panda that, of course, not all circuses are bad. “Now, there are [some] where instead of wild animals, huge holograms inspire the audience. Or even circuses that show no animals at all, but rely completely on their human acrobats and clowns. I hope this trend will spread,” she said.
However, even though innovations are making their way into the industry, a lot of establishments continue running animal shows. And it’s not just the performance itself that’s harming the creatures. According to Freedom for Animals, a charity campaigning to end the use of animals in entertainment, touring circuses may cover thousands of miles a year, carrying animals from site to site in transporters and cages on the back of lorries known as beast wagons. “Moving location each week means they spend most of the year in temporary accommodation. The animals may be confined for hours, even days, in their traveling cages with their only respite being either limited time in an exercise cage, being rehearsed, or performing,” the organization wrote on their website. “It is impossible for a traveling menagerie to provide circus animals with the facilities they need.”
For this comic, Jenny chose a lion but she said that she’s speaking on behalf of all animals that are mistreated for the sake of selling tickets. “It wouldn’t have mattered if I had shown a lion or an elephant. Wild animals belong in freedom, they should sleep in the sun, hunt and protect their families. They should not jump through hoops because they will be punished if they refuse,” the artist explained.
The artist is all about bringing attention to those who don’t have a voice to speak up for themselves but, sadly, some people get a completely different message. This has a lot to do with both publishers and individuals carelessly resharing her content. “The problem is that many … often don’t share my complete comics, only individual pages. They also often leave out the last page where I describe the problem and share links for further information or donations. Some people then see this and do not understand the message. They think I just enjoy drawing abused animals.”
Jenny even started receiving hate mail because of this. “They don’t know that I’m trying to educate and raise funds. But it’s not their fault and mostly I can explain to them what my comics are all about.” If you, on the other hand, want to support the artist and the causes she’s fighting for, consider supporting her on Patreon. Jenny even puts aside 30% of everything she receives to donate to different animal organizations and shelters every month.