Nonprofit Switch4Good has announced its latest collaboration designed to “disrupt the disinformation of Big Dairy”. The organisation is working with vegan artists to offer more than 50 pieces of original art, sold as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). All profits will be donated to the Indraloka Animal Sanctuary and distributed amongst nonprofits working with animals or for human health, food justice, and environmental causes.
A dedicated NFT store was opened online at the end of May. Confirmed artists are Danny Roberts, Johnny Braz, and the duo Stephanie Dillon and Linnea Maas. All pieces have been specifically created for the project. Each explores related themes such as human-animal bonding, the dark side of dairy and meat production and the peace found by rescued farm animals.
Appealing to the digital native generations
As the world becomes more digital by the day, Switch4Good is demonstrating commercial astuteness in leveraging the trend of NFTs. Items are bought online using cryptocurrency, creating an unbreakable digital paper trail that demonstrates ownership. This blockchain technology allows artworks to be validated in terms of authenticity and tracks increasing value. Like conventional art pieces, NFT artworks are deemed highly collectable and an investment.
One element that is potentially at odds with Switch4Good’s overall ethos is the footprint of cryptocurrencies needed to buy NFTs. The issue of electricity used to ‘mine’ the currencies has come under fire from environmental groups. To account for this, Switch4Good claims to have ensured the smallest footprints possible with the most dividends reaching its nominated good causes as possible.
The NFT project uses Ethereum as its cryptocurrency of choice. It is noted as a less resource-heavy alternative to Bitcoin. It also claims to be in the process of shifting to a production methodology called ‘proof of stake’, which it says will use 99 percent less electricity than traditional mining techniques.
Artists joining a cause
The creatives underpinning the NFT sales are connected by recurring themes in their works and personal experiences of both Indraloka and Switch4Good. Danny Roberts is recognised for his political statements that frequently feature oppressive iconography and run along apocalyptic themes. As a vegan, he was already against the dairy industry and has sought to highlight his stance in his animal-themed pieces.
Johnny Braz created his NFTs by leaning on his experiences as an animal caterer at Indraloki.
“We were so close and connected, and they knew me so well, I found them opening up to the camera: beautifully, generously, baring their souls so that everyone can learn what I learned. They are the same as us. Only maybe slightly better,” Braz said in a statement.
Stephanie Dillon and Linnea Maas have worked together since Dillon’s breast cancer diagnosis, five years ago. They enjoy producing pieces that are politically subversive yet still beautiful, to shine a light on common ignorance. Dillon credits Switch4Good with offering information when she needed it the most.
“Five years ago when I started my cancer journey, information on the effects of dairy and meat were more difficult to come by,” Dillon said in a statement. “Today through the amazing efforts of organizations like Switch4Good, it’s impossible not to come in contact with, and connect with, the true science around how dairy and meat affect our bodies, our health and the planet.”
Sales of the NFT art pieces are open through August. A metaverse art gallery showing is planned for June 30 with Gallery Lola hosting the event.
Walking the unconventional path
Switch4Good has a history of undertaking unusual campaigns. Arguably one of its most successful was a spoof press release from Starbucks that announced it would be dropping its plant milk surcharge in U.K. stores. Starbucks has never commented on the spoof, apart from to deny that the press release came from itself. It made no reference to the stunt when announcing its decision to drop the surcharge.
All images featured are NFTs for sale.