By Rebecca Drew
THIS STUNNING young vegetarian artist has been labelled a MURDERER online for transforming ‘lifeless forgotten’ animal corpses into art but insists that they are never killed to fulfil her unusual TAXIDERMY hobby and that her work symbolises a ‘new beginning’ for the dead.
Student, taxidermist and artist, Kady Rose (25) from Southern California, USA, first got into taxidermy when she started her biology degree at university. Kady, who has always been an animal lover, started to see deceased creatures in a new light and decided that they should still be taken care of and appreciated even after death.
Ever since Kady says she has worked on anywhere between 70 to 100 animals which range from coyotes, foxes and rats to domestic cats and dogs, goats, llamas, raccoons and lynx and even an alligator. An average piece can take anywhere between three days and two weeks to bring back to life.
Beautiful pictures show Kady’s incredible art in all its glory which includes a coyote she transformed into the Egyptian god of embalming and the dead, Anubis, and her crystal fox, styled on Vulptex from Star Wars the Last Jedi.
Kady is a vegetarian and keen animal rights activist and all the animals she works on are naturally sourced, having either died from old age or as roadkill. As well as this, farms, petting zoos and vets donate animals to her to work on. She spoke about the process she goes through with each animal.
“I have always loved animals, but it wasn’t until pursuing my degree that I started seeing them in a new light. I found myself wanting to take care of these creatures even though they were no longer with us,” said Kady.
“One day when getting one of my artistic itches, it hit me. I immediately set out doing research and gathering supplies. I was going to give these animals a new life.
“More than anything I love the journey I experience with each animal. Being able to see them go from a lifeless forgotten corpse, to a beautiful piece of art, each with their own personality. I can’t help but look at them when I’m done and think they are happier.
“Each animal is handled with the utmost care and respect from beginning to end. Since most of my animals are sent to me, they are first frozen for preservation. They are then skinned and the pelt is tanned (often by a close friend since I currently don’t have the space to do it in-house).
“The bones are all donated to a fellow artist who does articulations. Once I receive the pelt, the mounting process begins. I work on the faces first, which requires carving a foam head form to mimic the skull and musculature, which I build upon with clay.
“I then make wire armatures for the legs, stuff the body with polyfil, and sew it all up. Once everything is fully dried, a little paint is added, and violà.
“All of my animals are naturally sourced, and are not killed for my art. I don’t support taking lives, and actually greatly oppose it. Unfortunately, animals die every day from causes beyond our control, and that is where I come in.
“My animals come from all over the US and cause of death ranges from old age to roadkill. I get pet donations from families, petting zoos, farms, and veterinarians as well.”
For Kady, being a vegetarian doesn’t conflict with her taxidermy work as this is her way of demonstrating respect for the animal after it has passed away.
However, she does admit that she sometimes finds it difficult to work on animals that resonate with her personal life.
“I love all animals, whether they are dead or alive. Just because they are no longer breathing, doesn’t mean they deserve any less love or respect,” she said.
“I have been a vegetarian for over a decade now, and even as a child rarely ate meat, it caused a lot of problems with my grandma. As far as animal issues go, I would say number one would just be spaying and neutering your pets.
“Millions of dogs and cats are killed each year, and those numbers could be drastically reduced if people just stopped adding fuel to the fire. Fix your animals and consider adopting from a local rescue or shelter instead of purchasing from a breeder.
“There are tons of organisations that will fix your animal for free if money is the issue. There are too many fur babies that need homes already.
“By far the most difficult part for me is getting animals that hit really close to home. I recently received a Pitbull puppy, and as a mother of a Pitbull myself, it was really emotional. That being said, cases like that make me want to strive even harder to do them justice.”
Kady receives tons of comments regarding her work every day and as well as praise, she has been called a ‘disgusting murderer,’ comments like this she just ignores.
“As one would expect I receive a ton of mixed responses, and I am so thankful that most are kind. I get a lot of people who are interested in pursuing taxidermy asking for advice on where to begin, people saying that I changed their mind on how they perceived taxidermy, and even saying that I am an inspiration, which brings tears to my eyes every time,” she said.
“Negative comments used to really get to me, but they don’t anymore. Anyone calling me a ‘disgusting murderer’ for example, clearly hasn’t taken the time to know anything about me or my practices.
“If they aren’t willing to do any research before making accusations, they aren’t worth my emotions.
“All life is sacred and beautiful, and that death doesn’t have to be sad or mark the end, but instead is a new beginning.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/kady_rose