Originally from a small, rural community, Twyla connected with farmed animals from an early age. She worked as the Canadian Head of Investigations for the international organization Animals’ Angels, Canadian-based organizations Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Farmed Animals and the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, and most recently as Director of Investigations for Mercy For Animals Canada where, together with a small team of investigators, she completed and released seven undercover investigations. Over the years, her investigations led to the closure of facilities, animal cruelty charges and convictions, rescues of abused and neglected farmed animals, and opening the hearts and minds of many to the power of their food choices to create a kinder world.
While Twyla’s investigative footage received a good amount of exposure in the national media, she realized that the very people who would empathize with the animals’ suffering and take action were often turning away from the graphic evidence before absorbing the message. She wondered if art, with its ability to be softer but equally as effective, could be a way to reach this audience. She tentatively began releasing her paintings in 2015 and reports that the response has been heartening.
Twyla has been fortunate to share her life with numerous farmed animals, including Wilbur, the pig she rescued off the highway after a trailer accident, Tara and Avalo, horses who were destined for slaughter, Marlene and Natalie, unsold chicks about to be stomped at a livestock auction, and Sophie and Katie, two injured and traumatized turkeys who escaped the catchers hired to load them for slaughter.
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