Karen Fiorito, Got Drought?

Farmland lies parched and unused, land is sinking, and reservoirs are dropping to never-before-seen levels. These are just a few glimpses of conditions in increasingly arid California.

As powerful as these images are, vegan artist-activist Karen Fiorito wants to use different visuals to spark change in the Golden State, change that will put a big dent in the drought. She is launching a billboard campaign to educate Californians about animal agriculture’s devastating contribution to the drought and to environmental conditions that increase the likelihood of drought. Her project, Got Drought?, highlights how much water goes into producing animal products. Her goal is simple: shock Californians with the facts and encourage them to reconsider their dietary habits.

47% of water used in California goes to animal agriculture, while only 4% goes to residential use. Cutting shower times and resisting the urge to water lawns won’t make a real difference, but changing our dietary habits will. Karen hopes to motivate Californians into taking real steps towards building a water sustainable future for the state, serving as an example for other states and countries across the globe.

Karen and her partner Alex Arinsburg have already designed a series of billboards that will explain in simple terms just how much water is required to produce everyday animal products like hamburgers and milk, and Jack Schwada and Muskaan Mehta have joined the team to get the word out through social media and public outreach.
This billboard campaign will be complemented by an art exhibition and collaboration with other like-minded artists.

For more information on Karen’s project visit the Got Drought?  Website Facebook, Instagram, and follow them on Twitter.

GRANT AWARD DATE: August 15, 2015