The Gaya Club presents an exhibition of photographic records of its most important actions and campaigns for the rights and welfare of animals which have changed the Polish law and influenced social changes.
The highlights include:
- The nationwide “Animal is not an object” campaign was launched in 1995 with a view to creating an animal protection act. Gaya Club members formulated a petition which was signed by 600,000 supporters. Two years later, in 1997, an animal protection act was passed, stipulating that “an animal is not an object.” To commemorate the passing of the act, the Gaya Club has established the Animal Rights Day, which is celebrated in many Polish towns and cities on 22 May.
- “Circus is no fun for animals” – Gaya’s first action defending circus animals took place in front of a circus which had arrived from the Soviet Union in 1991. The campaign, which was launched then, led to a ban for circuses with wild animals on entry to the city of Bielsko-Biała. Introduced in 1995, the ban is still in force today.
- “CARP still alive” – Gaya’s longest running campaign which has led to a big change in both social attitudes and the law. More than twenty years later, in 2009, the Animal Protection Act was amended at the request of the Gaya Club giving protection to fish, on the grounds that they too experience pain, fear and stress, just like other vertebrates. The campaign has been supported by the traveller and TV chef Robert Makłowicz and the actors: Magdalena Popławska, Julia Pietrucha, Magdalena Różczka, Maja Ostaszewska and Bartłomiej Topa. The campaign has also been aided through the work of the writer Olga Tokarczuk (short story) and playwright Artur Pałyga (dramatic miniature).
- “Collect waste paper, save the horses” – an ecological and pro-animal action, through which the Gaya Club teaches interdependence between man, the environment and the animal world. So far, the Gaya Club has saved 60 horses – all of them sick, neglected and slated for slaughter, and supported their maintenance and treatment. Thanks to the action, over 4,000 tons of waste paper have been collected!
The vernissage preceded by a meeting with Karolina Kuszlewicz, an attorney dealing with animal cases, and Marcin Urbaniak – a philosopher and ethicist from the Pedagogical University in Kraków, member of the Polish Ethical Society
The meeting focused on the rights and welfare of animals.
The exhibition is an important item on the list of activities to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Gaya Club, and a part of the 4th Ecowork Festival 2018.