First and foremost, this IS a giveaway in partnership with a Chiang Mai-based Thai graphic designer and street artist, Ko – but before I get to the goodies, as usual, I want to talk a bit about my outfit and what inspires it. Starting with a quick question: how many dogs can you spot in this outfit?
Words: Oliver @oliverinstead / Photos: David
There is of course the adorable basset on the t-shirt, illustrated by the very talented Ko and the houndstooth (aka dogstooth) print in the skinny trousers.
This is by far the coolest tee I’ve ever owned. Basset hounds are one of my two favourite breeds of dog (I love my chunky Chow Chows equally much) and that’s what I want to talk about in this post: DOGS. Yup! Man’s best friends. Seems a tad unusual on a fashion-oriented blog but they are the only animals that will look you right in the eye (FACT!!). The only animals that can read your emotion as well as respond to it. The only animals that will mourn a passing in the family with you. The only animals that will protect you from any harm just because they love you more than anything… Tell me those aren’t good enough reasons to focus just one post on these cuties!
My family have adopted a few homeless stray dogs in the past and I’m super proud to say that I always treated them all very well. I would volunteer for washing and grooming duties and feed them treaties that even the poshest of dogs would be envious of.
Most of you might know that I think Vietnam is a friendly and for most parts, utterly beautiful place. But last time I was there there, I unearthed some shocking and upsetting sides of the country that seriously shook me on an emotional level. Apart from the limestone quarrying issue in Ninh Binh that deeply affected me – I came close, like face-to-face close… too close to dog meat consumption at Pu Luong’s Sunday market. I’m not going to state graphically what I witnessed but trust this small town Malaysia boy who’s seen the bloodiest butcheries, it was gruesome.
I have no right to judge, and I won’t because I’m no saint or vegan myself. So call me a hypocrite but I strongly feel that there’s a place where the line needs to be drawn and this is it. Yeah yeah, you can argue (and I’ve seen people try) that much smarter animals are being farmed and slaughtered for human consumption but if the creature’s intelligence is not immediately appreciable to me like a doggy’s cognitve abilities, i.e. running up to me wiggling its tail in sheer excitement everytime it sees me coming home from school, then it’s hardly relevant to me. As ignorant as it may sound.
I could go on and list you all the reasons why I find eating dog meat unacceptable and we’d still be here next Christmas so I’m just going to make my opinion clear to all dog meat consumers that, dogs have served as our closest, most loyal companions for tens of thousands of years. By killing them for their meat, we’re concluding once and for all that the human race really hasn’t climbed as far up the evolutionary ladder from cannibalismas as we thought.
Through his arts, Ko raises fund to support local dog and cat owners in Chiang Mai – an extremely admirable act of kindness. I don’t think there’s anyone better to collaborate with than him as a fellow dog lover. So, here’s how you can be in for a chance to bag these animal graphic t-shirts with a caring cause:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Simply follow myself on Instagram (here) and Twitter (here), as well as Ko’s official Facebook page (and here). To increase your chances, you can comment on any of my articles or retweet me once a day for the next few weeks until one lucky winner is chosen by the end of the month. The tees are unisex and only come in one standard size, fits all.
This giveaway is open internationally so all animal lovers can join in and the winner will receive not one, but two tees! Yes, you can share it with your sis, bro, significant other as a matching outfit or better yet, you can treat yourself to both of them (I would…) 😀