Laurel Geddes
Laurel Geddes
Creative. Strategist. Storyteller. Adventurer.
 

Editorial Design, BookBinding

Good Death

 
 
 

“Good death” is the Greek root of the word euthanasia, the practice of intentionally ending a life.

 

 

The objective of this personal project was to organize a massive quantity of data in a way that impacts people and compels them to ponder their everyday decisions or reframe their thinking. I was shocked to hear the statistic that 19,710 individual dogs and cats that were euthanatized in Los Angeles animal shelters in one year. Thus it became the basis for extensive research into the subject, and ultimately resulted in the creation of this book.

"19,710 individual dogs & cats were euthanatized in Los Angeles animal shelters in 1 year."

An infographic of sorts, this book contains personal data from each of the 19,710 individual dogs and cats that were euthanatized as well as the signature of the person who authorized the procedure. Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes comprised 55% of the total dogs euthanatized, while neonatal kittens comprised 15% of the cats euthanatized. While the data is presented in a clinical, dispassionate way, the book's sheer heft (it weighs nearly 10 pounds!) makes a lasting impression. 

The first section includes different euphemisms for euthanasia, the agents used, the process, and the most common reasons why owners surrender their pets. The thick middle section is pink, a reference to pentobarbital, the euthanasia medication most veterinarians use. The forms in this section are a handwritten log of the personal data for each of the 54 animals euthanatized each day, from January 01 through December 31. The last section proposes a solution to the dilemma by encouraging readers to adopt a pet, citing the myriad health benefits of interacting with dogs and cats.

 
 Every pink page contains a handwritten log of each of the 54 animals euthanatized that day.

Every pink page contains a handwritten log of each of the 54 animals euthanatized that day.

 The forms are pink like the euthanasia medication most veterinarians use.

The forms are pink like the euthanasia medication most veterinarians use.

 The dog tag on the cover was etched at Petsmart.

The dog tag on the cover was etched at Petsmart.

 The book was printed and hand bound by Laurel Geddes.

The book was printed and hand bound by Laurel Geddes.