Artist Thoughtfully Illustrates What It Would Be Like If Humans And Animals Switched Roles

switched roles of animals and humans

Animals are subjected to abuse or unwanted death all around the world. It could be raising them for food consumption, making leather from their skin, using their bodies as showpieces, hunting for sport and pride as well. There are also instances of Circus abuses or in Zoos. But what if we switched roles?

We often forget that animals are beings just like us. They feel pain, torment, think and have their souls. Yet, we consume them for our purposes. And the scale for it has increased so much in the past couple of years, we have become thoughtless. Several species are on the brink of extinction as well, due to human ignorance. 

But imagine if we switched roles? Imagine a world where animals are the “superior species.” What if they tormented and killed human beings for their benefit? Is it enough to change our thought process? 

This has been the basis of Irish artist Barbara Daniels. Like every art form in the world does, she has explored the possibilities of such an imagination— where animals dominate humans. Her craft world has tried to answer several questions, such as what would it look like and how would we feel? 

Her work draws inspiration from the real dimension we live in. Her series “Dominion Over Man” has gained widespread attention online. And it all started in a cafè on a paper napkin! 


What If Humans And Animals Switched Roles?

Let’s have a look at her work below and be our interpreters of them:

A Human Pet Contest

Titled ‘Best In A Show,’ this piece portrays the switched roles of animals and humans in a pet contest. Based on which traits humans will ever win, remains a question. 

Animal Rides With Switched Roles

Remember when human beings used animals for traveling? Horse and Donkey back ride? Or even tangas? This is what it’d look like for animals to use humans as their rides. Appropriately titled, it is called ‘Human Taxi.’ 

The Dairy Industry

The title of this artwork is ‘Dairy Baby Housing.’ It represents the harsh practice of the dairy industry. The nursing of calves and the treatment of cattle. Imagine a world where the harshness is reversed. 

The Switched Roles In ‘Fishing’

What is the opposite of ‘fishing’ in the parallel universe? ‘Humaning’ seems fitting, doesn’t it? Imagine fishes throwing pins at humans from under the water. And humans being nagged, and hunted, and collected in baskets. Tough thought, eh? 

‘Clubbing’ Seals

This does not mean going to the club. If you see, seals are a few of the most beautiful and adorable creatures on the planet. Clubbing is one of the most violent things that human beings have done to animals so far. It is mostly done to baby seals. Now think of what could happen to human babies if the seals are up for a revolt. 

Switched Roles In The City Square

Have you walked through a city on a beautiful, sunny day? Have you crossed the busiest square or corner, where a statue of some famous man stands? Or where water drips in a show? That is where several pigeons lie, tap for food, sip water, play around or chill. What do we humans often do when this happens? Walk over them, by them. Eating, listening to music, walking to work, sipping coffee, sitting, and watching. Hence, the perfect title: ‘Pigeons In The City Square.’


Well, humans are not the least bit exotic. But exoticism is in itself a globalized idea. Elephants are one of the ‘exotic’ animals around the world. We often travel for ‘Ecotourism,’ as titled, looking for them, going on a ride on their backs, feeding them. But what if there is a switched role? How better could humans fare? 


Switched Roles In Human Food

This has been taught in every part of the world. The health of human beings is often deterred and taught to use through animal products like meat, milk, yogurt, or cheese. What if cows taught these things to their calves or goats and other cattle clans? And we would become healthy meals? 

Birds In The Cage

We all have that one friend who has birds as their pets. But in a cage. They are not allowed to ‘fly’ because they would leave. And why wouldn’t they want to leave if they were in a cage, being locked from their natural trait of flying? A human being can also be caged, having their head eaten with stupid questions and names like we do with parrots. 

Switched Roles With An Animal Crossing The Road

Yep. Been there. Done that too. Do not lie. We have all ignored animals crossing the street. And not all of us have been kind to them. So in a parallel universe, with switched roles, why should they be kind to us? 

Fashion Flesh

Does this even need an explanation? Fox, Mink, Rabbit, and Beaver furs are used for “high-end fashion.” Why not human hair, skin, heads? To be killed to become a statement for some other. 

Switched Roles In Scientific Tests

How do you know a product, medicine, or something else is safe for human beings? Catch some animals and do your tests on them. They are not easily tormented by keeping them in tiny glass rooms and injecting them with chemicals. And if the animals have no problem with that, then the humans shouldn’t too. 

Centre Of Attention

I mean, getting viral is way too much work. Just turn into an animal, like a monkey, and do smart things like drink water from a discarded bottle at the beach. You’re famous! And you wouldn’t even have to work on it! 

Have Switched Roles In ‘Keeping’

Does it matter to you how animals are treated for the products you consume? Like bees to produce honey? Industrial beekeeping is harmful for cheaper reasons. They ‘cull’ the hives. What if they no longer harm the bees? They could spare our lives in the parallel universe. 

Animal Shelter? How About Human Shelter?

Humans will rescue animals, they said. Animals will be kept in shelters till then, they said. But they did not say how animals are treated. Or fed. Animals being ignored by human society is the sad, mad cruelty of the world. We only hope this role does not reverse, or we will never forgive ourselves. 

Switched Roles In Culling

Chick culling or unwanted chick killing is the process of separating and killing unwanted chicks, for which the intensive animal farming industry has no use. I mean, does one need to explain more? 

Documentary On Wildlife!

In a parallel universe, there’s a family of goose, or horses watching National Geographic on wild humans. That could be a thing, though— human beings out in the wild. Scarier than the tigers in the open. 

Switched Roles With Aquatic Life

Nothing much to say here. Or perhaps too much. Aquatic animals are endangered due to human disposal of plastic. Just look at our beaches. We, too, could be the ones striving, stuck in a bottle, jar, or can, floating in the ocean. Or lying on the shore. 



Imagine cows with switched roles, milking women from their breasts. Or animals turning humans upside down in a circus. 

Leather-Leather Switched Roles

Teeth as pearls. Nose as clicks. Ears as accessories. Eyes as buttons. Skin as leather bags or jackets. Gutted and stuffed as a showpiece. If this is what switched roles means, mankind should hope they do not exist.

Fireworks Show

Animals are not fond of watching fire being colorful and dancing around in the sky. Several of them get severe anxiety. Some have reported dying by the sound of it even. 

So how do we perceive the abuse of animals now? 

By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

Image Featured Barbara Daniels

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