Last summer, as part of a Kickstarter fundraiser, I contributed to getting the book We Animals printed. For my donation, I received a copy of the book, which arrived in December.
We Animals is a gorgeous, hardcover photo book by award-winning photographer Jo-Anne McArthur. She also wrote the accompanying text that explains the circumstances in each picture. It’s beautifully written.
McArthur spent years travelling the globe, documenting the plight of animals in human environments. She covers animals raised for food, clothing, used in entertainment and research, as well as rescued animals.
Her photos draw viewers in and help make a connection to the animal subjects in them. The photos aren’t all easy to view, but they all tell a story that needs to be shared. If they must endure it, the least we can do is acknowledge it.
Bearing witness–observing but not necessarily being able to help–is a key part of the book. McArthur travelled to factory farms, fur ranches and zoos. What can one do other than promise those animals that they will not be forgotten–that their message will be shared and that someone will fight for them and others like them?
Every animal lover should own a copy of this book. Mine is on the coffee table and is a great conversation starter when guests come over.
Jo-Anne McArthur is the subject of the documentary The Ghosts in Our Machine, by Liz Marshall. When I get a chance to watch that, you can bet I’ll share my thoughts with you.
I have so much admiration for Jo-Anne McArthur. She has a gift of capturing haunting expressions. How she remains calm in these situations I just don’t know?
I agree! I’m in awe of her photos but also her composure. It’s heartbreaking to witness atrocities and be unable to intervene. I was going to write “be powerless” but she’s not. Her camera is a powerful weapon. It’s still horrible to leave animals behind–even if there’s no options.