Monday, April 14, 2014

We Animals by Jo-Anne McArthur

Jo-Anne McArthur's new book entitled We Animals offers a captivating and intimate look at the lives of animals used for humans' convenience. As an award-winning photojournalist and activist for more than 10 years, Jo-Anne's book includes more than 100 photographs shot over the last decade in 40 countries.  McArthur investigates the ways in which humans create perpetual barriers that allow us to treat non-human animals as objects to be used for fashion and entertainment, food, and research.

Each photograph includes a short narrative about how it was obtained, the location, and the situation. For example, one picture depicts the sad story of Foggy the Hippopotamus as he lives out his life in captivity in the Calgary Zoo.  Another picture shows how an circus elephants spends his time when he isn't in the circus lights -- shackled to a stake in the ground for many hours of the day.

The pictures of animals used for food were most disturbing. In one, you see a baby cow with the following excerpt: "After the calf's birth, and once the mother had licked and nuzzled her baby and watched over her as she stood for the first time, one of the farm hands picked the calf up and dropped her into a wheelbarrow, taking her to the other side of the farm where the veal calves are kept."

I also enjoyed the section on research because not only did it show the animals who are tortured for the purposes of research, but it also showed the heroes -- the animal activists who rescue them.

The photography is some of the best I've ever seen as Jo-Anne is a very talented photographer. These pictures will touch your heart in ways that may change your views forever. If nothing else, this book makes an incredible coffee table book because even without reading any of the narratives, you are sure to be moved by the photography alone.

It retails for $40 and can be found on Amazon for $36 here. You can view a selection of photos from We Animals here.

Full Disclosure: Although the book was provided to me for free to review, that in no way influenced my veracious opinion.

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