Canadian photographer Jo-Anne McArthur has been documenting the plight of animals - both wild species and companion pets - for a decade. Her travels that have taken her around the globe, where she has captured haunting images of conditions and treatment of animals used in rodeos and factory farms, those living in zoos and aquariums, in so-called "rescues" and in SPCA cruelty investigations.
Now she has compiled 100 of the most compelling images into a book, "We Animals."
On her website, McArthur describes her works as seeking "break down barriers that humans have built which allow us to treat non-human animals as objects and not as beings with moral significance."
In an interview with Salon McArthur says what strikes her is how pervasive animal mistreatment is whether you are in a remote part of Asia or in her backyard of Toronto and how humans have become inured to the suffering of animals, whether it be in meat production or in cages at zoos. She specifically mentions the "ag gag" bills, driven by Big Agriculture, that are sweeping the nation that aim to protect inhumane practices by suppressing undercover animal cruelty investigations.
("Ag gag" bills were introduced in Pennsylvania last year by Sen. Michael Brubaker of Lancaster County and Rep. Gary Haluska of Cambria County last year but have not yet received a vote.)
But McArthur is heartened by the fact many people are now changing the way they eat and the demand for humane treatment has driven some change in the industry.
Travel with McArthur as she explores life inside the Home for Crippled Dogs in Bangkok, alligator farms in Louisiana and the environmental devastation after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. She also documents the peaceful lives of the lucky few who end up in the caring hands of Farm Sanctuary or Best Friends Animal Society and with individuals who open their hearts and homes to unwanted animals.
(Photo/ book jacket cover "We Animals/Jo-Anne McArthur)