You give thanks by eating Whom?!
You give thanks by eating Whom?!
I make portraits of rescued farm animals and their humans to pay tribute to the animals who have suffered so much and to the humans who do everything they can to make their remaining days peaceful, comfortable and joyful. #heartbreak is the price of loving deeply. #RIP Tonto. Thank you, Jenny, for all that you do to make the world #abetterplace for animals.
Have you ordered your Thanksgiving turkey yet? This is Michael, who was destined for dinner until rescued and brought to Catskill Animal Sanctuary a few years ago. Just like humans, turkeys experience pleasure and pain. They’re chatty, enjoy music, and I’ve heard them sing along. Americans cause over 40 million turkeys to be slaughtered each year just for Thanksgiving. Why not make a kind choice this year instead?
It’s #worldveganday today. Five years ago, I was learning how to care for wild birds at #thewildbirdfund and practicing photography by making portraits of animals. As I spent more time getting to know animals, in my hands as a caregiver and through my lens as a photographer, I began questioning how I could say that I loved animals while continuing to exploit them for food, clothing and other products. A few months later, I met Zeke here and other farmed animals at @catskill_animal_sanctuary - and I realized that I needed to become the change I wanted to see in the world. I committed to become vegan, and to use photography to advocate for animal liberation. I was almost 50 before I confronted the contradictions between my beliefs and my actions. Non-human animals experience love, sadness, joy, fear and pain. They deserve our respect, compassion and protection. We make choices every day that help or hurt animals. What will you choose tomorrow?
It’s #nationalcatday and although many cats enjoy loving homes others like this kitten I photographed in #kuchingcity several years ago are much less fortunate. Groups like #annexcatrescue care for #communitycats by providing food and shelter, arranging for cats to be neutered or spayed and then returned to their community, rescuing and arranging vet care for sick or injured cats. This Halloween, please consider finding a feral cat rescue group near you and making a donation and/or offering to help with colony care.
I’m looking forward to The Hammer Band’s annual #fundraiser tomorrow to support its #fromviolencetoviolins programs in high-risk Toronto neighborhoods. I’m donating a package for the #silentauction that includes two metal prints featuring my portraits of rescued farm animals, my book Why Would Anyone Rescue a Chicken? and greeting cards. You’ll be all set for holiday gift-giving. Buy tickets or support The Hammer Band at www.thehammerband.com.
I’m pleased and honoured that Anne Berry, a photographer whose animal portraits I’ve long admired, has chosen two of my portraits for Fauna, an upcoming exhibition at the SE Center for Photography. Thank you as well to Jenny at @roosterhausrescue for inviting me into your home to photograph Tonto, to @hellokelliemyers for helping me work with Buddy to convey his beauty, and to @sec4p for organizing the exhibition and making it easy for non-US artists to participate.
It’s #worlddayforfarmedanimals and since it was a rescued wild turkey (like this fella here) who led me to @catskill_animal_sanctuary for the first time, it seems appropriate to share this portrait. I spent 50 years in a state of #cognitivedissonance - believing that I loved animals even though I contributed to their suffering and death with practically every meal I ate and many of the products I wore or used in my daily life. Meeting farmed animals at CAS finally caused me to make the connection between my values and my actions. Every day we get to choose whether to save individual lives - or turn our backs on unspeakable cruelty. It’s up to us.
My friend Rocky needs our help. She has been giving everything - her time, her sweat, her money, her home, and most of all her heart to rescue and care for baby chickens left for dead as part of the Kaporos ritual in Brooklyn. And then late last week she responded to another call for help when crates of chickens fell off a truck on their way to slaughter. She and a small team are doing all they can to arrange veterinary care and foster homes, as well as nursing injured and traumatized babies back to health. This courageous, resourceful, determined and compassionate woman rarely asks for financial help. So if she’s doing it now, the need is great. Any $ you can spare will help save lives. Please consider donating to her fundraiser and/or sharing the link in her profile @thechicrew Thank you!
“Rat” should be a compliment, not an insult. Rats are smart, curious and affectionate. They help each other, laugh when they’re happy and have excellent memories. They deserve our love, respect and protection. And their rescuers like @kadenladen need our support.
Our little old lady cat isn’t feeling well this morning and we’re on our way to the vet soon. I want to hold her and tell her it will be okay, but she’s too uncomfortable for snuggles. So instead I’ll share this image of Bree and his human Camille embracing, and I’ll hold my Leia close in my heart instead.
Sweet Alice is Leo’s charming playmate at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Alice’s mother rejected her and wouldn’t nurse her. The farmer planned to slaughter her and blind/deaf Leo because feeding them by hand was “too much trouble.” Luckily, a kind person rescued them and brought them to #catskillanimalsanctuary , where they will receive the love, care and protection every animal deserves.
Leo takes my breath away. This magical boy, who is #blind and has limited hearing, wants to explore his world as long as he has a friend by his side. Catskill Animal Sanctuary is working wonders, and in turn he is teaching us to find the light inside ourselves.
I’m deeply grateful to United Photo Industries, its staff and volunteers, and the jurors to have been given the opportunity through #thefence2018 to share these portraits of #rescuedchickens with millions of people and invite them to see farmed animals as family, not food. Winning the People’s Choice award is the #veganicing on the cupcake, and I’m thrilled because the exposure will help me share this message even more widely. Thank you to everyone who voted for this series. Most people love animals and don’t want them to suffer. Everyone has the power to make choices every day that either save individual lives - or sacrifice them to momentary appetites. I hope that portraits like these strengthen your resolve to make compassionate choices. PS - There’s a link in my profile to my book Why Would Anyone Rescue a Chicken? 50% of the profits are donated to help individual rescuers pay for veterinary care for their chickens.
I always receive a warm welcome when I stay at The Homestead, but today’s welcoming committee (Rocky and his sister Taylor) were particularly charming (and slurpy).