We Animals is an ambitious project which documents, through photography, animals in the human environment. Humans are as much animal as the sentient beings we use for food, clothing, research, experimentation, work, entertainment, slavery and companionship. With this as its premise, We Animals aims to break down the barriers that humans have built which allow us to treat non-human animals as objects and not as beings with moral significance. The objective is to photograph our interactions with animals in such a way that the viewer finds new significance in these ordinary, often unnoticed situations of use, abuse and sharing of spaces.
Since the conception of the project, stories and photographs for We Animals have been shot in over 40 countries and the photos have contributed to almost 100 worldwide campaigns to end the suffering of animals.
The We Animals project was created by award-winning photojournalist, author and activist Jo-Anne McArthur, who has been documenting the plight of animals on all seven continents for over ten years. Her documentary project, We Animals, is internationally celebrated and over one hundred animal organizations, among them Igualdad Animal, Sea Shepherd and the Jane Goodall Institute, have benefited from her photography. Many organizations continue to work closely with Jo-Anne on campaigns and investigations.
Jo-Anne is the subject of Canadian film maker Liz Marshall's celebrated documentary The Ghosts In Our Machine (www.theghostsinourmachine.com) and her first book, also entitled We Animals, was published by Lantern Books in 2013. Her work has been featured in magazines such as Elle Canada, National Geographic Traveler, Photolife, Sotokoto, Point of View, Alternatives Journal and Canadian Dimension.
Recent awards and accolades include the 2013 Compassion for Animals Award; the 2011 Canadian Empathy Award (art category); one of CBC's Top 50 Champions of Change; Farm Sanctuary's 2010 "Friend of Farm Animals" award; HuffPost WOMEN's "Top 10 Women trying to change the world", and one of 20 activists featured in the book The Next Eco Warrior.
Jo-Anne hails from Toronto, Canada.
Board of Directors
Karol Orzechowski is a filmmaker and photographer based in Toronto who often works on animal-based issues. He has collaborated with Jo-Anne on numerous multimedia projects and is directing his first feature-length documentary, Maximum Tolerated Dose, on the subject of animal experimentation. Karol helps produce and advise on multimedia projects for We Animals.
Annalea Pippus holds a degree in law from the University of Toronto and psychology from the University of British Columbia. She has been involved with both grassroots and formal advocacy organizations since 2005, including the Toronto Vegetarian Association, Mercy for Animals Canada, and Women Against Violence Against Women. Anna is the legal advisor to the We Animals Humane Education Project.
Sandy Yuen graduated from the University of Waterloo's Environment & Resource Studies Co-op program and University of Toronto's Master of Arts in Geography. To date, she has organized two fundraising exhibits for the We Animals project (2010-2011) and plays a vital role in We Animals research and outreach. Locally, Sandy is also involved with Fin Free Toronto and renewable energy in Ontario.