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Jo-Anne McArthur is an award-winning Canadian photographer that has been documenting animal rights issues around the globe for the last fifteen years. Through her lens, brutal and complex worlds unfold about humans’ uses, abuses, and sharing of spaces with animals. The goal of her work, pieced together in her book We Animals, is to photograph our interactions with animals in such a way that the viewer finds new significance in these often ordinary, overlooked relationships.

Through her compelling photography and writing, Jo-Anne breaks down the artificial barriers we have erected between humans and non-human animals. Her work helps expose and bring much-needed attention to inhumane conditions in monkey breeding and bear bile farms, rodeos, and research labs across the planet.

And now McArthur has taken her work one step further and has launched the We Animals Archive, a free-to-use resource featuring thousands of stunning high-resolution photographs of animals, including hundreds of previously unseen images. McArthur is now allowing free access to her images to help raise awareness of the animals exploited in industries around the world. Legendary British primatologist and anthropologist, Dr. Jane Goodall said of McArthur’s We Animals book,“Powerfully disturbing. These images take us to dark and hidden places visited by only a few determined and courageous individuals like Jo-Anne McArthur.” 

In this heartbreaking photo taken in 2010 in Spain, a young calf looks out through the bars and straw of a crate enclosure. Cheese is not worth this baby’s suffering.


This beluga whale with tourists, at Marineland, Canada in 2011 shows just how sad captivity truly is. 


In another photo taken at Marineland in 2011, McArthur shows how an animals misery isn’t worth a trip to the zoo. 


The reality of pet stores is far from adorable and is filled with immense suffering. In this photo taken in Quebec, Canada in 2013, a dog sits in a puppy mill cage before being rescued. 


Think again before buying that fur coat. This red fox at a fur farm in Canada was taken in 2014 and shines a light on the horrors of the fur industry


Macaques are often used labs and universities around the world for a variety of experiments and testing. The macaques below were photographed in 2011 at a breeding facility in Laos. Most primates used for research are bred – or caught from the wild.


Sheep on a transport truck in Australia are being transported for live export, to a slaughterhouse or to another farm. Why are we subjecting animals to such suffering?


In this heartbreaking photo, a rhinoceros is held captive in a tiny enclosure at the Havana Zoo in Cuba. This is not okay.


In yet another tragic photo, McArthur captures Gina the lonely elephant at a zoo in France. 



McArthur’s harrowing images have been used by more than 100 organizations, publishers, and academics, in addition to being shown around the globe. “My work has shown me that, so often, the animals languishing in cages on fur farms, suffering at the end of a rope, or even resting peacefully in the arms of their rescuers, are invisible to so many of us. I want these images to be used in the hope that people truly see the way animals currently exist in our society,” said McArthur. Now that the We Animals Archive has been released, this will be free to use for animal rights groups, not-for-profit and charity organizations, and educational organizations. We are sure her stunning work will continue to change hearts and minds of generations to come.

To view the We Animals Archive, click here and be sure to share this exciting news with your friends and family.

Lead Image Source: We Animals Archive 

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0 comments on “Revealing Photos of the Faces of Captivity Call Us All to Question How We Treat Animals”

Click to add comment
Laura Chong
1 Years Ago

Those faces are of innocent sentient beings who are just like us. Please set them free. They should never be forced to be held captive as prisoners. They did not do anything wrong!

john pasqua
1 Years Ago

must treat all animals with respect now.


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