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November 20, 2020 - THE VEGAN AUTHORITY

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'HIDDEN' Reveals 'The War on Animals'

'HIDDEN' Reveals 'The War on Animals'
HIDDEN Book (illustrative, not exactly as shown)© Jo-Anne McArthur

Just released, HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene, is an unflinching book of photography that documents our speciesist relationship with non-human animals. Jo-Anne McArthur, founder of We Animals Media, describes it as "a historical document, a memorial, and an indictment of what is and should never again be".

Showcasing the work of forty photojournalists from around the world, "HIDDEN shines a light on the invisible animals in our lives: those with whom we have a close relationship and yet fail to see".

It is this war on animals, this animal genocide that the book courageously documents and exposes, ranging from the inner workings of industrial farming, live transport, wet markets, fishing, fashion victims, animals used in entertainment, research, those abused in the name of religion and tradition, to slaughterhouses.

Cow at slaughterhouse in Mexico.
Cow at slaughterhouse in Mexico. Credit: © Aitor Garmendia / We Animals Media

Joaquin Phoenix, an avid animal rights activist, who recently used his Oscar acceptance speech for best actor to advocate for veganism, wrote, the book’s foreword.

“The photojournalists represented in HIDDEN have entered some of the darkest, most unsettling places in the world,” said Joaquin Phoenix. “The images they have captured are a searing reminder of our unpardonable behavior towards animals and will serve as beacons of change for years to come."

A newborn chick on a conveyor belt, on its way to be ground alive, the tragic look of suffering on a rabbit's face forced to endure testing, a newborn calf still soaked in amniotic fluid, crying on a filthy floor sent to die for being too weak, dead pigs sitting in dumpsters, closeups of animals with a look of desperation that breaks the heart. Each photo as disturbing as the last, showing the brutal reality, that these animals face and endure.

The degree of carnage involved in the food system alone, is staggering, the numbers almost incomprehensible. An estimated 80 billion land animals are raised for the sole purpose of being consumed by humans annually, sentient beings, treated as mere commodities. The Guardian calls HIDDEN "a global indictment of the meat industry".

Dogs at slaughterhouse, China.
Dogs at slaughterhouse, China. Credit: © Jose Valle / We Animals Media

Society conditions us to think that humans are superior to other species, speciesism, that some animals are here for us to use.

But as veganism gains momentum around the world, the truth is being exposed. Not just that animals are social, sentient, intelligent beings, but the unfathomable level of cruelty that animals endure, at the hands of humans, so often away from the public eye, hidden.

"As animal rights activists, our battle is against the powerful enterprises that have normalized the torment and killing of billions of animals for food, clothing, entertainment and experimentation each year, writes Phoenix.

The photos in HIDDEN are graphic and disturbing, yet resolute and unapologetic about what they reveal.

Ducks and geese force-fed for foie gras, Spain.
Ducks and geese force-fed for foie gras, Spain. Credit: © Luis Tato / We Animals Media

“These photos prove there is an emergency confronting animals globally, from industrial farming to climate change, and provide valuable insight into the relevance of animal suffering to human health,” said creator and co-editor Jo-Anne McArthur. “There has never been a photographic project that reaches this deeply and broadly to show the status of animals in our modern world.”

Pig at slaughterhouse in Thailand.
Pig at slaughterhouse in Thailand. Credit: © Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals Media

“The animals we breed, sell and kill for our dinner plate, that we break and maim for sport and tradition, share many of the same emotions that we do: feelings of sadness and joy, pain and fear, love and grief,” said co-editor Keith Wilson, a writer, photo editor, journalist, and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society as well as a founder of Photographers Against Wildlife Crime.

“The images in HIDDEN expose our brutal treatment of animals who deserve far greater respect and mercy than our actions have shown.”

Fur farm in Poland.
Fur farm in Poland. Credit: © Andrew Skowron / We Animals Media

The 320-page hardcover book with more than 200 images is published by We Animals Media, a nonprofit photography, video, and multimedia organization, after a successful crowdfunding campaign that reached its goal within days.

May these HIDDEN images ignite a powerful push to end the use and abuse of animals, worldwide, happening in every country in the world.

Dogs in cage in Cambodia with cooking behind.
Dogs in cage in Cambodia with cooking behind. Credit: © Aaron Gekoski / We Animals Media

These photographers were courageous enough to enter the hidden world and take photos of the most unimaginable cruelty to animals. Please be courageous enough to buy this book and be part of the effort to tell their story.


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