Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Mercy Me: Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthu Bears Witness to the Journey from Pig to Pork

Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Mercy Me: Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthu Bears Witness to the Journey from Pig to Pork

Article excerpt

The documentary photography project that has driven Jo-Anne McArthur to 40 countries and all seven continents during the last decade began in Toronto, her home base. Her photos of local meat markets eventually led to the creation of We Animals, a penetrating investigation of the "ordinary, often unnoticed situations of use, abuse and sharing of spaces" that other sentient beings must endure when we treat them as objects.

McArthur's Illuminating work has been exhibited in Canada and Europe, and has reached many more eyes through collaborations with the Jane Goodall Institute, Canadian Geographic and a range of international animal rights and welfare causes. And while further grassroots exposure Is perhaps the best way of gauging We Animals' success, McArthur says "what really keeps me going is that I get emails almost every day from people who want to make changes in their lives to make the world a better place for animals."

Among the globe-spanning connections McArthur has forged, she's taken part in many of the recurring vigils organized by Toronto Pig Save, an activist group that peacefully, inclusively protests the transport and treatment of animals at slaughterhouses. This spring, her contributions to TPS and other causes will be intimately profiled by a provocative new feature-length documentary called The Ghosts in Our Machine--written, directed and produced by another Torontonian, Liz Marshall.

Marshall's film follows McArthur as she captures our strained relationships with animals--more specifically, "those we don't think about"--as they are dispassionately groomed for use by the food, fashion, entertainment and research industries. …

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