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We Animals

4.83  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Drawing from a ten-year photography project, We Animals documents animals in the human environment, showing that humans are as much animals as the creatures used for food, clothing, research, experimentation, work, entertainment, slavery, and companionship. Through pictures shot in more than 40 countries and on all seven continents, award-winning photojournalist and animal ...more
Hardcover, 202 pages
Published December 15th 2013 by Lantern Books (first published December 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.83  · 
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Martin Rowe
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It would be disingenuous of me to write a review of this book, since I'm not only the publisher but I was intimately involved in the construction and development of the book. Instead of a review, therefore, let me just express my appreciation for the incredible work that Jo-Anne McArthur has done in bringing the practices that you see in WE ANIMALS to light, and to her honoring of the remarkable men and women who care for the animals who have been so mightily abused. I know that many people will ...more
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read We Animals by Jo-Anne McArthur cover to cover last night. The book is like a conscience hovering in the corner of your soul, calmly asking you to stop and think for a moment, to see something in a different way. It is a kind of sage. As I flipped through the book, absorbing the survey of macabre situations animals are in because of humans, I wondered as much about the inner lives of the human subjects as I did about the animals. For instance, page 18; how did this man in the red sweater e ...more
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I feel truly blessed to have heard Jo-Anne speak at an Animal Welfare conference this year. She is a phenomenal person, photographer and writer. This was an amazing book.
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. The people whose work is documented in this book are amazing and Jo-Anne is my shero. I am very thankful and humbled to know that they are out there doing their work to make the world a better place.

We Animals is not an easy read - it is full of grueling, heart-wrenching stories; sometimes I had to stop reading and sometimes I couldn't stop crying. But there are also wonderful heart-warming stories. This book made me stop and think, it made me reposition my point of view, i
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most astonishing books I have ever encountered. Not many photographers focus upon the way human beings treat other animals--at least, not very many professional photographers. Animal advocacy literature often includes photography, but they either tend to be straightforward snapshots with little artistic merit, or gruesome "shock" imagery. McArthur's photos are none of the above.

This is true art that depicts the animals' perspective in the myriad ways they are caught within th
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: favorites
Such a beautiful book. Gorgeous pictures and the written stories that go with them bring them to life even more. I cried just reading the dedication. Moving and powerful, it is now one of my favourite books and I'll display it with pride on my bookshelf. ...more
Saddest book. A must read for every single person on earth.
mad mags
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"It will change the world, for the better, for us all."

(Full disclosure: I received a free pdf copy of this book for review.)

"What you see on these pages may surprise or disturb you. My aim is not to turn you away but to draw you in, bring you closer, make you a participant. I want my photographs to be beautiful and evocative as well as truthful and compelling. I hope you’ll take the time not just to look but to see — if only as a mark of respect for the billions of animals whose lives and death
Mira | I Read Like Phoebe Runs
Absolutely heart-wrenching. Very succesfully highlights the absurdity that humans and other animals could somehow be divided into us and them. There is no way. This is brutal, yes, but there is hope in the way Jo-Anne talks about animal activism etc. Please read this one, every single one of you.
Kristen Hovet
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book took me a very long time to read because I was so physically sensitive to the material — which is more moving because of the powerful accompanying images of the animals. A wonderful, highly informative, yet emotionally challenging read.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book breaks my heart.
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A harrowing and beautiful read. This book touched some of the darkest parts of my soul, but at the same time, it gave me hope. It relieved me to know that there ARE others out there fighting for the same things as I am.

I shed many, many tears over this book, and yet, I couldn't turn away. Jo-Anne McArthur achieved exactly what she wanted with me. I felt every emotion. I smelt the smells, heard the sounds and suffered vicariously through Jo and her encounters.

The best book I've read this year.
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 stars are not enough for this
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have seen earthlings and dominion but this book feels very personal. I teared up every few pages. How can we treat, the creatures at our mercy, so badly?
Through poignant photos, We Animals author Jo-Anne McArthur describes the roles that animals have in various industries as well as the way they're treated by humans. This is not the typical coffee table book and will be unsettling to some people as it casts light on the uncomfortable reality of many modern practices of animal captivity. Because We Animals approaches the topic of animal welfare and exploitation with no small amount of bias, just as any intentional undertaking does, it's under ...more
Catherine Austen
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Awesome. The photos and accompanying text are arresting—not the typical framing of an image. It’s thought provoking. (Maybe more than thought. Action provoking?) So sad. The non-human animals all have so much more dignity than the humans in these pictures. Their individuality, their subjective experience, is captured in the photos. They’re not “examples” or objects; they are individual lives (and deaths). It’s amazing to me that some people are willing to document all this animal abuse and suffe ...more
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A daring portrait of things most humans hide from view.
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oliver Holm
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No one can read this book, look at these photographs, and just go on doing what most of us do.
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur’s beautifully designed coffee table book,, published by Lantern Books, features photos of individual animals used for entertainment, fashion, food, and research. It serves to highlight the barriers humans erect between themselves and other animals to assert dominance. The evident result — despair.

The animals in these more than 100 photographs, representing a wide variety of species and geographic diversity, are imprisoned — from the very first photo
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What humans do to other animals is a mirror of what we do to ourselves, and it's utter torture. This book is tough to read if you feel any empathy towards living creatures. It is obvious many animals suffer in order to feed, educate, and overall for the benefit of human life, but at what cost?

This book shows the extent of dominance and the barbaric attitude towards other sentient beings with whom we share our Earth. I am not against eating meat or animal research, but I am against the horrible i
Bryce Holt
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the toughest books I've read, these images and the spare amount of backstory that go alongside them will haunt you. I think we often wake up, rub on our dog's for awhile, cook some eggs and bacon, and then go on about our daily lives forgetting that 1) the dog was a breeding dog living in deplorable conditions before they were rescued, 2) the chicken endures unfathomable stress being caged next to thousands of other chickens and 3) the pig suffered a short, miserable fate to put the bacon ...more
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Simply amazing. I came to this book after watching the excellent and aptly titled documentary "The Ghosts in Our Machine." Jo-Anne McArthur has a gift. She is able to photograph and present us with images of animals that, while showing their condition or situation, always allows them to have respect and their own sense of being. This book and this film are not merely reels of animal cruelty footage. Rather than risk driving people away from the issue due to the graphic content inherent within th ...more
Marsha Hubbell
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
We Animals is an important table top book that should be looked at over and over again. It shares both the “harrowing and the uplifting stories about our complex relationship with animals around the globe.” Award-winning photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur has been documenting the plight of animals on all seven continents for more than 10 years. Jane Goodall writes: “These images take us to dark and hidden places visited by only a few determined and courageous individuals…they reveal the secret pra ...more
Jenny Mcqueen
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ever wondered about the life of an animal rights photojournalist? As well as shed light on Jo-Anne's life through her photos, the accompanying text (which is profound, personal and so revealing) just brings it all to life. I loved it, for it's beauty, it's sorrow and it's relevations. I so want it to be read by many many people - anyone who eats animals, wears them; or saves them. This book is for everyone. The introductory text says it so well: "an addition to the library of works that educate ...more
LOVED. And the quote at the end, "We humans, even in very dire straits, have some choice. Even if it's just a small choice of food, or which direction to walk, or with whom we will spend our time. With whom we will share a sleeping space. Never mind our out-of-control western freedom where we can deliberate for weeks which Ikea futon to buy or whether to watch The Biggest Loser or The Simple Life. Even the poorest of humans have some choice. With the rabbits, and I daresay all factory farmed ani ...more
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received my book today and cried. It is a beautiful tribute to all the animals who do not have a voice. I believe this book will bring change and hopefully open other's hearts to a greater understanding of the plight of animals. I am proud and honored to have bought this book. It is inspiring and gives such a compassionate, view. It will be a powerful tool to share and pass the message of treating our animal friends with so much more respect and dignity of which they so deserve.

Deb Kirk
Nicola M.
This book is stunning and tells stories that require few words. Jo-Anne McArthur's photographs are simultaneously spectacular and devastating and illustrate both the happy and disturbing ways animals are treated by humans around the globe. One particular picture of a penguin in Thailand had me staring at it for a good 20 minutes. A beautiful, beautiful book. The Ghosts in Our Machine is also an excellent documentary that filmed Joanne as she travelled while taking the pictures for this very book ...more
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
They don't have an option for "stopped reading because I was traumatized" but that's really what I should choose. Granted I thought this was a nice photo book about animals and primates but it is basically a really heartbreaking journey throughout the world, documenting the various ways we use and treat animals. Can something be great and totally awful at the same time? Yes. This is that thing. ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you ever feel twinges about how the meat in the supermarket and on your plate got there, take a look at this book. Or even if you are already vegan, take a look because you may learn more than you knew before. In either case, this book has a depth of meaning that exceeds a lifetime of reading for most people. It is a work of beauty, love, sacrifice, horror, disillusionment and so much more. The author is a giant; I have enormous respect for her.
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Based in Toronto, Canada, Jo-Anne McArthur is a photojournalist who brings a compassionate eye and a natural ability to her work. Though Jo-Anne shoots portrait, editorial, food and event photography in Toronto and the surrounding area, she also spends 4 - 6 months of each year abroad working on her documentary project We Animals. She is curious, open, and engaged, and approaches each project and ...more

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