By Liana Jacob
HEARTBREAKING photos from a new book lifts the lid on the ways wild animals have been held in captivity that are so distressing the photographer suffered PTSD as a result of taking them.
The emotional images depict a monkey locked up in a breeding facility, affluently dressed men holding cigars while watching a bull fight and an image of a chimpanzee in a sanctuary delicately holding a human hand.
Other photographs include a forlorn fox trapped inside a cage at a Fur Farm and a petrified pig locked in a steel cage. In 2010, McArthur was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from the intensity of her photography but has since recovered.
More light-hearted photographs show the author, Jo-Anne McArthur, in a warm embrace with Orlando the cow and a chimpanzee being rescued from the Bushmeat Trade.
McArthur is a Canadian photojournalist, animal rights activist and author.
Her aim for becoming a photographer changed from artistry to seeing her camera as her “tool for creating change”.
“I’ve encountered animals who endure and have endured unimaginable pain and suffering, and others fortunate enough to be cared for by loving and dedicated human companions,” McArthur said.
“I’ve been into the heart of industrial farming facilities and medical testing labs that have been constructed to wring as much profit for as little expenditure – of effort, tenderness or money – from the animals whose lives begin and end there.”
According to the 2016 Living Planet Report published by WWF, wildlife crime is now the fifth most profitable illicit trade in the world, earning roughly up to $7.8 billion annually.
“But I’ve also found refuge with people and organisations who bring devotion, affection and resources to nurture and heal those who were broken and discarded,” said Jo-Anne.
“I’ve seen complete indifference and heartrending compassion, misguided ignorance and deliberate torture.
“I’ve found myself in a world of bars and metal and stench and despair, and a world of space and earth and fresh air and hope.”
The book, We Animals, is available on Amazon for £26.