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Our Top 10 Images For Earth Day

by | Apr 22, 2024

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on 18 April 2022 and has been updated for accuracy and to include new visuals.

The role of and impact on animals is too often overlooked in our conversations about climate and the environment. Visuals from We Animals document these underreported stories: wildfires in Australia, Canada and the US; floods in Canada and the US; and pigs flooded by Hurricane Florence. The role of animal agriculture in these events is frequently underplayed, despite the evidence of animal agriculture’s significant role in methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emissions, feed inefficiencies, deforestation, and land and water overuse.

April 22 is Earth Day, an annual global initiative to raise awareness of the negative impacts of human activity on the environment, and drive positive action for the planet. Take part in Earth Day 2024 by sharing these compelling visuals and connect your community to the stories that matter.

01

A green sea turtle hatchling crawls through piles of plastic garbage and other trash on a beach in Mersin Province, Turkiye. Turtle hatchlings here must crawl through such debris as they attempt to reach the sea. Türkiye, 2021. Odysseas Chloridis / We Animals

A green sea turtle hatchling crawls through piles of plastic garbage and other trash on a beach in Mersin Province, Turkiye. Turtle hatchlings here must crawl through such debris as they attempt to reach the sea. Türkiye, 2021.

Odysseas Chloridis / We Animals

02

A farm sits partially submerged in water from the Abbotsford, BC floods in November of 2021. British Columbia has felt the devastating effects of climate change throughout 2021 with wildfires, a heat dome and most recently, severe flooding. Ground zero for the November floods hit one of Canada's largest animal agriculture zones in the Fraser Valley, which produces 75% of the dairy and the majority of the chicken and eggs for the province. When the floods inundated Abbotsford, hundreds of thousands of animals, mostly chickens, are believed to have perished in the disaster. Canada, 2021. Nick Schafer Media / We Animals.

A milk dispenser truck drives between some of the thousands of calf hutches in a massive dairy farm’s yard. Turkey Creek Dairy, Pearce, Arizona, USA, 2023.

Ram Daya / We Animals

03

Bluefin tuna are caught in the Mediterranean Sea for the sushi market. Once hooked on board, they are stabbed and left to suffocate and bleed out. Italy, 2012. Jonás Amadeo Lucas / HIDDEN / We Animals

Unable to escape, pigs huddle together, attempting to keep warm, while trapped in the belly-deep flood water that infiltrates their locked enclosures inside an Italian pig farm. Extreme weather in May 2023 caused mudslides and waterways to overflow, severely affecting numerous factory farms. Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, 2023.

Stefano Belacchi / Essere Animali / We Animals

04

Helicopters work continually throughout the day dropping water on a hot zone that erupted near the fire decimated town of Grizzly Flats, CA. USA, 2021. Nikki Ritcher / We Animals

Helicopters work continually throughout the day dropping water on a hot zone that erupted near the fire decimated town of Grizzly Flats, CA. USA, 2021.

Nikki Ritcher / We Animals

05

Cows grazing near Goose Lake in Vernon BC. Thick smoke from the White Rock Lake wildfire billows in the background. As of early Aug 2021, there are 280 active wildfires burning in British Columbia. 33 are wildfires of note, meaning fires which are visible or pose a threat to public safety. B.C. Wildfire Service has responded 1,427 wildfires since April 1, 2021. Canada, 2021. We Animals.

Cows grazing near Goose Lake in Vernon BC. Thick smoke from the White Rock Lake wildfire billows in the background. As of early Aug 2021, there are 280 active wildfires burning in British Columbia. 33 are wildfires of note, meaning fires which are visible or pose a threat to public safety. B.C. Wildfire Service has responded 1,427 wildfires since April 1, 2021. Canada, 2021.

Vivienne Giames / We Animals

06

Deck crew pulls nets filled with sardines onboard the purse seine fishing boat Pandelis II. Greecce, 2020. Selene Magnolia / We Animals

Deck crew pulls nets filled with sardines onboard the purse seine fishing boat Pandelis II. Greece, 2020.

Selene Magnolia / We Animals

07

A farm sits partially submerged in water from the Abbotsford, BC floods in November of 2021. British Columbia has felt the devastating effects of climate change throughout 2021 with wildfires, a heat dome and most recently, severe flooding. Ground zero for the November floods hit one of Canada's largest animal agriculture zones in the Fraser Valley, which produces 75% of the dairy and the majority of the chicken and eggs for the province. When the floods inundated Abbotsford, hundreds of thousands of animals, mostly chickens, are believed to have perished in the disaster. Canada, 2021. Nick Schafer Media / We Animals.

A farm sits partially submerged in water from the Abbotsford, BC floods in November of 2021. British Columbia has felt the devastating effects of climate change throughout 2021 with wildfires, a heat dome and most recently, severe flooding. Ground zero for the November floods hit one of Canada’s largest animal agriculture zones in the Fraser Valley, which produces 75% of the dairy and the majority of the chicken and eggs for the province. When the floods inundated Abbotsford, hundreds of thousands of animals, mostly chickens, are believed to have perished in the disaster. Canada, 2021.

Nick Schafer Media / We Animals

08

Dead fish floating in flood waters after Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. USA, 2018. Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Dead fish floating in flood waters after Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. USA, 2018.

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

09

Detail of fish and a sting ray after being emptied from nets onto the deck of the fishing boat Fasilis. Greece, 2020/ Selene Magnolia / We Animals

Detail of fish and a sting ray after being emptied from nets onto the deck of the fishing boat Fasilis. Greece, 2020.

Selene Magnolia / We Animals

10

Hope in a burned plantation. An Eastern grey kangaroo and her joey who survived the forest fires in Mallacoota, Victoria, which had been severely affected by the bushfires. An estimated three billion animals were killed or displaced in fires that season. Australia, 2020. Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals. This photograph was the winner of the 2020 Nature Photographer Of The Year competition (Man & Nature category).

Hope in a burned plantation. An Eastern grey kangaroo and her joey who survived the forest fires in Mallacoota, Victoria, which had been severely affected by the bushfires. An estimated three billion animals were killed or displaced in fires that season. Australia, 2020.

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals.

This photograph was the winner of the 2020 Nature Photographer Of The Year competition (Man & Nature category).

Our world needs transformational change. It’s time for the world to hold sectors accountable for their role in our environmental crisis while also calling for bold, creative, and innovative solutions. — earthday.org

With the power to ignite emotion and discussion, high-quality visuals are an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to talking about the relationship between animals, people, and the planet. These photographs are just a selection from the 25,000+ visuals captured by our team of international photojournalists. As always, the We Animals stock collection offers high-quality images and video clips to support your advocacy and storytelling, free for non-commercial use.

This Earth Day, help tell these important stories and advocate for change. Visit our Environment and Climate Change gallery to view and download these images (and more) or search specific keywords to get the visuals you need.