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About

Mission

We advocate for animals through photojournalism. Our global investigations and stories expose our complex relationships with animals, create ethical and cultural shifts in society, and empower human capacity for compassion and change.

Explore our 2024-2025 Strategic Plan to learn more about our plans to achieve this mission.

We expose. The animals we eat, wear, use for entertainment, research, tradition, and work are often hidden from view, both physically and metaphorically. Unwaveringly, we use our cameras not just to look at animals but to see them and to explore how all our lives intersect with the pressing issues of our time. Our ground-breaking animal photojournalism supports the efforts of advocacy communities globally, and facilitates changes in attitudes and behaviours more broadly. We understand that seeing is a crucial part of the diverse efforts necessary to erode and eventually end the abuse of animals.

We educate. In a split second an image can show what a thousand words can’t. Alongside our images of animals, we include interviews, research, data, and stories to educate us about their sentience and our behaviours. Our work educates through campaigns, films and books, and through humane education and public presentations.

The data that backs our stories and image captions provides validity and truth to all of our work. When you share our stories or use our images and videos, you will be equipped with the information needed to spark conversation, awe, and change.

We empower. Our stock platform is a free global resource for anyone helping animals. We empower campaigners, writers, researchers, students, and activists with the visual tools they need to increase and engage their audiences.
 
While much of our work shows our fraught relationships with other animals, we also document and celebrate innovation and acts of compassion. Via our many stories of change and progress, we aim to fuel inspiration and change.

History

We Animals was born from Jo-Anne McArthur’s desire to accurately document how we use animals. In Ecuador in 1998, she witnessed a monkey chained to a windowsill trained to pick the pockets of tourists; while everyone seemed to find this entertaining, McArthur instead wanted to take a photograph that could convey the degradation of both this monkey and the people in this moment of exploitation.

This planted the seed for a new kind of reporting coined by McArthur in 2020: animal photojournalism.

In 2019, We Animals was founded as a nonprofit organization dedicated to this emerging genre of photojournalism that represents not only wild or charismatic animals, but farmed, experimented upon and otherwise exploited animals. We Animals has grown from one woman and her camera to more than 90 international photojournalists covering animal industries in more than 70 countries. We have conducted hundreds of assignments, launched and run a stock platform and fellowship program, published three books, and help NGOs and media tell animal stories.

Areas of Focus

Food Systems

Change and Compassion

Aquatic Life

Environment and Health

Values

Excellence

To ensure the high standard of our work.

Collaboration

To work with other animal advocates, organizations and media to tell the stories of animals.

Leadership

To lead the genre of animal photojournalism into the mainstream so that animal stories are clear, persuasive and moving.

Integrity

To represent animal stories with veracity and truthfulness; to acknowledge and embrace our animal advocacy while remaining journalistic.

Generosity

To make our stock platform available for free for those working to make change on behalf of animals; to offer funding and expertise to animal photojournalists.
Learn more via We Animals’s Living Our Values document, which describes how these values are reflected in the way we conduct ourselves as a team and as an organization.

Lisa Drapkin

 

I think it’s really important to have images from these places that are usually out of sight, out of mind, and on the non-human people that no one usually pays any mind to. There’s something so vital about animal suffering everywhere being documented, in high quality photos where the pain is palpable. There’s only so much you can say to describe animal suffering, but actually having these images for the media and organizations to show it is crucial.

Bryan Barley

 

I think what We Animals is doing is really special and is something I’m very passionate about. I’ve been vegan for four years now, and the work you do has helped continuously reinforce that I’m making the right choice (not only for health reasons). Although it’s difficult to open your mind and heart to the truth, it is so important and it does truly make a difference.

Susan Banks

 

The work We Animals does is heartbreaking, dangerous, and vital. The photographers and videographers go into places where animal exploitation and cruelty are hidden and guarded. They force us to see and confront what we are doing to animals.

We Animals is changing how humans see animals and our relationship with them. It is removing the barriers that hide the truth and helping us align our actions with our values. It is helping to create a kinder, gentler world. This is why I am, and will always be, a We Animals donor.

Kristina Gulestø


I became vegan only three months ago. From that day I have been searching and learning about how we humans treat our fellow animal friends. Among other videos, I found an interview with Jo-Anne McArthur and the film Moving Animals. It has been life-changing for me to understand the truth about farm animals, and what we humans are doing to them. I am forever grateful for We Animals’ and other organizations’ work in helping me to make a change. I think it’s the best way to help both animals and humans to document all the terror that is done to the animals, and then show it to the world.