Mission
We Animals Media (WAM) documents the lives of animals in the human environment – those used for food, fashion, entertainment, work, religion, and experimentation. Our mission is to bring visibility to hidden animals worldwide through compelling photography and film.

The We Animals Archive is a globally accessible resource that holds thousands of images and video of animal industries around the world. We are continually expanding our Archive with work from our network of global contributors, ensuring that animal stories of our time can be told by media, educators, organizations, policy-makers, and influencers who can help amplify their reach. The archive is, and will remain to be, a free resource to anyone helping animals. 

Through our work we aim to build bridges between social movements, mentor the next generation of advocate media makers, and inspire solutions that will result in a kinder and healthier world for all.

For more information on how We Animals Media plans to expand its impact in the years ahead, please explore the We Animals Media 2020-2021 Strategic Plan.

History
In 1998, while backpacking through Ecuador, Jo-Anne McArthur passed a house where a macaque was tied to a windowsill by a short chain. The monkey was small enough to be able to move back and forth between the security bars on the window and had been trained to pick the pockets of passersby, and drop the loot inside the house. Tourists would stop to take photos while the monkey reached inside people’s pockets. Everyone present seemed to find this hilarious except for McArthur, who thought it was humiliating and belittling for the macaque and the humans around him. Surely there could be ways to relate to animals that were more honest, less exploitative and more informative than this.

McArthur’s interaction with the monkey and the humans laughing at him planted the seed for her career in photojournalism. Since then, she’s travelled to over fifty countries, documenting animals trapped in the human world: animals in zoos and on factory farms, at animal fairs and in puppy mills, in sanctuaries and circuses; as well as images of the people who stand up for animals.

In 2003, McArthur officially launched the We Animals project. The images and stories of animals that our society tries so hard to keep in the dark have inspired countless others not just to look at these animals, but to truly see them.

In 2013, McArthur was the subject of Liz Marshall’s award-winning documentary, The Ghosts in Our Machine, and in 2014 published her first book, entitled We Animals.

In 2016, McArthur teamed up with Brock University Professor Keri Cronin to launch the Unbound Project, a documentary project recognizing and celebrating women working at the forefront of animal advocacy. Unbound has since come under the We Animals umbrella and continues to tell the stories of women changing the world for animals.

Also in 2016, We Animals became a completely donor-based project, growing into a small organization with the addition of our first staff members. We’re excited to continue on our journey with a growing team and larger, focused projects.

In 2017, McArthur’s second book, Captive, was published. The team launched the We Animals Archive, which allows free use of thousands of images for anyone fighting for animals.

In 2019, We Animals relaunched as We Animals Media (WAM): a media agency focused on the stories of animals trapped in the human world.

Our Team
Jo-Anne McArthur

Jo-Anne McArthur

Founder and Executive Director

Jo-Anne is an award-winning photojournalist, sought-after speaker, and the founder of We Animals Media. She has been documenting the plight of animals on all seven continents for almost two decades. She is the author of two books, We Animals (2014), and Captive (2017) and was the subject of Canadian filmmaker Liz Marshall’s acclaimed documentary, The Ghosts in Our Machine. Jo-Anne is based in Toronto, Canada and travels many months each year to document and share the stories of animals worldwide.
Belinda Davis

Belinda Davis

Fundraising and Development Manager

Belinda has been volunteering with animal organizations for 15 years and while her experience is broad, her passion lies with volunteering at farm animal sanctuaries. Belinda has a background in science with a PhD in molecular biology and microbiology, but followed her passion in 2013 and moved to Thailand to work for Soi Dog Foundation, helping stray dogs and cats. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Belinda now lives in Portland, Oregon, and spends her spare time volunteering at Wildwood Farm Sanctuary, fostering cats and traveling, usually with the aim of seeing wildlife. 
Victoria de Martigny

Victoria de Martigny

Project Coordinator

Victoria is a photographer, business consultant, active animal rights activist and a part-time cat wrangler to the plethora of rescue cats who share her Montreal home with her and her husband. She brings more than a decade of experience leading large multi-national corporations through start-up, accelerated growth, acquisition, change and revitalization. Having run her own successful photography business for 12 years, Victoria also possesses an excellent understanding of photography and a proficiency for photographic archiving.  She is passionate about the mission of We Animals and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this important work that both connects us with our fellow earthlings and inspires lasting change.
Vanessa Garrison

Vanessa Garrison

Photo Editor, Archivist, Designer

Vanessa has been a photographer, photo editor and designer for over sixteen years, working closely with Jo-Anne since 2006. Vanessa’s work with We Animals began with implementation of the We Animals Archive but has branched out to include photography, image and video editing, project management, print and web design. Vanessa lives in the Okanagan area of BC, Canada.

Kelly Guerin

Kelly Guerin

Filmmaker and Multimedia Producer

Kelly is a documentary filmmaker based in Durham, North Carolina with her two rescue dogs. Since joining the We Animals team in 2015, Kelly has directed, filmed, and edited dozens of short films ranging in topics from farmed animals and environmentalism, to the shared path of human and animal rights. Her debut full length documentary “Nations of Their Own” is set to debut in 2021.
Sarah Janson

Sarah Janson

Project Coordinator

Sarah is a professional event planner and animal advocate.  She worked in private member clubs as a senior manager before leaping into the entrepreneurial world, starting Little by Little IC, Canada’s first exclusively vegan event planning business.  Sarah now manages various events, projects and fundraising initiatives for animal advocacy organizations and other sustainability-focused groups.  She is profoundly grateful to be working with the We Animals Media team, helping shed light on the hidden suffering of animals.  In her free time, Sarah loves to be in nature with her wife, tiny human and two energetic dogs.
Jackie Rangel

Jackie Rangel

Director of Communications

Jackie has been crafting and executing brand narratives and communications strategies for more than ten years across a number of lifestyle-related organizations. She brings an MBA in entrepreneurship, a highly collaborative spirit and a dedication to building a more compassionate world to her work with We Animals Media.
Kale Ridsdale

Kale Ridsdale

Director of Operations

Kale has worked in the social sector for nearly a decade in project management, and program development and evaluation. Prior to joining We Animals Media in spring of 2019, Kale worked with Animal Charity Evaluators. Outside of her professional roles, Kale has produced multiple media arts projects. She holds a master’s degree in Philosophy from University College Dublin, and a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food from Ryerson University.
Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Web Developer

Steve has been a technology consultant and web application developer for two decades, helping teams of all sizes leverage technology to support their businesses and achieve their goals. A pragmatic technophile, Steve is also an avid science fiction writer, living just outside of Toronto.
Sally Thompson

Sally Thompson

Social Media Manager

Sally is a UK-based animal advocate with a passion for communication. She studied environmental and physical geography at the University of Worcester and has been involved in activism for ten years now—her work has spanned from grassroots community organizing to online campaigning and content creation. Before joining the We Animals team, Sally worked in marketing and communications at Veganuary and VegFund. A great believer in the power of collaboration, she is hugely thankful to be working alongside such a dedicated team of advocates striving towards a more just and compassionate world for all.

Our Board of Directors

Lisa Kramer

Lisa Kramer

Lisa Kramer is a behavioural economist and professor of finance at the University of Toronto. Her research, which has been published in leading scholarly journals, spans a wide range of topics including the role of human nature in shaping consumer decisions and the harms that arise from using non-human animals in medical research. Her work has been extensively profiled by the Canadian and international press, and she has written op-eds and columns for outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and The Globe and Mail. In her spare time she enjoys photographing animals, both human and non-human, in their natural habitats.

Kelly Thornton

Kelly Thornton

With a background in journalism and history, Kelly’s career in communications and community engagement is rooted in activism. Her short time as a meat packer in the 1990s inspired Kelly’s community focus to burst wide open to include animal justice and labour rights.  A chance meeting with Jo-Anne McArthur a decade later made a diehard supporter of Kelly and her connection to We Animals has remained a constant ever since. Kelly is a graduate of Carleton University, works as a community engagement manager at Metrolinx, and lives in Toronto with her partner and their three dogs.

Ziya Tong

Ziya Tong

Award-winning broadcaster Ziya Tong anchored Daily Planet, Discovery Channel’s flagship science program, until its final season in 2018. Tong also hosted the CBC’s Emmy-nominated series ZeD, PBS’s national prime-time series, Wired Science, and worked as a correspondent for NOVA scienceNOW alongside Neil deGrasse Tyson on PBS. In the spring of 2019, she participated in CBC’s annual “battle of the books”. After a national four-day debate, she won Canada Reads. Tong’s first book, The Reality Bubble, was shortlisted for the RBC Charles Taylor prize. Tong received her Masters degree in communications from McGIll University and graduated with Dean’s Honors. She serves as a trustee at WWF International, and served as the Vice Chair of the World Wildlife Fund Canada.

Our Contributors

Corinne Benedict

Journalist

Corinne is a writer based in the U.S. As a journalist, she reported for The Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star, The Virginian-Pilot, and The Washington Post, mostly covering the military. She also writes for non-profits. A native of California, she has worked in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Aaron Gekoski

Photojournalist and Filmmaker

Aaron is an environmental photojournalist, filmmaker and TV presenter, specializing in human-animal conflict. He has hosted films across a number of networks and aims to make conservation accessible to all through entertaining and educational content. Aaron is founder and lead investigator at Raise the Red Flag, a global campaign to end cruelty in the Wildlife Tourism industry. His articles and images regularly appear in the international press and have won numerous awards, including the coveted Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

View work by Aaron

J.K Hafthorsson

Writer

JK. Hafthorsson (pseudonym) is an economist based in Toronto, Ontario.

View work by J.K.

Alex Lockwood

Filmmaker

“I’m a passionate documentary and narrative film maker with a focus on issues of ethics. I recently received a BAFTA win for my documentary 73 Cows which was a no budget short film. It’s hugely important to me that I work on the right kind of project. Ultimately, films have a huge impact on the world, and the idea that through film I myself could make an impact is the reason I make films.”

View work by Alex

Anna Mackiewicz

Writer
Anna is an animal advocate and writer from Sydney, Australia. She worked in social justice and community development programs in Australia, Mexico and Tanzania, before turning her focus to animal rights issues. Through her writing, she hopes to empower others to engage in kinder, more thoughtful relationships with other people, other animals, and the Earth. She is currently travelling around Australia in a van, teaching yoga and writing poetry.  

View work by Anna

Mia MacDonald

Writer

Mia MacDonald is Executive Director of Brighter Green, a public policy action tank that works to raise awareness of and encourage policy action on issues that span the environment, animals, and sustainability.

View work by Mia

Selene Magnolia

Photographer

Selene Magnolia is an Italian freelance photojournalist and investigator. With a background in grassroots activism, her work spans issues relating to social justice, anthropology, human rights, feminism, animals, the environment and food production.

View work by Selene

Jessica Scott-Reid

Journalist

Reid is a Canadian journalist and animal advocate. She covers and opines on animal rights and welfare, vegan culture and plant based foods topics for major media across North America, including The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, New York Daily News, Maclean’s Magazine, CBC, Tenderly Magazine and others. She is a mom to two senior chihuahuas and one small human named Clover Lee. 

View work by Jessica

Chris Shoebridge

Photographer, Filmmaker and Activist

Chris is a self-taught photographer and filmmaker based in the UK and Europe. Originally working with organizations like the BBC, the National Trust and Swim England, Chris is now focused on animal protection and veganism, producing short documentaries, undercover investigations and promotional films to help bring about a kinder world. His work has appeared internationally, in more than thirty magazines, and has been exhibited at the BFI in London.

View work by Chris

Jenny Tang

Writer

Jenny is a China-based researcher and visual storyteller who has been working on farm animal awareness since 2016. Jenny focuses on telling local stories about the plant-based culture and social issues in China. Through her work, she hopes to build a bridge of understanding between the East to the West. Originally from Sydney, Jenny majored in International Relations and completed her Masters in Beijing.

View work by Jenny

Sayara Thurston

Writer

Sayara is a Montreal-based animal advocate and writer. She has worked on social justice issues for a decade and previously worked as the farm animals campaign manager with Humane Society International/Canada. Originally from Australia, Sayara holds a Master of Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Sydney.

View work by Sayara

Share This