We Animals Media recognizes the invisibility of animals in our world and seeks to give their lives and stories a place in the public conscience.
Through compelling photography, journalism, and filmmaking, We Animals Media illuminates the lives of animals used for food, fashion, entertainment, work, religion, and experimentation. We are committed to telling these stories through an empathic lens – collectively widening our circle of compassion to include all animals.
We Animals Media also seeks to mentor the next generation of media makers, create bridges between social movements, and inspire solutions that will result in a kinder and healthier world for all.
Thousands of photographs and videos are available to individuals, organizations, and media outlets around the world via our We Animals Archive.
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.
What started as one woman and her camera has now grown into a media team using images, film, and journalism to tell the stories of animals around the world.
Founder and Director
Photo Editor, Archivist, Designer
Vanessa has been a photographer and photo editor for over sixteen years, working closely with Jo-Anne since 2006. Vanessa’s work with We Animals began with development of the We Animals Archive but has branched out to include photography, image and video editing, project management, print and web design. Vanessa lives with her son in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada.
Filmmaker and Multimedia Producer
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.
Social Media Manager
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.
Kate has worked in animal protection for 25 years, has authored books, led on successful political campaigns, managed media and PR for international organizations and worked on around 50 undercover investigations. She has been vegan since 1992.
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.
“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.”
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.
Jessica Scott-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.
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.
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.