In the lead-up to Niagara VegFest 2015 on June 7, we’d like to introduce you to some of our wonderful vendors, exhibitors and volunteers who make the festival happen. In this Q&A, photojournalist and humane educator Jo-Anne McArthur tells us about her We Animals project, an upcoming book project and why Niagara VegFest is important to her.
NVF: Tell us about your organization.
JM: I’m a photojournalist and activist who has been working on a project called We Animals for well over a decade. I travel the world documenting our uses and abuse of animals, as well as stories of rescue, love and sanctuary. The work has been published by hundreds of organizations worldwide, who are helping to make the world a kinder place for animals, and We Animals was published in book format in late 2013. I’m the human protagonist in the animal rights film The Ghosts in Our Machine, and I’m also a humane educator, bringing compassion for animals into schools and communities. The work keeps me busy 365 days a year and many new animal-related projects are on the horizon,
including a large-scale book project called Unbound: Women on the Front Lines of Animal Advocacy, with co-writer Keri Cronin.
NVF: What are you most looking forward to at Niagara VegFest 2015?
JM: Veg fests are always a lot of fun. The sense of community is strong. Introducing people to new work and ideas is exciting, and the food is always so delicious. VegFest feels like a time of celebration of change and compassion.
NVF: Why is Niagara VegFest important to you?
JM: It’s a way of community-building, supporting others in the changes they are making, the work they want to do, and it’s a way for the community to rally around We Animals, as well. There’s nothing like being face to face with people so that they can ask about my work, and humane education. VegFest will be a great way to keep getting my work out there and getting people inspired about being change makers.