Canadian Empathy Awards

I just found out about these Awards because I’ve recently started following the work of Jo-Anne McArthur (Toronto). She founded the We Animals project (http://www.weanimals.org/), a photographic documentary of contemporary human-animal relationships (it has also been published as a book- below is a photo from the “Animal Fairs” section).

McArthur received the first annual Canadian Empathy Award in the area of “Arts”. See her description of it here: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/celebrating-compassion-the-canadian-empathy-awards/

We Animals was featured in the forthcoming documentary The Ghosts in Our Machine (http://www.theghostsinourmachine.com/), directed by Liz Marshall. Here is what Marshall has to say about the film:

I have made a number of films that have taken me around the globe to witness stark realities, injustice, hope, and to meet inspiring change-makers. I’ve focused primarily on human rights issues, and the environment. Making this film has profoundly tweaked my moral compass – differently.

THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE is a journey of discovery into what is a complex social dilemma. In essence, humans have cleverly categorized non-human animals into three parts: domesticated pets, wildlife, and the ones we don’t like to think about: the ghosts in our machine. Why do we value wildlife and our companion animals but not the billions of animals bred and used by global industries? It is this core question that prompted me to delve deeply and explore this subject matter. The Ghosts In Our Machine  follows acclaimed animal photographer Jo-Anne McArthur over the course of a year – I chose Jo-Anne as the protagonist because her mission is a sympathetic entry-point into the animal question, and her powerful photographs invite us to consider non-human animals as individuals.

As a filmmaker my heart is fully engaged but I am also critically removed, looking through glass – examining the angles, the light and the meaning of the greater story. My greatest desire is to create an experience for audiences, one that inspires consciousness. Through story, sound and picture I hope people will see animals differently – forever.

As consumers we can all make a difference for the ghosts, each and everyday.

For the Ghosts,
Liz
Jo-Anne McArthur has started a humane education program in Toronto– from what I know it is the first of it’s kind in the city. For more information, here is the link: http://www.humaneeducation.ca/why.htm
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