This first monograph by Lexington-based photographer Sharon Lee Hart is a book of dignified black-and-white portraits of rescued farm animals, accompanied by handwritten stories by sanctuary workers. A long term vegetarian turned vegan, Hart considers farm animals "some of the most abused, overlooked animals on the planet." For this project, she traveled to sanctuaries in Virginia, Florida, Maryland, Michigan and New York State to document "the lucky few who are free to live out their lives in peace." Not surprisingly, after spending time with the animals she discovered that each had its unique personality. "Some are quirky or funny, while others sensitive, shy, playful, intelligent, mischievous, or inquisitive. And all seemed to have complex emotional lives." These characteristics come through in Hart's poignant photographs. Essays are by Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns; Kathy Stevens, founder of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary; and Gene Baur, founder of Farm Sanctuary.
Look at Penelope, who was "worthless" to the butchers; Terrain, who kept a grieving vigil when his best friend died; Hannah and her infant son Herbie, who escaped with their lives thanks to a kind soul; Aintcho, who walked miles through a hurricane with his friend to find safety; and so many others. They are not "turkeys" and "cows" and "goats" and "ducks," but individuals whose eyes and minds hold stories enough for a thousand lives. What a beautiful tribute this book is to them all.
-Ingrid Newkirk, PETA President and Co-founder
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