The Animals Are Leaving Us
Words by Martin Rowe. Images by Jo-Anne McArthur
50 pp, 6 x 9, 9781590566459, $20.00 hbd
Lantern Publishing & Media
For four years, from January 2017 to January 2021, I documented the state of the United States and the world—using the verse form of ottava rima, the results of which you can read in The Trumpiad. In June 2019, I dedicated thirty of those verses to two extraordinarily compelling and distressing photographs of animals in extremis taken by Canadian photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur. Now expanded to include more verses and more of McArthur’s stunning images, The Animals Are Leaving Us forms a testament to the particular moments in the lives and deaths of individual creatures, and a requiem for the many billions of animals who are subject to the cruel whims of our species, and who are vanishing from the wild places of the Earth.
The Animals Are Leaving Us is my second engagement with the work of Jo-Anne McArthur. The first was the monograph The Polar Bear in the Zoo, which is about her photo of the polar bear Kunik in Toronto Zoo, in 2006. I also was fortunate to write a chapter on the euphemisms we employ to disguise the mistreatment of animals in her magnum opus, HIDDEN: Animals and the Anthropocene.
The Animals Are Leaving us is also available as an e-book and an audiobook.