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Episode 563: HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene ft. Jo-Anne McArthur

By Jasmin and Mariann — October 24, 2020

Jasmin and Mariann kick the show off with a discussion of Jasmin’s trip to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary and her visit with her namesake pig. They also chat about My Octopus Teacher, the Netflix documentary, what Jasmin got out of watching it, her reservations about it, and why Mariann is reluctant to give it a try. Mariann delves into a quick discussion of animal philosophy and discusses eminent philosopher Martha Nussbaum’s recent online lecture on her “capabilities” approach to understanding our obligations to animals.

This week’s vegan businesses are Seasoned Vegan, where you can eat delicious soul food in Harlem, along with its Super Vegan Market, the go-to place to order vegan products for delivery nationwide, Rescue Chocolate, an artisan chocolate company which donates all net profits to animal rescue, and which helps people find vegan events where they can connect with their peeps.

Today’s guest is Jo-Anne McArthur, an award-winning photographer, and author, who, through We Animals Media, records our complex relationship with animals in over sixty countries worldwide. She was the subject of the critically acclaimed 2013 documentary The Ghosts in Our Machine, which followed her as she documented the suffering of exploited animals. Jo-Anne’s latest book is HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene, in which she brought together the work of 30 photojournalists recording the plight of animals in numerous settings around the world.

Jo-Anne joins Jasmin today to discuss why, despite her experience of the dark parts of life, she thinks that we live in a beautiful world and how that belief forms part of her coping mechanism needed to do the difficult work of documenting the suffering of animals. She gives us the low-down on her new book HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene, and how it aims to break through the wall of denial and help to achieve justice. Jo-Anne also discusses the connection between COVID-19 and animals and whether she thinks we will see a substantial shift to plant-based eating as a result of the pandemic.

“Animal photojournalism is political. It’s not conservation photography or wildlife photography. It’s not companion animal photography. It has evolved necessarily as our world devolves into this insane use of animals that is invisible.” – Jo-Anne McArthur

This Week in Our Hen House:

  • The importance that each of us hone our animal photography skills to be as effective as possible
  • Jo-Anne’s mental process when framing a photograph she wants to use to reach people and inspire change
  • Whether the mainstream media have shifted in their conversation around animal rights
  • We Animals Media and the ways in which it works to build animal equality
  • The potential for PTSD for animal photojournalists and why it’s vital to find coping tools to bolster emotional resilience
  • Jo-Anne’s feeling of connection to exploited animals and exploited people, and how she feels about the humans who work in animal exploitation
  • Jo-Anne’s role in the making of the documentary film Promises and why it is so important to her
  • The We Animals Media project Unbound that celebrates women in animal advocacy past and present

Connect with Jo-Anne McArthur:

Connect with Our Hen House:

This episode is sponsored by Forager Project, an organic, plant-based family-owned and operated food company creating innovative, delicious tasting products sourced from nature’s finest ingredients – nuts, seeds, ancient grains, fruits and vegetables. Crafted in its own unique purpose-built creamery – the only 100% organic, plant-based facility of its kind – Forager Project’s family of foods includes 100% vegan yogurts, nut milks, sour cream, kefirs, shakes and butter.

About Forager Project’s Vote Campaign: Forager ​is committed to helping cultivate democracy. During the next month, Forager Project​ will be shifting packaging on its yogurts, kefirs, and milks to encourage consumers nationwide to get involved and vote this November and launching a broader effort to encourage everyone to vote this November 3rd. Visit to check on your voting status and/or register!


This episode is also brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at


You can listen to our podcast directly on our website, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcatcher! Also, if you like what you hear, please rate it and leave us a comment on Apple Podcasts! Of course, we would be thrilled if you would also consider making a donation, or becoming a member of our flock (especially if you’re a regular listener). Any amount is hugely appreciated, and Our Hen House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so it’s tax-deductible! Thank you for helping us create quality content, and for helping us bring you a new podcast episode each week!

Don’t forget to tune into Our Hen House’s other two podcasts: The Teaching Jasmin How to Cook Vegan Podcast, and The Animal Law Podcast.

The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.

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