“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others …”
This quote strikes a particularly emotional chord for me while working on this newsletter. Its message speaks to me on many levels – the black void of a cage, animals hidden from view in labs, the bright flash at the click of a camera taken in the darkness, and the spark of excitement during the first steps of freedom in sanctuary.
All of these thoughts remind me that there are thousands of success stories out there waiting to be told – and, I am thrilled to share a small fraction of those stories with you now.
All of the animals and their companions that you will meet within these pages were photographed by animal advocate and famed photographer, Jo-Anne McArthur. Through a collaborative effort between NEAVS and Jo, we are able to share some of her experiences with you – putting a “face” to the animals and illuminating their lives.
It’s that radiance of each living being – even in the darkest of worlds – which Jo captures and releases safely into her camera. She brings them home with her so we can bear witness to their experiences. The essence of Jo’s work, what is most real, is that she etches them into her heart. She chooses to postpone what others pursue, unfettered happiness, until, as the Bodhisattva of Compassion taught, “All beings are happy.”
Respite from her journey into the dark corners of animal use and abuse comes when she is once again able to sit, and share in the happiness of those who have been rescued. Jo’s laughter returns as the animals provide her with the nourishment that is the salve for her warrior wounds. Only they can prepare her for the next battle, offer strength for her to carry the next victims home, victims that are always tucked safely in her heart and carried to us on film.
Visions of celebration and victory within these pages, remind us during this season that light always shines through the darkest of places. Life should be rejoiced – rather than dreaded in the darkness and coldness of a laboratory. We know that you join NEAVS and Jo in our goal to continue championing the rights of all the invisible animals – because along with all of the successes, there remain many challenges for us to face together. One animal in a lab, is one too many.
For the animals,
Theodora Capaldo, EdD