A dead squirrel, a mortally injured bird, a run over hedgehog: Sights so common that many people only notice them as a blot on periphery of their vision or, at a push, as a sad but inevitable result of human expansion and progress. This makes these beautiful photographs by Russian artist Maria Ionova-Gribina all the more haunting and sublime. In them, the dead animals are shown the respect otherwise reserved for humans and the viewer is forced to see them as individual, sentient beings, rather than mere “roadkill”, laid to rest Jon Bon Jovi style.
Every person with a Facebook account (and I’m assuming that would be everyone reading this blog post) is well familiar with the Social Media phenomenon of the shareable list. Sites like Buzzfeed have made it their mission to take over our newsfeeds with lists and countdowns catered to the Procrastinating Masses (to which this author also belongs). But among the silly and, let’s not kid ourselves, flat out inane, there can be some truly eye-opening and educational stuff as well.
This collection of 33 pro-animal ad campaigns belongs to the latter category. While some may argue that they are highly emotionally charged and try to guilt-trip onlookers into action, that is simply how visual ad campaigns must be designed if they are to be effective, and there is no denying the underlying truth in all these images.
For all those who see animals as individuals rather than mere representatives of their species, and who appreciate and cherish the positive impact they have on the world and its inhabitants, I highly recommend the weekly Animal News Hour podcast. Brought to you by David Forjan of the New York-based Wolf Conservation Center, it deals with current developments in animal welfare and conservation, and introduces us to individual animals who, for one reason or another, have made recent headline news. An hour well spent on a lazy Sunday afternoon!