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Sun Feb 10, 2019, 03:40 PM

Put out to grass: when animals are allowed to grow old

Isa Leshko’s portraits of ageing animals are a tribute to creatures too often dismissed as mere livestock – and a poignant reminder of our own mortality

When I began this project, my galleries weren’t sure people would want to buy the prints, because the pictures were too sad,” says the American photographer Isa Leshko. “So I put a film about the work online. Immediately I was flooded by emails with stories about ageing parents or pets, and when I showed the pictures at some exhibitions, visitors would come up to me in tears. I wasn’t prepared for that at all,” she says, “but I think it’s difficult to talk about the people and animals that we love growing old and dying, and the portraits give people a licence to express grief for someone.”

Leshko’s photographs, collected in her book Allowed To Grow Old: Portraits of Elderly Animals from Farm Sanctuaries, are of old and often rather weather-beaten farm animals. You need a bit of a nudge before you see what’s unusual about them – ie they are old, whereas most farm animals are dispatched to the abattoir in their youth (and in many cases in their infancy).

The subjects have mostly been rescued from slaughterhouses or farms after the authorities have intervened in cases of cruelty, and taken to live on one of the animal sanctuaries scattered across the US. A few, like the 28-year-old Appaloosa horse Buddy, have been donated when owners became unable to care for them – in Buddy’s case, painful iritis meant he had to have his eyes removed, and he needed expert care to help him get used to his blindness.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/feb/10/isa-leshko-farm-animals-photographs-allowed-to-grow-old?CMP=twt_gu


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Reply Put out to grass: when animals are allowed to grow old (Original post)
demmiblue Feb 10 OP
Karadeniz Feb 10 #1
StarryNite Feb 10 #2
Bayard Feb 10 #3
demmiblue Feb 10 #5
hermetic Feb 10 #6
keithbvadu2 Feb 10 #4

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 04:42 PM

1. I went to the Guardia n link and there are some really good photos.to click to.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 05:35 PM

2. Bittersweet

Those animals were the lucky ones who were able to live out their lives instead of ending up being slaughtered. Still, seeing them age is sad, maybe because it is a mirror for us as we too grow old. Thank you for sharing.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 05:52 PM

3. We have a number of elderly on our little farm....

My gray mare is pushing 35. I've had her half my life. A goose that has to be at least 15, his little harem of ducks are pretty ancient too.

Most of our guys that don't die of some type of illness, like cancer, are finally felled by old age. I hope to do the same.


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Response to Bayard (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 06:04 PM

5. Thank you for the pic Bayard!

It seems you have a fine lot of well loved critters.

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Response to Bayard (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 06:15 PM

6. They are so lovely

Thank you.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 05:59 PM

4. Some are stil productive... Mom at 68

Oldest known wild bird (Laysan albatross) has a new chick. Mom is 68!

https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181179622


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