The culmination of eight years photographing this and that, trees and flowers, antique cars and the only boy I ever loved (our late 14 year old black lab) has led me to one conclusion: photography, as with any art medium, must have meaning. I want to talk about the things I care about - conservation, climate change, animal rights - so other people will, too. The list could go on, but for my thesis project at CCAD, I've chosen to document various wildlife in and around Ohio, as well as how people interact with and impact them, be it negatively or positively.
To view the counterparts to this gallery, head over to the Ohio Bird Sanctuary and Exotic Feline Rescue Center pages.
Habitat loss is the leading driver of extinction for countless species all over the world and the primary threat to wildlife in Ohio.
Animal agriculture is the largest land usage system on the planet, and clearing land for cattle grazing in the Amazon accounts for nearly 90 percent of the region’s deforestation. Animal agriculture is by nature, unsustainable; instead of growing a fraction of the crops we do now to feed directly to the human population, we grow roughly 40 percent more and feed them to livestock, which we then consume (for reference, 97 percent of soybeans farmed worldwide are used for animal feed, and Ohio is ranked sixth in the U.S. for soy production and eighth for corn, another significant animal feed source). These animals, even slaughtered just weeks or months after birth, still produce exorbitant amounts of waste, which often pollute rural, low-income towns as well as near-by natural water systems. In addition to its land usage, animal agriculture is also responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector.
The easiest thing any individual can do to protect local and exotic wildlife is to adopt a plant-based diet and produce 50 percent less carbon dioxide, use 1/13th the amount of water, and 1/18th the amount of land.