When passionate people come together to fight against injustice, whilst speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves, great change can be achieved – that’s what I thought whilst perusing the pages of the latest wildlife photography masterpiece ‘Photographers Against Wildlife Crime’.
The book is a collection of photographs from an international group of award-winning photographers, who are using their skills and passion to highlight the truth behind the 4th largest profitable international crime in the world – the illegal wildlife trade. Filled with a variety of images that are both beautiful and shocking, you can’t help but have your full attention drawn to the harsh reality of what is truly going on in the world around each and every one of us.
Not only does it highlight the shocking realism of environments that animals are forced into, the decimation of natural habitats and the family members that are left behind, but more positively it celebrates the wildlife heroes who are so needed in this changing world. The anti-poaching units whose strength is unquestionable as they protect wildlife in the wild, the carers who work tirelessly to ensure that each animal is as comfortable and safe as possible following their traumatic experiences, whether that be witnessing their mothers’ murders or being forced to entertain people, and the rescuers who do not stop until the individual in danger is safe, this book is a collaboration of the very raw realness that is the illegal wildlife trade.
The book is split up into 17 sections, each covering a unique part of the trade which has been documented by different photographers. Everything from the rhino horn and ivory trade to fur farms and polar bear hunting; each is laid bare on these pages, and through powerful imagery and gently firm words, we can uncover what is truly going on, how these situations are progressing, and what is being done about them.
Photojournalist Brent Stirton, who most recently won Wildlife Photographer Of The Year for his poached rhino image, bravely said that we are currently experiencing, “absolute decimation of environmental spaces and species like never before. Most of the world doesn’t realise what’s going on with its own planet”
This statement truly brings to light the shameful fact that the majority of people do not know what is happening to our world, yet it is through our everyday actions that these damaging occurrences are taking place.
Is this a shocking book? Yes. Is it sometimes hard to look at? Yes. But does the hardship ignite a fire in the readers to continue fighting for justice for those who cannot speak out, and without it would a lot of animals still be suffering? Absolutely!
Indeed, we still have a very long way to go to end this terrible trade, and it is perhaps easy to think that it’s too late for us to save our wild spaces and every individual being in it – but there is hope.
Books such as Photographers Against Wildlife Crime make things a little easier by bringing awareness to the horrific worldwide animal suffering, recognition to those who fight tirelessly against it, and a true highlight to the beauty of our natural world and all life in it.
We must always remember that every single thing that we do each day has an impact on our world. Whether that be using single-use plastic bottles and straws which is killing our oceans, or using public transport and eating less meat which is helping to reduce harmful emissions. We must decide what kind of impact we want to make before it’s too late.
Why wouldn’t you want to help save our planet?
To order your own copy of the book, simply click here.
All photos in this article are from the book by photographers – Brent Stirton, Patrick Brown, Daniel Beltra, Adrian Steirn, Chris Packham.