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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Life > October 2019 > “I invite reflection upon what is lost when animals are not allowed to grow old”

“I invite reflection upon what is lost when animals are not allowed to grow old”

Photographer Isa Leshko talks about her powerful project depicting elderly animals

I attended Haverford College, where I studied neuroscience and cognitive psychology. I truly did love science, and I thought I would pursue an academic career, but by my early 30s, I was well and truly burned out. Looking for a hobby, I took an introductory photography class taught by Ri Anderson ( at the DeCordova Museum School ( It was my first exposure to photography as an art form, and I was instantly smitten. After that class, I signed up for Ri’s Intro to Black and White darkroom class at the Boston Photo Cooperative, which also had a community darkroom. I experienced nothing short of awe when I watched an image form in the developer’s tray for the first time. I was hooked. I began taking consulting jobs in the computer industry, so I would have more free time to pursue photography. The Boston Photo Cooperative was over an hour from my house, yet it quickly became my home away from home, and it was clear to me that I had found my life’s passion. In the years that followed, I realised I wanted to pursue fine art photography.

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About Vegan Life

The year is flying by, but when things are moving at breakneck speed, it’s important to stop and take stock. This month’s interview with the brilliant Lucy Watson gave me cause to pause — when talking to Lucy about her hopes for veganism in the future, she replied, “I hope vegans will start being kinder to one another, we are in this for the same reasons and trying to ‘out vegan’ one another just isn’t productive.” Every day on social media we see vegans tearing into other vegans — emotions run high when you’re deeply passionate about something, but is this actually helpful to the cause? We are all after the same future — one where animal welfare is as important as our own — but, surely in-fighting in the vegan community is counterintuitive. We all need to think before we post, comment or reprimand, before we send that email or write the letter. Would that passion and fire be better spent elsewhere? Should we be channelling our energy into helping non-vegans make better choices, instead of attacking our own? It’s something to think about. There are some terrible crises happening across our Earth currently, and it is a very frightening time. I really enjoyed Fat Gay Vegan’s insightful piece this month — he discusses how bringing people’s attention to veganism with environmental issues is a great start, but that we shouldn’t forget to explain about how animal exploitation is a crucial part of the conversation still. Check out his guidance on p30. Enjoy the issue,

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