Open Cages was established in the UK in 2018 as part of an international initiative to change the world for animals. They are also a member of Animal International, a new coalition of European animal protection organisations focusing on farmed animals.
“We seek to help animals by documenting factory farm conditions, influencing retail standards and pushing for legal progress. We believe that these activities create systemic social change that will ultimately lead to animal freedom.”
I became aware of Open Cages in the early part of 2019 after seeing a campaign that was to drastically change the way I eat and source my food. Like most people growing up I was conditioned to believe the best source of protein was from animals, more so Chicken, Beef etc.
Gathered around the dinning table on a Sunday as we ate a roast chicken dinner. We didn’t have much money growing up and so Sunday dinner was something that was a real treat and a special event really.
That thought process was dramatically changed last year when I saw Open Cages #TescoTruth campaign.
I removed all meat, farmed fish, dairy, eggs etc from my diet and went plant based soon after which was a massive learning curve. I’m pleased to say almost a year on I feel much better, I still maintain my fitness, muscles and generally good health. It became really difficult for me to justify working very ethical and respectful as a wildlife photographer but then eating animals tortured and kept in disgusting conditions once I got back home.
This is how I came to know about the work of Open Cages and offered my help and support to Conner Jackson their CEO. So I did a wildlife photography webinar at the weekend with the help of Conner to help this small UK based charity. I didn’t charge anything for my time but we encouraged those that signed up to make a donation to the work Open Cages do.
I’m pleased to report the event was a real success with many people donating, raising much needed money for the charity. Both Conner and myself had lots of wonderful and positive feedback afterwards also. I went over the time slot and we are thinking of doing part two covering more of my conservation work and general photography help.
The format was very simple as I went through how I work as a professional wildlife and conservation photographer. My beginnings, my backstory and those four key elements I use and adhere too when in the field.
I’d like to thank everyone for tuning in using zoom and for their support. Also a big thank you to Connor for sorting this and promoting this on the various social media platforms.