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Good People, Good Work

Laurent Baheux (vegetarian): Picturing Animal-People in Black and White, Part 2 of 2

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In our previous show, we learned that Mr. Baheux (vegetarian) was just a child when his father introduced him to observing and respecting wildlife. His later career gave him such profound insights into the personalities of his animal-people subjects that he changed to his current diet. And since 2013, Mr. Baheux (vegetarian) has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, promoting nature conservation.

“Wild is a bit ... it’s original. It is at the origin of everything, and it is where we came from. All these species that we call wild, they are simply in the right place, in their natural environment, and they are just as Nature created them.” “And if you select a hundred portraits of lions, there aren't any two that look the same – as with us humans, in fact. And so, each one has its own individuality, its own character traits, its personality. And that's what I want to show.” Mr. Baheux (vegetarian) also believes that these individuals have the right to refuse him. After presenting his intention to photograph them, whether it happens is not up to him.

“That is to say when we approach them with goodwill, are not too intrusive, and take the time to be accepted, and when we respect the animal’s space so that it feels safe and comfortable and does not perceive us as a threat, we realize that almost all the time, the animals are not aggressive and do not threaten us for no reason.”

Mr. Baheux (vegetarian) found that his wildlife photography touched many viewers and frequently elicited emotional responses from them. So he began taking pictures of animal-people who had been rescued from slaughterhouses. “So I wanted to raise awareness about this because it is fundamental. Because when we choose to eat animals from intensive livestock operations – which are fed with cereals that are cultivated where the Amazon was deforested, for example – it has a direct consequence of destroying habitats and accelerating biodiversity loss. To me, it just seems normal to consider that the preservation of the planet comes before our gustatory pleasure.” “So it’s time for everyone to wake up. I want this army of destructive behaviors to switch to the right side, [I want] us to create an army of people who want to protect this planet.”
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