Isa Leshko - "Allowed to Grow Old"

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Isa Leshko

"In this unexpected encounter with aging animals, Isa Leshko enables us to see what she sees: the beauty and dignity of those allowed to live into old age. There is something new in these gorgeous portraits of the old." — Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat and Burger

Isa Leshko discusses Allowed to Grow Old: Portraits of Elderly Animals from Farm Sanctuaries. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: There’s nothing quite like a relationship with an aged pet—a dog or cat who has been at our side for years, forming an ineffable bond. Pampered pets, however, are a rarity among animals who have been domesticated. Farm animals, for example, are usually slaughtered before their first birthday. We never stop to think about it, but the typical images we see of cows, chickens, pigs, and the like are of young animals. What would we see if they were allowed to grow old?

Isa Leshko shows us, brilliantly, with this collection of portraits. To create these portraits, she spent hours with her subjects, gaining their trust and putting them at ease. The resulting images reveal the unique personality of each animal. It’s impossible to look away from the animals in these images as they unforgettably meet our gaze, simultaneously calm and challenging. In these photographs we see the cumulative effects of the hardships of industrialized farm life, but also the healing that time can bring, and the dignity that can emerge when farm animals are allowed to age on their own terms.

Each portrait is accompanied by a brief biographical note about its subject, and the book is rounded out with essays that explore the history of animal photography, the place of beauty in activist art, and much more. Open this book to any page. Meet Teresa, a thirteen-year-old Yorkshire Pig, or Melvin, an eleven-year-old Angora Goat, or Tom, a seven-year-old Broad Breasted White Turkey. You’ll never forget them.

About the author: Isa Leshko is a photographer who focuses on themes of aging and animal rights. Her images of aging farm animals are much admired and have been published in the Atlantic, Boston Globe, the Guardian, Harper’s, the New York Times, and elsewhere.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637