Tamara Kenneally is an award winning, animal based photographic artist situated in Victoria, Australia. Tamara has an passionate interest in animal behaviour, animal rights and animal/human relationships which greatly influence her work. She has a degree in Media Arts (fine art photography) and post graduate qualifications in Animal Welfare.
Tamara has exhibited widely in both group and solo exhibitions around Australia. The way in which people view, use and relate to animals are examined in her bodies of work. She attempts to tell the stories of animals living in a human world.
Tamara's love of animals began when she was very young and her photography obsession blossomed not long after. At 11 years of age her beloved dog, Buddy, became her full-time photographic model for the next 17 years.
She hails from a film photography background and has a passion for creating her images within her camera, this means no cropping and very little post processing on her images.
Tamara hopes her audience walk away from her work with a new found respect and compassion for animals.
Merry was rescued one hot summer’s night in January, 2018. She was 4 weeks old at the time and was meant to live in that faeces soaked shed until she was 7-9 weeks old when she would have been sent to slaughter for meat. Ducks are aquatic birds and live to swim, they clean themselves by swimming in water. In intensive duck farms, no pools of water are ever provided for ducks. One of their most basic, instictual needs is completely denied in intensive farming.
I saw Merry towards the back of the group of ducks. She was smaller than the rest and ended up sitting down whilst the rest of them walked on. I decided to take her because she was so small and I knew she didn’t look terribly healthy. I grabbed her quite easily and took her home with her friends Pippin and Legolas (all names from Lord Of The Rings).
This image was taken by Unconsciously Cruel www.facebook.com/unconsciouslycruel
Merry is a very affectionate little lady. She craves touch and spends as much time as possible close to her friends. She always makes sure she has her beak resting on Pippin. She had a respiratory infection that meant I had to medicate her daily. With daily interaction and patting, Merry has realised that I’m not so bad. Animals rescued from farms are usually terrified of humans. The only times they see humans are stressful situations when farmers are clearing dead animals out of sheds or when it’s time to be sent to slaughter. For an animal who has lived in these conditions to start to trust a human, it is a very special thing.
Merry has not only discovered the joy of water and being able to swim, she’s also learnt all about the happiness of oats! Oats are her new favourite thing. She prefers them watered down, but oats, water and Pippin are currently her world and that is such a big different to her world that was a shed with a floor made of poo and a future that was a very stressful death.
The following footage is the first time Merry and Pippin ever saw the water.
Legolas was just four weeks old, hatched on this free range duck farm and then thrown in to this shed to live for the next 7-9 weeks until slaughter.
She dragged herself around that huge shed full of thousands of Pekin ducks all born and bred to be a meal. Her leg had suffered a massive break at some point and she could not put weight on it, so she dragged it around with her and used all her strength to hop and slid around the shed following her shed mates. She was only 4 weeks old, but she had already been handed more suffering than most could handle.
Blind since she was born. Suffering congenital cataracts, she never saw the faeces covered shed that she lived in. She never saw her shed mates, but she could feel and hear where they were and tried to be with them at all times for her safety. Ducks in intensive farms are not provided with pools or water to swim in. Ducks are aquatic birds and their need to be in water is as great as a bird’s need to fly. Denying ducks of water in the height of cruelty.
I first remember seeing her laying next to another duck who was trapped on her back. I picked up that duck and she ran off, Legolas didn’t run off though. Realising she was incredibly injured, I took her over to the water feeders where she drank enthusiastically out of my hand when she realised what I was trying to get her to do.
This image was taken by Unconsciously Cruel www.facebook.com/unconsciouslycruel
Yes, Legolas was rescued, but thousands of other weren’t. Thousands of others still sleep on their bed of duck poo in this free range farm until it’s time for slaughter. Being completely blind, Legolas had no idea who was there in her presence, but she knew someone was there. She had no idea that the hands that were about to pick her up were going to shield her the best they could from harm. She had no idea that the person picking her up only wanted kindness and love for her. Legolas was petrified, but she was rescued. She was taken away from that place.
Legolas was born to be eaten, she wasn’t worth helping, she was only worth money in an industry that cares nothing for animals. No one will ever know the true extent of the suffering she endured in that farm.
I took Legolas home with two other ducklings that I named Merry and Pippin. All three developed a very strong bond very quickly, but I knew that Legolas couldn’t see and the challenges before her were great.
Her beak was bruised and marked, mostly likely due to the fact that she couldn’t see and probably got it caught in the food and water feeders constantly.
Even though she couldn’t see and couldn’t stand or walk, her first moments in water saw her little face light up. Her instincts kicked in and she splashed around as much as her body would let her. She finally got to clean herself of all the duck poo that stuck to her. She finally got to be a duck.
Her best day was her last day.
I knew at the farm. My friend knew. We knew. We knew that I was taking Legolas home to save her from dying in that place, but not to save her from actually dying. We knew her chances of living a life free of suffering whilst being unable to walk and being unable to see were slim. She was weak and she couldn’t find the food or the water. The energy she used dragging herself small distances completely wiped her out, her sick little lungs could not manage properly. I tried and I hoped, because if anyone deserved a chance to live it was this little girl. Four weeks of living in duck poo without her body ever feeling water on it. Four weeks of pain. Four weeks of confusion and fear not being able to see. She so deserved to live, but when I put her on the vet table, I knew and my vet knew, we knew what the kindest thing was for this sweet little duckling who was born in to a dark world and seen as nothing but a meal.
She died in peace, with kindness. She was nobody’s meal and she was buried, a simple respect that no animal in the agriculture system is ever given…..our bodies are their graves.
This footage was taken on Legolas’s last day. She spent a lot of it in this pool. She mostly just sat there, but the few moments of energy she had I’ve put together here. At least she got to have this, it’s so much more than the rest of them get.
Australia produces about 5 million turkeys each year and sales are at their highest in December. It is estimated 75 percent of turkeys farmed in Australia are slaughtered for Christmas day meals.
Turkeys are intelligent, emotional birds who so desperately love their lives and want to live.
They are big, stunning birds who are very often laughed about and misunderstood. In the wild turkeys would naturally perch at night in the trees in forests, take dust bathes when they pleased and spend the day foraging and searching for insects and bugs. Sadly, the intensive meat farming industry has taken all of these natural instincts away from turkeys just so humans can eat them whenever they please.
About 5 million turkeys are intensively farmed and eaten by Australians every year. What does this mean for these lovely birds? Just like factory farmed broiler chickens, turkeys are bred to grow as big as possible in the shortest amount of time possible. Factory farmed turkeys are killed between 10 – 17 weeks old, whereas in the wild, turkeys can live up to 10 years old. Because they are selectively bred to grow so huge, they develop leg, joint and bone disorders and they also often die of organ failure or heart disease. They live in cramped conditions, and such stressful living conditions promotes behaviours such as pecking and fighting. Instead of giving each turkey more room in these sheds, farmers cut off part of their beaks and part of their middle toes without pain relief to stop the fighting. Factory farmed turkeys get so large that they often cannot move or stand up and end up stranded on the floors of the sheds covered in their own waste.
Turkeys at free range farms suffer the same fate even though they do get access to the outside world and consumers seem to think it’s a kinder option. Free range turkeys still live in such close quarters with many other turkeys which is incredibly stressful and also means these turkeys are living in mounds of their own waste. The following images are from a free range turkey farm in North East Victoria.
The following film, “The Festive Bird” footage was captured by my brilliant right hand woman earlier this year at a free range turkey farm in North West Victoria. It shows the standard procedures at a free range turkey farm.
Please be aware that there is graphic slaughter footage in this film
Aries was found at abattoir in January, 2017. She was found in crates with thirty of her friends. It was quite baffling to us why these hens were at the abattoir as they were so young, only at point of lay age. All thirty were rescued and I kept three of these beautiful girls. Two golden beauties who I called “Leo” and “Aries” and one gorgeous brown girl who was so timid, sweet and scared who I called, “Pisces”.
Aries is a leader. Her golden feathers shine as she walks through grass first, as she leads the other hens through a forgotten path on the property. She leads like an aries and she walks like an aries. She is incredibly selfish when it comes to food and is not afraid to peck others in the head if they come anywhere near her food.
Brave, strong, independent and clever. Aries is not just a chicken, she’s a super hero chicken.
Leo was found at abattoir in January, 2017. She was found in crates with thirty of her friends. It was quite baffling to us why these hens were at the abattoir as they were so young, only at point of lay age. All thirty were rescued and I kept three of these beautiful girls. Two golden beauties who I called “Leo” and “Aries” and one gorgeous brown girl who was so timid, sweet and scared who I called, “Pisces”.
Leo was beautiful, proud and headstrong from the first moment I saw her. She kept her head held high and knew how beautiful she was. I took all three lovely young hens to Lefty’s Place and introduced them to Super Chicken’s flock where they fitted in beautifully.
Leo spends her time hanging around with Super Chicken and with Aries. She also has an independent streak, which means I find her wandering off every now and again looking for puddles to gaze in to to see her beautiful gold reflection.