With increasing habitat fragmentation, the loss of natural predators, and continual expanding of roadways, The New York Department of Transportation, is faced with the disposal of 25,000 deer carcasses a year from motor vehicle collisions. Traditional methods of disposal––incineration and mass graves, have been prohibitive due to cost and environmental concerns. However, a more viable and practical alternative has become available. Deer composting. "Reclaimed," considers the practice of deer composting performed by the D.O.T in Ulster County NY, which composts over 800 deer carcasses a year.
Deer composting involves layering the deer carcasses on a bed of wood chips. Then the pile is regularly rotated and refreshed with new compost. Over time the carcasses biodegrade, and are generated into a stable soil compound. The newly amended soil––fertile and recycled, is then used to re-landscape the highways.
"Reclaimed" illustrates the conflict between nature and humankind, and addresses the challenge of implemeting solutions that are in harmony with our environment.
Whether human or canine, cancer claims millions of lives every year. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in dogs, and our canine companions fall prey to the same type of malignancies, at relatively the same rate as humans. "Clinical Hope" focuses on dogs diagnosed with cancer––undergoing clinical trials in order to minimize their pain and extend their lives. Traditionally, the majority of cancer treatments for dogs have been derived from the human oncology field. However, this paradigm is quickly shifting with revolutionary advances in canine cancer research. Special attention is paid to "PAC-1," an anti-cancer agent originally formulated for dogs, which is now being translated to human cancer patients with aggressive malignant tumors. Throughout history, dogs have played a meaningful role to humans for work, survival, and kinship. In this project, the attachment relationship between the two species––human and canine, is something to behold and contemplate.
Every year an estimated 300 million animals are illegally imported into the United States as exotic pets. Most of these animals retain their natural instincts, behaviors, and dietary attributes––even those captivity bred, remain wild. It is infeasible to replicate their natural habitat, and to meet their nutritional needs. From self-destructive feather plucking in birds, to metabolic bone disease in reptiles, the majority of medical issues they face stem from an inability to accommodate their psychological and biological needs. Without proper care, these animals are experiencing compromised lives marked by unnecesary disease and distress. "Displaced" is a look at the efforts of The Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine in NYC, as they tend to these delicate animals who have been removed from their natural habitats and transplanted into a foreign environment.
In the US, the majority of animals produced for food, come from factory farms designed to maximize agribusiness profits, at the expense of the environment, animal welfare, and our health. "Considered," focuses on animals which are bred for food, and are raised on Animal Welfare Approved farms. AWA farms are family owned, where animals are raised with the hightest ethical standards, and with consideration to the environment. In order to be certified, from their birth to slaughter, animals are raised outdoors on pasture, allowing them to behave naturally in a state of physical and psychological well-being, while meeting specific standards for each species. This allows each animal the opportunity to perform their instinctive natural behaviors, essential for their health and well-being. Less than 1% of animals raised for food, are treated in this manner.
I grew up in Illinois where the roads run long, flat, and straight across a vast plain of open farmland. In this setting, prairie wildlife and cars can easily avoid one another. However, when I moved to Westchester, just north of New York City, I was confronted with a different reality. As road density increases, wildlife habitats are destroyed and fragmented into smaller, more isolated plots. Animals are unable to meet their biological needs, and as a result, a variety of species are now threatened with extinction. The pictures in this series document the fallen creatures along the wooded roadways of Westchester County.