Animals

Gorgeous Portraits of Nocturnal Animals

There are times when, as a writer, you really want to delve into the realm of Serious Criticism, taking a critical view of works of art in their sociopolitical context and examining their role in both their own fields of artistic endeavor and against a wider backdrop of cultural trends and movements. There are also times when you just want to go, OMG SUCH CUTE ANIMALS ARGGHHHH~~~~~. These gorgeous photos of nocturnal animals, from Rhode Island photographer Traer Scott’s book Creatures of the Night, fall firmly into the latter category. That’s not in any way to understate their artistic worth — they’re beautifully composed and well shot — but dear god, how cute is that little baby fox thing on the book cover?! Hat tip to Featureshoot, where we first spotted these — and also, do check out Traer’s website, where there’s a wealth of beautiful animal photography. … Read More

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Adorable and Ridiculous Portraits of Pooches from New York City’s Dog Beauty Pageant

America: land of the free, home of the… dog pageant. We love our dogs just as much as we love dressing them in sparkly tutus and tiaras—some of us, anyway. Artist Sophie Gamand, whose photographs of wet dogs mid-bath previously captured our hearts, returns to the Flavorwire gallery with a series about doggie pageants (first spotted on Neatorama). Gamand was at the recent New York City Dog Pageant where pampered pooches hit the stage in their glittering gowns and outrageous costumes. “In a city like New York where having a child is so expensive, where people don’t want to give up their freedom or lifestyle, where they feel isolated and have a hard time meeting their soul mate, the dog seems to be the perfect answer,” Gamand writes about the “doggie moms” in her pictures. Most of the pups appear to be having a good time. Their personalities really shine through. But a few can’t disguise their humiliation. Gamand explains that these moms also regularly attend animal-related charity events with their stylish hounds dressed to the nines. That means the embarrassing miniature cheerleader outfit that poor Yum-Yum is forced to wear isn’t for naught. … Read More

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Heartwarming Photos and Stories of “Bully” Breeds That Dispel the Bad Dog Myth

From the boxer to the Boston terrier, “bully” dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, many people associate the word “bully” with the dog’s temperament. Dogs such as the pit bull are instantly labeled as violent and aggressive, when in reality they make for loyal and loving pets. Photographer Douglas Sonders, whose work we discovered on Beautiful/Decay, started the Not a Bully series to draw attention to the unfair treatment of “bully” breeds and share successful adoption stories to help dispel the myths. Sonders’ own dog Emma, a pit bull mix, inspired the photo campaign. She spent nearly a year in foster care, shunned due to her appearance, and came close to being euthanized. Through adoption, Sonders saved her life and discovered what a gentle soul she was. For more heart-warming stories of “bully” breed rescues, visit our gallery. Support Sonders’ cause by visiting the official Not a Bully website. … Read More

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Adorable Photos of Metalheads and Their Pet Cats

Musician, jewelry designer, and metal fan Alexandra Crockett looked past the corpse paint to reveal the softer side of menacing-looking metalheads, by way of their pet cats. Due out in May, the adorably evil Metal Cats features the felines that make these musicians, promoters, fans, and others purr. Members of bands like Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Black Goat, Isis, and Exhumed are featured throughout. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to no-kill shelters in the cities hosting a series of related benefit… Read More

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10 Fantastic Feline-Friendly Interior Designs

Designers and architects often ignore our animal family members when it comes to creating spaces where people and pets live. What’s a house panther to do? We searched high and low for feline-friendly interior solutions that offer pets a permanent place of their own. These catwalks, staircases, and bridges allow kitty to stretch the imagination and get a paw up on indoor… Read More

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Nude Self-Portraits in Natural History Museums

Swiss photographer Vicky Althaus has restaged the taxidermy tableaux in a natural history museum by posing within each scene, nude. The former thriving beasts have been stuffed for our “natural” education, but really, there’s nothing natural about them or the artificial landscapes they are situated in. Althaus’ presence draws attention to this in poignant and humorous ways. The photos suggest a greater dialogue about environmental and ecological visibility. Take a closer look at Althaus’ collection, which we first spotted on Beautiful/Decay, in our gallery. … Read More

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Adorable Animal Comics From a ‘Simpsons’ Animator

Liz Climo, who we learned about on HitFix, works as a storyboard revisionist for TV favorite The Simpsons. When she’s not fine-tuning the visual side of the animated sitcom, she’s busy creating a world of adorable animals inspired by the comical goings-on in her everyday life. Climo’s cute creatures enjoy dressing up in costumes, poking fun at each other, and playing pranks. And they talk just like us, too. Climo will be publishing a book of her comics with Little Brown in 2015, but until then, check out our gallery of her charming animal comics. … Read More

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Adorable Photos of Wet Dogs Mid-Bath

Bath time for dogs is a vulnerable, humiliating, and messy experience. It’s also a necessary one, and our pet pooches are good sports about the whole thing — usually. Photographer Sophie Gamand, who we first learned about on Design You Trust, captured dogs in mid-bath, and the results of her collaboration with groomer and pet stylist Ruben Santana are adorable and hilarious. The dogs’ knowing expressions and toothy grins admit defeat while expressing defiance. Gamand’s Wet Dog series reveals another layer of the human-animal bond — one with shampoo mohawks and wet fur. … Read More

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Charming Portraits of Pets and Their Owners

The law of attraction states “like attracts like.” This also applies to people and their pets. Often, humans and their animal companions share an uncanny resemblance. Sometimes it’s a deliberate choice, as the Paris Hilton’s of the world have proven, but usually it’s a subconscious decision. Even if man/woman and beast look nothing alike, shared personality traits are usually present. Hamburg-based photographer Tobias Lang (aka Mats Pitkå) has been studying people and their pets for some time. He snapped these delightful side-by-side portraits that reveal the subtleties of likeness in their relationships. Sometimes it’s a smile, posture, or even a hairstyle, but it’s clear why these humans and animals belong together. … Read More

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10 Essential Animal Documentaries

Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Blackfish is an eye-opening documentary about animals in captivity, with a special focus on the orca Tilikum, who is currently kept at SeaWorld Orlando. The controversial creature is connected to the deaths of three people, including trainer Dawn Brancheau. Blackfish calls into question the safety measures, conditions, and treatment of captive animals, and makes a strong case for the orcas’ intelligence, awareness, and emotion. As moviegoers always on the lookout for compelling animal documentaries that supersede the humdrum nature shows — Blackfish in particular unfolds like a thriller — we’ve rounded up a list of other essential documentaries that call to the wild. … Read More

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