From Bored Panda:
“Allowed to Grow Old” is a book published by the University of Chicago Press. The project began as a personal exploration of photographer Isa Leshko’s fear of aging, which was triggered by caring for her mother who had Alzheimer’s disease. However, as she visited animal sanctuaries across America and met rescued farm animals, her motivation for the project evolved. Leshko became a passionate advocate for these animals and wanted to use her portraits to raise awareness about their stories and to speak on their behalf. In this series, she captures the unique personality of each animal by spending time to develop a rapport with them and working only with natural light to be as unobtrusive as possible.
The project not only features geriatric farm animals but also elderly companion animals, which are juxtaposed to exemplify the similarities among these animals and to provoke inquiry into why we treat some animals differently. Most of the farm animals Leshko met had suffered from horrific abuse and neglect before their rescue, making it a miracle to be in the presence of an animal who has reached old age. Through her portraits, Leshko hopes to highlight the beauty and dignity of these animals and to invite reflection upon what is lost when they are not allowed to grow old.