handpaw photo copyright Miranda Loud

A cat wakes its owner during a fire. A dog pulls people to safety from a train. A whale “thanks” its rescuers. These stories, and hundreds like them, show that animals have empathy for humans. What if we imagine that our current imbalance with nature could be solved by re-discovering our long-lost kinship and commonality with other creatures? What if acknowledging the one language of emotion we share is a key to reducing our current exploitation of the natural world?

What better way to start this One Language Project than with “For the Love of Dogs”? The non-profit organization Naturestage which I founded in 2006 has led me to use the arts in myriad forms to explore our relationship and obligation towards other species – whether honeybees or elephants. Bringing it even closer to home is this ever-expanding exhibit giving other species the spotlight seen through the power of the animal gaze and their owners’ tributes.

This installation is one way to bring attention to the consciousness of other species in our busy and human-centric world. Our treatment of other species reflects our treatment of our own. The motivation to be global stewards can only become a reality through a core connection – the language of the heart.

- Miranda Loud, photographer