You may recognise my heading here as a quote from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, where we also hear “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” It was a connection I couldn’t help but make as I explored the background to this article.
After writing about non-human animal rights recently, I found myself on a track which led to a documentary named ‘Speciesism‘. You can watch a trailer and stream online here. But, as I warned you, they say:
YOU’LL NEVER LOOK AT ANIMALS THE SAME WAY AGAIN. ESPECIALLY HUMANS.
This is not scaremongering, but it is eye-opening. You can never un-see what you watch here, and once your brain has digested the information, your mindset may change forever. It is important to note that there is minimal graphic or upsetting content in the film, it is intended to be informative and entertaining.
Anyway, that is enough build-up, let me get into the content of what to expect in this documentary.
We are taken on a journey to discover the truth behind modern farming methods, especially the practice in US factory farms. The director, Mark Devries, is a young student who started to investigate the facts and soon found himself consumed in his project. He speaks to people in all areas of the food industry, to people on both sides of the fence and even faces up to the farm owners themselves.
He maintains an objective stance throughout – asking difficult questions and documenting the responses he receives. The purpose of the documentary is to raise questions…. and I for one have been deeply affected by his work.
Mark’s journey starts with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The initial mood is a little cynical. PETA is known for being provocative. They often use gimmicks and shock tactics to distract people enough to make them stop and look. They succeed at getting attention and this is the way that they raise awareness and pressure companies to take action while in the spotlight.
The public is not always in favour of the tactics used by the charity, although they have been the catalyst for some substantial changes in the industry.
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