Eating Animals Film Review and Speaking Out For Animals
Earlier this week, a handful of Vancouver animal rights activists attended the documentary screening of Eating Animals to ensure that the animals were fairly defended at this welfarist public event which narrowly focused on criticizing the industrialization of farming for what it’s doing to the livelihoods of small-scale traditional farmers, touching briefly on the negative environmental and health aspects of factory farming, but suggesting that supporting local, free-range animal slaughter is fine, perhaps even admirable.
After the film, Geoff Regier, former undercover investigator with Mercy For Animals, attempted to ensure that no audience member left the theatre seeking out more “humane” animal products, but with the understanding that while a spectrum of abusive practices and animal welfare exists, there is simply no humane way to obtain animal products – when animals are treated as commodities, there will be abuse or at the very least, a lack of autonomy. He offered his first hand account of the un-anaesthetized, painful manipulations he witnessed on so-called “small, ethical farms” including the hobby farm he grew up on, reflecting that his love of animals as a child was rooted in his desire to “cram more animals into cages” so he could have even more animals to love.
In today’s interview, we have a round-table discussion with local activists – myself, “Jane” and Michael Kossin, who attended the screening, offering our thoughts on why a film like this does a disservice to the animals and the vegan movement as a whole, abolitionist vs welfarist messaging, the “preachy vegan” stereotype and the apologetic vegans who set our movement back, our reaction to the audience’s post-film questions and comments, and what strategies we feel need to be employed more by activists in order to propel the animal rights movement forward most effectively.
“We can’t plead ignorance, only indifference. Those alive today are the generations that came to know better. We are the ones of whom it will be fairly asked, what did you do when you learned the truth about eating animals?”
– Jonathan Safran Foer