December 9, 2013

This blog is long overdue, my apologies. I've had a really busy couple of months and just haven't had the time. But now things have calmed down, and I'm back on track!

This month's blog is about 'The Ghosts in our Machine' (2013), a documentary I had the pleasure of seeing a couple of months ago during its Ottawa screening at the ByTowne in September.

The film is directed by Liz Marshall (left below) and follows photographer Jo-Anne McArthur (right below) for one year as she travels the world photographing the realities that animals experience in the food, fashion, entertainment, and research industries. The result is a movie that explores and communicates animal rights issues in a unique and interesting way.

While most animal rights films focus on the abuse animals experience, this film focuses on the animals themselves. These animals take on a central role in the film and their lives, stories, and personalities are explored. This unique form of narrative, at least in my opinion, helps to create an animal rights film that is more accessible.

After the screening, the National Capital Vegetarian Association held a reception with Liz and Jo-Anne. I had the opportunity to speak with them, and we discussed this. I told Liz what I liked most about the film is that they didn't use graphic images to tell the story, and as a consequence, people who have traditionally avoided animal rights films might be willing to watch it. She told me that was a big part of what she had in mind when she made the film and that she hoped it would provide a different medium for people to explore these issues.

If you're someone who has avoided animal right films in the past, try this one. It's a great film with a powerful message. Here's the trailer to give you an idea!

Number of animals killed in the world by the meat, dairy and egg industries, since you opened this webpage. This does not include the billions of fish and other aquatic animals killed annually.

Based on 2007 statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations' Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas.

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