Actor and Unicef Ambassador Liz Solari, along with actor and activist Santi Magariños share their reaction to the viral Netflix documentary Seaspiracy with Animal Save Movement.
Find out what surprised them most as they discuss the annihilation of our oceans and sentient life, along with the interconnected corruption, slavery and organised crime that comes with it.
The oceans are the lungs of the Earth.
If the ocean dies. We all die.
Greta Thunberg in New Film: If We Don’t Stop Exploiting Animals, “We Are F*cked”
Vegan climate activist Greta Thunberg’s new short film For Nature urges viewers to go plant-based to save the planet.
On May 22nd, animal-rights group Mercy for Animals (MFA) debuted For Nature, a new short film starring vegan climate activist Greta Thunberg. In the hard-hitting five-minute film, Thunberg explains all of the ways in which human exploitation of animals and the planet have led to health crises such as COVID-19 and environmental catastrophes. Thunberg’s narration, supplanted with gripping images of destruction, points to the interconnectedness of the way humans treat animals and the planet and the consequences they face as a result.
Thunberg is known for her unapologetic approach to educating the public about the urgency of fighting the climate crisis and the 18-year-old vegan does not hold back in For Nature. “The climate crisis, the ecological crisis, the health crises, they are all interlinked,” she says in the film. “We no longer see the links between them … I would like to connect the dots because let’s face it, if we don’t change, we’re f*cked.”
Thunberg on animal agriculture
In For Nature, Thunberg points out that while fossil fuels are seen as the “villians” of the climate crisis, animal agriculture—which contributes to one-fourth of total greenhouse gas emissions—is often ignored.
Approximately 30 percent of the world’s ice-less land mass is used for animal agriculture and 33 percent of all cropland is used to grow food for those animals. Thunberg explains that if everyone were to adopt a plant-based diet, we would save up to 8 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually and use 76 percent less land.
“The climate crisis is just one symptom of the sustainability crisis we face: We have industrialized life on Earth and broken our relationship with nature,” she said. “More frequent and devastating pandemics, biodiversity loss, and the climate crisis are all connected to this root cause. This is why we need to rethink how we value and treat nature in order to safeguard future and present living conditions for life on Earth. We all, of course, have different opportunities and responsibilities, but most of us can at least do something—no matter how small.”
For Nature is Greta Thungberg’s idea
Released in honor of International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22), Thunberg conceptualized the film and script herself and MFA supported the costs of production, donated footage, and provided research to support Thunberg’s vision. To create the film, Thunberg approached award-winning filmmaker Tom Mustill who previously worked with leading conservationists such as Sir David Attenborough.
“Mercy For Animals is proud to partner with Greta to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings on our planet,” John Seber, Senior Vice President of Advocacy at MFA, said. “Every single one of us can be part of transforming our food system and repairing our relationship with nature. For those of us with food choices, we can eat like our world depends on it. We can stop subsidizing unhealthy and environmentally destructive animal products and help farmers transition to a plant-based farming model that is better for their livelihoods, local communities, the environment, and the animals. We are all part of nature and can be part of nature protecting itself.”
According to Greta Thunberg, the cost of an industrialized food system is clear—the destruction of our planet. In a new video, sponsored by Mercy For Animals, Greta raises the question, will we take action before it's too late? Visit: fornature.earth
“The climate crisis is just one symptom of the sustainability crisis we face: We have industrialized life on Earth and broken our relationship with nature.” Environmental activist Greta Thunberg is teaming up with Mercy For Animals to speak out about animal agriculture and highlight its connection to the environmental crisis.
New book Hidden shows why animal photojournalism really matters right now
This emerging genre focuses on humankind’s relationship with nature – and these images are not for the faint-hearted
“Animal Photojournalism is extremely urgent and relevant to the issues of today,” says Jo-Anne McArthur, an award-winning Canadian photographer, journalist and campaigner.
She has coined the term Animal Photojournalism (APJ) for an emerging genre of photography that focuses on people’s relationship with nature and highlights the suffering of billions of animals on the planet from human activities, including factory farms, breeding facilities and animal experimentation.
The abuse of nature isn’t just bad for animals; it’s impacting all of our lives, from climate change to the global pandemic (said to have come from bats or pangolins in China’s wildlife markets). McArthur is also the author of Hidden: Animals In The Anthropocene and the founder of We Animals Media.
We sat down with her to discuss animal photojournalism, and why it is so important.
How do you define Animal Photojournalism?
I call it an emerging genre, coming out of a number of different kinds of photography. Wildlife photography became a lot more about conservation photography, but conservation photography still excludes a number of animals, namely domestic animal and the billions of animals in labs and factory farms.
Because these animals are sentient and relevant, Animal Photojournalism likes to include all of them. That’s why we call them the ‘hidden’ animals, - they’re hidden from the public conscience, hidden from the media. We’re trying to bring those animals and stories forward.
It's also a mix of a bit of conflict photography and street photography.
"When I travel I love exploring galleries and exhibits. For obvious reasons I haven’t done that these last 14 months, and was so pleasantly surprised with our recent collaboration with f³ - freiraum für fotografie, who created a 360° virtual photography tour for HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene. Taking the tour felt like I was immersed in a trendy exhibition in Berlin."
For the project HIDDEN– Animals in the Anthropocene, 40 photographers have joined forces, including some of the world’s best-known wildlife photographers, such as Daniel Beltrá, Aaron Gekoski and Britta Jaschinski. 5€ (free on Mondays) and about 15 minutes.
Go on Tour >>
‘They killed my best friend for supper!’ Gunda, the farmyard film that could put you off eating meat for ever
A sow, two cows and a one-legged chicken are the stars of Victor Kossakovsky’s unique documentary, which Hollywood’s most famous vegan, Joaquin Phoenix, has helped to get the audience it deserves
When Victor Kossakovsky was four, his parents sent him from St Petersburg to stay with his uncle’s family in the countryside. “It was a cold winter,” he says, brrr-ing over Zoom. “Minus 30 degrees.”
Warmth came from the boy’s friendship with a one-month-old piglet named Vasya. They were inseparable – until she became cutlets for New Year’s Eve supper.
“When they ate her, for me, it was a total disaster,” says Kossakovsky. “You killed my best friend!” he screamed at his relatives. And so, he jokes, he became the Soviet Union’s first vegetarian.
Half a century later, Kossakovsky went vegan, as he began production on Gunda, a documentary shot in Norway, Wales and England starring a sow, who gives her name to the title, a couple of ageing cows, and a one-legged chicken.
Gunda is no ordinary wildlife documentary. There is no narration or soundtrack. Instead, in glorious monochrome, we watch the animals simply exist: they feed, snuffle, snuggle, care for their young, and scamper in fields. It turns out that no digital trickery or anthropomorphic narrative is needed for us to fall in love with them.
Cinema in its purest form, GUNDA chronicles the lives of a mother pig, a flock of chickens, and a herd of cows with masterful intimacy. Using beautiful black and white cinematography and the farm's ambient soundtrack, master director Victor Kossakowsky invites the audience to slow down and experience life as his subjects do. In doing so GUNDA takes us into the mystery of animal consciousness, and the role humanity plays in it.
Dive into the frontlines of ocean conservation with Sea Shepherd and explore the inner workings of our operations around Africa and how we are working with local governments to shut down poaching in African waters and saving the lives of millions of marine animals.
Sea Shepherd is an international, non-profit marine conservation organization that engages in direct action campaigns to defend wildlife, and conserve and protect the world’s oceans from illegal exploitation and environmental destruction.
Learn more here: seashepherdglobal.org
Cruel Morrisons Pig Farm Forced To Close by Viva!
Following Viva!'s undercover investigation of Winterbrook Farm Partners in 2020, the barbaric Calvesley pig farm has been forced to close.
Calvesley Farm was a breeding unit and home to hundreds of female pigs who were routinely impregnated and forced to birth countless litters of piglets. Staggeringly, this farm produced an average 400 piglets a week.
Footage taken from Calvesley Farm revealed highly disturbing examples of animal cruelty. Farm workers were filmed thumping young piglets – killing them by slamming their tiny heads onto the concrete floor. Although legal, a brutally cruel act which is followed by the worker dumping the bodies aside – presumably because these animals were considered too small to be profitable.
Hidden from public gaze, thousands of pheasants and partridges used by the shooting industry for breeding purposes are imprisoned in battery-style cages. Our latest undercover investigation of these factory farms for game birds revealed pheasants confined in raised metal units, which were entirely barren and without enrichment.
You don’t even have to imagine how desperate these poor birds are to escape, because the evidence is right in front of you. Bits, fitted over the birds’ beaks, are used to prevent them from attacking and eating one another through stress-related aggression.
Even by the most basic welfare standards, barren cages should not be used. But they are. And when Animal Aid reports these farms to local and government agencies, the usual outcome is a total lack of enforcement of the already inadequate ‘rules’.
Animal Aid’s goal is to see an end to the production of birds to be shot for ‘sport’. In the interim, we are pushing for an immediate ban on these horrific cages, which are used to incarcerate the shooting industry’s ‘breeding stock’.
We must push the government to outlaw the use of these terrible cages.
Please write to your MP now, it only takes two minutes: bangamebirdcages.org.uk/#action
New Investigation Exposes One of the Darkest Corners of the Dairy Industry
The interest in vegan and vegetarian products in the UK is on the rise, especially after consumers become aware of the cruelty involved in producing animal-based foods. However, the dairy industry has managed to fly under the radar and present itself as an ethical industry. This claim now faces the challenge of an investigation into one of the darkest corners of the dairy industry: calf dealers..
Undercover footage released by the Animal Justice Project (AJP) earlier this month shows calves as young as nine days old being kicked, beaten, and thrown at the Oaklands Livestock Centre in Shropshire, UK, that deals with dairy farmers who supply milk to a local retailer, Sainsbury’s, via the dairy giant Müller. This center acts as a major hub for male dairy calves and is owned by the renowned calf dealer, Derek Whittall.
A behind-the-scenes look at SAVE RALPH, written and directed by Spencer Susser (Hesher, The Greatest Showman).
Step inside the studio for a quick look at the detailed stop-motion animation process behind this intricately powerful short film, SAVE RALPH. Created by Spencer Susser and frequent Wes Anderson/Tim Burton set designer and puppet maker Andy Gent (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Isle of Dogs, The French Dispatch, The Corpse Bride), this behind-the-scenes video also features never before seen footage of the film’s voice stars including Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn uniting together for the #SaveRalph campaign to end cosmetic animal testing alongside Humane Society International.
Sign the #BeCrueltyFree pledge for a global end to animal testing for cosmetics: hsi.global/SaveRalph
Shady practices of the meat industry uncovered
Again and again, the animal agriculture industries find themselves involved in shady and secretive actions. Whether it’s creating brand new diseases and causing pandemics, colluding and paying off government officials, or lying to the public, these industries have done it all. So this is a round-up of some of the most shocking and shady actions committed by animal agriculture industries so far - but believe me when I say that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Could you imagine ethical vegan companies ever doing anything like this?
Seaspiracy Debunked: A Vegan Indoctrination Movie?
The release of Seaspiracy on Netflix has been huge, with the documentary trending in the top 10 of many countries around the world, generating a huge amount of conversation at the same time. As a result many of the organisations mentioned in the film have come out with statements of their own criticising the film. So who is telling the truth, and who is lying?
Joaquin and his sisters visit Liberty and Indigo, the mother and baby he helped save from a Los Angeles slaughterhouse one year ago. LA Animal Save called Joaquin the day after the 2020 Oscars to come and get the animals taken to Farm Sanctuary. Directed and produced by Shaun Monson.
Introducing Ralph, the new spokes-bunny of the global campaign to ban animal testing for cosmetics. #SaveRalph is a powerful stop-motion animation short film produced by Humane Society International, featuring an all-star multinational cast including Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, Pom Klementieff, Rodrigo Santoro, Tricia Helfer and more. hsi.global/SaveRalph
Save Ralph is a powerful stop-motion animation short film featuring Oscar winner Taika Waititi as the voice of Ralph, who is being interviewed for a documentary as he goes through his daily routine as a “tester” in a lab.
HSI’s #SaveRalph? campaign tackles the cruelty of animal testing in an original and unexpected way—using the story of one bunny to shine a light on the plight of countless rabbits and other animals in laboratories around the world.
While Ralph is animated, the miseries he endures in the short film are far from made up. As Spencer Susser, the director of Save Ralph, says, “It's so important that Ralph feels real because he represents countless real animals who suffer every day.”
Susser, known for his film Hesher, is among a slate of powerhouse celebrities and influencers who collaborated with Humane Society International on the making of Save Ralph. In addition to Waititi as Ralph and Gervais as the interviewer, the film has Zac Efron as Bobby, Olivia Munn as Marshmallow, Pom Klementieff as Cinnamon and Tricia Helfer as Cottonballs.
Producer Jeff Vespa (Voices of Parkland) teamed up with the Arch Model studio of puppet maker supreme Andy Gent (Isle of Dogs, The Grand Budapest Hotel) on the production.
Sign the #BeCrueltyFree pledge for a global end to animal testing for cosmetics: hsi.global/SaveRalph
What Netflix’s Seaspiracy gets wrong about fishing, explained by a marine biologist
"Giving up seafood isn’t the best way to save the oceans." Daniel Pauly
This story is part of Down to Earth, a new Vox reporting initiative on the science, politics, and economics of the biodiversity crisis.
I wanted to like Seaspiracy, the recent Netflix documentary that has lots of people talking about the damage that industrial fisheries inflict on the oceans and our souls. Since premiering on March 24, the movie has made its way onto (and off) Netflix’s Top 10 watch lists in a number of countries, and everyone from Tom Brady to Wells Fargo analysts have weighed in.
For decades, I have been writing and speaking about the damage Seaspiracy depicts in scientific articles, interviews, and yes, in documentary films as well. While much progress has been made, far too many people still have no idea of the problems facing the oceans. So, the prospect of a popular film on Netflix that could make the threat of destructive fisheries meaningful for its 200 million subscribers is something I welcomed.
The film includes all the damning evidence and dramatic footage required to make the important point that industrial fishing is — throughout the world — a too often out-of-control, sometimes criminal enterprise that needs to be reined in and regulated. In this, it reinforces and shares with a wide audience a knowledge that is widespread in the ocean conservation community, but not in the public at large.
However, overall Seaspiracy does more harm than good. It takes the very serious issue of the devastating impact of industrial fisheries on life in the ocean and then undermines it with an avalanche of falsehoods. It also employs questionable interviewing techniques, uses anti-Asian tropes, and blames the ocean conservation community, i.e., the very NGOs trying to fix things, rather than the industrial companies actually causing the problem.
Most importantly, it twists the narrative about ocean destruction to support the idea that we — the Netflix subscribers of the world — can save ocean biodiversity by turning vegan. In doing so, Seaspiracy undermines its tremendous potential value: to persuade people to work together, and push for change in policy and rules that will rein in an industry which often breaks the law with impunity.
Seaspiracy’s problem with facts
First, Seaspiracy has a problem with facts. An example is its claim that the oceans will be “empty” by 2048 if we keep fishing as we do now.
Earthling Ed says: "I don't know about you, but I'm seeing the 'crop deaths' argument come up way too often recently, potentially fuelled by Joe Rogan frequently bringing up 'facts' about how vegans are killing more animals than non-vegans.
So I think it's time to delve into this 'ultimate argument' against veganism and answer the hard question, are we responsible for killing more animals during crop production?"
"Seaspiracy shows why we must treat fish not as seafood, but as wildlife"
– George Monbiot
The film gets some things wrong, but it exposes the grim ecological destruction of the Earth’s oceans
When the BBC made a film about the crisis in our oceans, it somehow managed to avoid naming the greatest cause of their ecological destruction: the fishing industry. The only significant sequence on fishing in 2017’s Blue Planet II was a heartwarming story about how kind Norwegian herring boats are to orcas. It presented industrial fishing not as the greatest threat to sealife, but as its saviour.
It’s as if you were to make a film about climate breakdown without revealing the role of fossil fuel companies. Oh, hang on, the BBC did that too, in 2006. Its documentary The Truth about Climate Change mentioned fossil fuel companies only as part of the solution, because one of them was experimenting with carbon capture and storage. These films consisted of handwringing about a scarcely defined problem, followed by a suggestion that we should “do something”, while offering no hint of what this something might be.
They are symptomatic of a disease that afflicts most of the media, most of the time: a phobia about confronting power. Though the BBC has subsequently made some better films, it still tends to direct us away from the massive commercial assaults on our life support systems, and towards the issues I call micro-consumerist bollocks (MCB), such as plastic straws and cotton buds. I see MCB as a displacement activity: a safe substitute for confronting economic power. Far from saving the planet, it distracts us from systemic problems and undermines effective action.
The central premise of neoliberalism is that the locus of decision-making can be shifted from democratic government to the individual, working through “the market”. Rather than using politics to change the world for the better, we can do it through our purchases. If neoliberals even half-believed this nonsense, you’d expect them to ensure we were as knowledgable as possible, so that we could exercise effective decision-making in their great consumer democracy. Instead, the media keeps us in a state of almost total ignorance about the impacts of our consumption.
But one of our bubbles of ignorance has just been burst. On a small budget, with the first film they’ve ever made, Ali Tabrizi and Lucy Tabrizi have achieved what media giants have repeatedly failed to do: directly confronted power. Their film Seaspiracy has become a huge hit on Netflix in several nations, including the UK. (Disclosure: I’m a contributor.) At last people have started to wake up to the astonishing fact that when you drag vast nets over the seabed, or set lines of hooks 28 miles long, or relentlessly pursue declining species, you might just, well, you know, have some effect on ocean life.
The film gets some things wrong. It cites an outdated paper about the likely date of the global collapse of fisheries. Two of its figures about bycatch are incorrect. It confuses carbon stored by lifeforms with carbon stored in seawater. But the thrust of the film is correct: industrial fishing, an issue woefully neglected by the media and conservation groups, is driving many wildlife populations and ecosystems around the world towards collapse. Vast fishing ships from powerful nations threaten to deprive local people of their subsistence. Many “marine reserves” are a total farce, as industrial fishing is still allowed inside them. In the EU, the intensity of trawling in so-called protected areas is greater than in unprotected places. “Sustainable seafood” is often nothing of the kind. Commercial fishing is the greatest cause of the death and decline of marine animals. It can also be extremely cruel to humans: slavery and other gross exploitations of labour are rampant..
Reaction to Netflix's 'Seaspiracy': "We're Strip-Mining Life from the Sea"
In his latest documentary, 27-year-old British filmmaker Ali Tabrizi calls out the commercial fishing industry for harming the oceans in the pursuit of fish. Since its release, the polarizing film has gone viral and climbed to Netflix's top ten across the globe. The exposé has sparked countless questions about and investigation into the seafood industry's claims and practices.
Tabrizi opens the film with scenes from his childhood. His love of the ocean came from watching orcas and dolphins perform in marine theme parks. As an adult, he came to understand the harm associated with captive mammals. The storyline quickly progresses to cover mass dolphin killing in Taiji, Japan along with overfishing for tuna. Everything is connected, and the chain of destruction goes on until "the documentary loses its shock factor" because "the bleak statistics cease to surprise," reported The Independent. The message is clear: "we are destroying sea life at rapid speed."
In the film, Sylvia Earle, famed marine biologist and ocean explorer, warns that since humans excel at extracting enormous amounts of marine life from the sea, commercial fishing itself will go extinct because eventually there will be no fish left.
A Thrillist review said Seaspiracy connects all of the dots between commercial fishing, ocean destruction and slavery with a "wobbly line" and the "indictment of the myth of sustainability."
With each new scene, Tabrizi reveals the fraud, corruption and greed currently destroying the oceans. Through figures and expert cameos, he claims:
Discarded plastic fishing gear accounts for most ocean debris and is killing whales and other animals;
The oceans will be emptied of fish in 27 years;
Safe seafood labels are compromised by "pay-to-play" profit structures and lack enforcement;
Overfishing is more damaging to the environment than deforestation;
Farmed fish are disease-ridden, pollution-creating and resource-intensive;
Thai fishing fleets use slave labor to remain profitable;
"Sustainable seafood" is a myth; and
The only solution is to stop eating fish.
Tabrizi's takeaway is a scathing condemnation of the multibillion-dollar seafood industry and the governments, groups and companies complicit with the ocean's destruction. Seaspiracy calls for a collective shift away from eating seafood and toward vegan and plant-based alternatives.
Ricky Gervais and Zac Efron’s New Film Demands an End to Animal Testing
Short film Save Ralph features a variety of celebrities, including Ricky Gervais and Zac Efron, and sends a poignant message about the cruelty behind animal testing.
On April 6, animal-rights group Humane Society International (HSI) will release Save Ralph for viewing across its social media platforms. Created as part of the #SaveRalph global campaign to end animal testing, the documentary-style film features a puppet named Ralph (voiced by celebrated New Zealand director Taika Waititi), a rabbit who has lost sight in one eye and hearing in one ear after undergoing animal testing.
Vegan Organic Network "Save our Wildlife" Short Video Competition – Call For Entries
1st prize: £500, 2nd prize: £300, 3rd Prize: £200 and more prizes to be announced.
Winning entries will be part of our social media campaign targeting the public and delegates attending COP26 the UN Climate Change Conference being held in Glasgow this November.
Our film competition aims to spread the message that:
To Save our Wildlife we must move to a Plant Based Food System.
Of all mammals on Earth, ONLY 4% are WILDLIFE, 60% are farm animals and 36% are humans.
By adopting a plant-based food system, land used by farm animals can be converted to wildlife habitats.
80 percent of the world’s agricultural land is used for farming animals (livestock farming).
When we remove the farm animals from our food chain, corn and soya fields required for animal feed can be transformed into nature reserves.
World agriculture must move towards “people nourished per hectare”.
Veganic agriculture is green, clean and cruelty free, it uses less land, water and fossil fuel resources than farm animal (livestock) dependent systems and creates a wildlife friendly environment where nature can thrive.
Make a short film and help spread this urgent message to your friends, family, community and to politicians around the world.
Passionate about ocean life, a filmmaker sets out to document the harm that humans do to marine species — and uncovers alarming global corruption.
Following it's release on Wednesday, 24th March, within 48 hours, Seaspiracy hit the Top Ten in both the US and the UK - and thirty more countries. The film has been praised by celebrities, journalists and global media outlets including Guardian columnist George Monbiot, who appeared in the film: "Seaspiracy shows why we must treat fish not as seafood, but as wildlife"
Animals in fashion: everything you need to know in 12 minutes
The fashion industry is changing all around us. Fur farming has been banned in many countries including The Netherlands, Austria, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia, among others and there are calls to ban the importation of fur into the UK. H&M have just announced a new collection using vegan cactus leather and ASOS have dropped clothing made from cashmere, mohair and silk. But why?
This is a round up of some of the most common animal derived clothing and the reality of what these industries are like.
Richard Branson reveals he stopped eating octopus after watching Oscar-nominated wildlife documentary – My Octopus Teacher
The billionaire businessman sat down for a virtual chat with Craig Foster, the naturalist and documentary-maker behind My Octopus Teacher which has been nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA
Richard Branson has said that a wildlife documentary, nominated for this year’s Oscars, had such an impact on him that he changed his diet.
The billionaire businessman recently sat down for a virtual meeting with Craig Foster, the naturalist and documentary-maker behind My Octopus Teacher, in an interview shared first with The Independent.
The hit Netflix documentary, which also received a BAFTA nod, tells the story of Foster who began diving as a remedy for ill health in an underwater forest off the coast of South Africa where he developed an unlikely connection with an octopus.
His film gave a moving and extraordinary glimpse into the everyday life of a wild creature so rarely captured, particularly underwater.
Sir Richard, who co-founded the ocean conservation group Ocean Unite, described the film as a “gem”, saying it was “a wonderful message for all of us during so much uncertainty”.
Watch the Exclusive Interview with Richard Branson & Craig Foster on WaterBear
In this exclusive WaterBear interview, businessman and environmental campaigner Sir Richard Branson sits down with Craig Foster, the director of the Oscar and BAFTA-nominated film ‘My Octopus Teacher’, to discuss emotive ecology and the power of visual storytelling to help engage and connect with people in the fight to help save our fragile planet.
Ed says: "If I could go back in time and tell my past self that I was going to go vegan, I would have laughed. You see to me, vegans were all protein deficient, hippy tree huggers, who loved forcing their extreme views onto other people. Why did vegans have to be this way?
This is the story of how I went vegan, and how the seeds had been planted in my mind long before I made the change."
IVFF are now accepting film submissions for the 2021/2022 International Vegan Film Festival!
Health and Nutrition - Exploring the positive benefits of a vegan diet, what's involved in "going vegan".
Environmental Protection - How meat production harms the planet, and how plant based eating can help to save it.
Animal Advocacy - How eating plants can break the chain of suffering that is endemic in factory farming and the role of animal activists.
Lifestyle - Vegan choices in clothing, travel and highlighting the ways that vegans spread their message through activism, art, community etc.
Public Service Announcement (PSA) - A short message in the public interest disseminating information quickly and efficiently with the objective of raising awareness of, and changing public attitudes and behavior towards, a social issue.
The International Vegan Film Festival Celebrates vegan film, photography, and now vegan cookbooks. The Festival brings together filmmakers, writers, publishers, editors, photographers, the vegan-curious, and – of course – vegans. Featuring film screenings, guest speakers, Q&As, vegan food, and vendors, the Festival offers a wide spectrum of content for the vegan enthusiast. The Festival takes place each year in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. There will also be a virtual edition of the Festival in October 2021
As the newest competition of the International Vegan Film Festival, the Vegan Cookbook Contest aims to become the world's leading vegan cookbook contest. Each September we will announce a shortlist of eligible books, selected by a jury of passionate and experienced vegan cooks. The top three winners will be announced at the International Vegan Film Festival. In 2021, the Festival will be Saturday, October 23.
Veganuary's end of campaign video is here! Veganuary 2021 was the biggest year yet! More than 582,000 people signed-up from 209 countries and territories. Together you spared more than 2 million animals from suffering in just one month! Are you part of the Veganuary alumni?
Netflix releases trailer for Seaspiracy documentary
Netflix has released the first trailer for Seaspiracy, the long-awaited follow-up to the Cowspiracy documentary, which hits the streaming service worldwide on Wednesday, 24 March.
The Netflix Original documentary focuses on the harm humans do to marine species and follows film maker Kip Andersen and his assistants Ali and Lucy Tabrizi as they uncover an alarming global conspiracy that links many of the issues currently contributing to oceanic destruction.
Ecotricity Founder, Dale Vince met Kip Andersen in 2016 and offered funding that allowed filming to begin. The finished documentary was acquired by Netflix late last year – for its high-profile Netflix Original line.
Dale Vince, Executive Producer, Seaspiracy said:
“The destruction of marine life is a major environment issue which we’ve been focussed on for many years - so when Kip told us he was looking to make a follow-up to Cowspiracy - an ocean version, we were keen to help make it happen. Five years on, this incredible film exposes the full scale of our assault on life in our oceans.
With Netflix on board – Seaspiracy will be seen by an audience of millions around the world, and once you see stuff like this, the natural step to take is to stop being part of it. We need to stop eating fish, stop using them to feed cows and generally stop the destruction of our oceans. I think this film will rally people to this cause - information is always the first step to fixing a problem.”
Dale will join the film makers behind Seaspiracy and special guests for a Facebook Live event later in March.
You can view the Seaspiracy trailer below.
Ecotricity will donate up to £60 to Sea Shepherd UK if you switch your energy to them. Sea Shepherd UK are an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organisation who have been protecting ecosystems and species since 1977.
Speciesism is so ingrained and normalised within society that we don’t even consider it a problem.
Many humans view non-human animals with such little regard that the very concept of animals deserving moral consideration is seen as offensive, as they believe that recognising that other animals also deserve basic rights is somehow demeaning to our own species.
But in the words of Oscar winning actor and animal rights activist, Joaquin Phoenix, “it takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.”
My latest upload from our work at Surge Media explains exactly what speciesism looks like in our society. Earthling Ed
"Right now, all around the world, the animal farming industries are working with politicians to try and get certain terms banned from being able to be used by plant-based companies. With the EU considering a piece of legislation that could make it illegal to use phrases that “imitate or evoke dairy products, even if the composition or true nature of the product or service is indicated or accompanied by an expression such as “style”, “type”, “method”, “as produced in”, “imitation”, “flavour”, “substitute”, “like” or similar; This could make it illegal to even say ‘does not contain milk’.
"But this got me thinking about words the meat, dairy and egg industries use and how they hide behind euphemisms to disguise the reality of their industries. So here’s my round-up of the words the EU and other politicians should be looking to ban, if that is, they do actually care about consumer confusion." Earthling Ed
In support of their mission to bring visibility to hidden animals worldwide through compelling photography, Lantern Books and Jo-Anne McArthur have published two books – We Animals (2013) and Captive (2017). We Animals Media recently published a third, HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene (2020). These books are living documents of our complicated relationships with animals and aim to inspire solutions that will result in a kinder and healthier world for all.
WE ANIMALS (2013)
Drawn from thousands of photos taken over fifteen years, We Animals illustrates and investigates animals in the human environment: those who are used for food, fashion, entertainment, and research, as well as the lucky few who are rescued.
The book includes previously unseen photographs and a final chapter entitled “Notes from the Field”, which is a compilation of journal entries written while doing investigative work both at home and abroad.
Published by We Animals Media and distributed by Lantern Publishing & Media, available at Book Depository with FREE delivery worldwide.
An unflinching book of photography about our conflict with non-human animals around the globe, as depicted through the lenses of forty award-winning photojournalists including Aitor Garmendia, Jo-Anne McArthur, and Andrew Skowron.
Through the lenses of forty photojournalists, this book shines a light on the invisible animals in our lives; those with whom we have a close relationship and yet fail to see. The stories within its pages are revelatory and brutal. They are proof of the emergency confronting animals globally, from industrial farming to climate change, and provide valuable insight into the relevance of animal suffering to human health.
HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene is a historical document, a memorial, and an indictment of what is and should never again be.
New Film Gives Us a Rare Glimpse of Animals in Transport
Moving Animals is a powerful short film about photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur’s experience documenting long-distance transport animals on their way to slaughter, shot and produced by filmmaker Miguel Endara.
“This is my world,” says McArthur. “Join me as I climb transport trucks, and stay quietly and diligently with animals as they go to slaughter. Join me in the dusty roads and at my little hotel room editing desk, as Miguel and I discuss animals, animal photojournalism and ultimately, kindness.”
Produced by We Animals Media, the film takes viewers up close and personal with anguished cows, many of whom were forced to travel thousands of miles in the back of hot and cramped vehicles. Throughout the film, we see that their pain and innocence are no different from ours. It would take a heart of stone not to be crushed by the sight of an abandoned calf struggling to walk or a cow stunned prior to slaughter.
“We have enough photos in the world of beautiful wildlife. We get it. It’s time to show the harsh reality of how the rest are living,” says McArthur.
Moving Animals is by no means easy to watch but it is essential and unforgettable all the same. McArthur and Endara provide a once-in-a-lifetime look into the lives of animals in transport.
“I’m a photographer of animals, and for animals. I help animals through photography. Photographers are influential people with great skill, but we have enough photos in the world of beautiful wildlife. We get it. It’s time to show the harsh realities of how the rest are living.”
It seems as if everywhere you turn you see or hear the word vegan. Whether it’s an advert online, a new vegan product, the news that Wagamama’s have committed to making 50% of their menu meat-free by the end of 2021, or that record numbers of people have signed up for Veganuary.
It seems as if everyone is talking about veganism and going vegan. Even animal farmers are transitioning to plant based farming
The Ugly Truth Behind Nike’s Kangaroo Leather Shoes Exposed in One-Minute Film
A film focusing on Nike’s use of kangaroo leather in soccer shoes is part of a global campaign to end the slaughter of wildlife for sports.
This week, a short film titled Nike profits. Kangaroos die was released to expose the hidden cruelty behind soccer shoes made with kangaroo leather (also known as “k-leather”). The 60-second film was created by Hollywood producer Gavin Polone (who previously worked on Gilmore Girls, Panic Room, and other productions) and director Derek Ambrosi (who previously directed collaborations with music legends Jay-Z and Sean Puffy Combs). Made in partnership with animal-rights group The Center for a Humane Economy (CHE), the film follows the life of Nike’s soccer cleats in a reverse sequence, from soccer field to production factory and back to the brutal killing of wild kangaroos and their joeys in Australia.
“I wanted to expose the bloody truth that is being hidden from well-intentioned consumers who may have no idea how their ‘K-leather’ shoes are being made,” Polone said. “Nike can no longer hide its responsibility for this atrocity.”
Son Of A Slaughterhouse Worker To Launch Film On Industry’s Psychological Impact
The documentary aims to 'raise awareness of the suffering experienced by slaughterhouse workers' and help 'humanize the workers'
The son of a slaughterhouse worker is releasing a film exploring the industry’s psychological impact.
Vegan advocate Jack Hancock-Fairs has created The Dying Trade. It aims to ‘raise awareness of the suffering experienced by slaughterhouse workers’ and help ‘humanize the workers’.
Hancock-Fairs says the documentary also ‘provides another reason for people to boycott animal products.
‘I want to be a slaughterhouse worker’
A new trailer for the film shows a group of children saying what they want to be when they’re older.
“I want to help animals,” one girl states. Another adds: “I want to be a scientist.” The last child says: “I want to be happy.”
The trailer then skips to the protagonist – an adult male – who appears to be having a PTSD-related nightmare. As he begins his morning, graphic memories of killing animals flash through his mind. Empty alcohol cans are scattered on the table. This depicts the link between abattoir workers and dependency issues such as alcoholism.
At the end of the trailer, he looks up and says: “When I grow up, I want to be a slaughterhouse worker.”
The data comes from a 2,000-person survey conducted by ‘tech for good’ brand 3 SIDED CUBE.
‘David Attenborough is top of the list'
The findings show that national treasure David Attenborough is top of the list (59 percent) when it comes to putting influential pressure on consumers to make more sustainable choices. Half of Brits also feel pressure from wider society and four in 10 credit Greta Thunberg.
Moreover, 73 percent of consumers acknowledge businesses have a moral responsibility to minimize their environmental impact. And, a further 64 percent are calling on the government to introduce new legislation to make sure businesses make their environmental footprint visible on their products.
Tackling the climate crisis
Richard Strachan is the Managing Director at 3 SIDED CUBE. In a statement sent to PBN, he said: “Thanks to influential public figures such as David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, Brits are taking the climate crisis much more seriously now.
“Now is the time to come together and tackle the crisis wholeheartedly. It is not just up to governments; it is up to businesses and consumers as well.”
Gunda’ is Not Vegan Propaganda, but it is a Revolution of Empathy
Director Viktor Kossakovsky made a movie for audiences to rethink their relationship to farm animals, and earned Joaquin Phoenix's support.
No stranger to unique subject matter affecting the world at large, Russian documentarian Viktor Kossakovsky went from a project about water, “Aquarela,” to his latest one about a charismatic pig, “Gunda.” Although the idea for a film about farm animals had been percolating in his mind for over 20 years, it took him a long time to convince people these non-verbal subjects would make for an interesting story.
While making “Aquarela” and becoming aware of the challenges facing humanity, such as the fact that over one billion in the world don’t have access to clean water, he questioned our relationship to the environment. One key point being the resources utilized to produce meat, from the deforestation that feeding the animals entails to transportation. He believes the pandemic is directly related to humans’ “arrogant behavior towards nature.”
“Slowly I came to this conclusion that enough is enough. We are killing over a billion pigs a year. We are killing half a billion cows every year. We are killing over 50 billion chickens a year. We are killing over a trillion fish a year…it’s totally absurd. And we don’t even talk about it. We don’t even think about it. We ignore it. We know that breakfast didn’t appear from a tree, but we pretend we don’t know. So it’s made me think that we are creating our own grave,“ he said during a Q&A conducted for the International Documentary Association’s annual screening series.
Eventually, in his pursuit to make a movie without a human, Norwegian producer Anita Rehoff Larsen came on board. Originally they calculated it would take them between four and six months of research trips before they could find the right animals for the documentary. Shockingly for the producer, Kossakovsky found exactly what he was after in the first farm they visited.
“We just arrived, opened the door, and the first pig we saw was Gunda and I said to the producer, ‘It was obvious that she was communicating with me.’ She was definitely looking at me in such a way that I could read her emotions. I said to the producer, ‘She’s Meryl Streep. We found her. We don’t need to search anymore,” he said. And while Rehoff Larsen suggested they take the time to look at more animals, he was convinced Gunda was his porcine star.
a short animated film about climate justice with an anti-speciesist perspective ... we fly, we crawl, we swim
”we fly, we crawl, we swim - a short film about climate justice” has recently premiered this month, on the 15th of January!
The short animated film strives to think about climate justice through an anti-speciesist perspective.
It's a sort of hybrid documentary: a story of a human that wonders how to make justice possible for all living beings, walks and learns from other animals. The ideas are informed by literature and theories from political ecology, environmental justice, posthumanism, critical animal studies and anti-speciesist thought in general.
The film is created by a small team of only three people (Aron Nor, Mina Mimosa, M. Martelli) who took care of the entire production, doing research, writing, illustration, sound, animation, video and audio editing. In addition, the team worked in collaboration with actress Oana Cristina Puscatu and singer Teodora Retegan.
The animated film is 23 minutes long, in English, and is currently subtitled in English, Romanian, Italian and Spanish.
HOGWOOD has won 'Best Documentary' at the Liverpool Underground Film Festival
Today (17/01/21), HOGWOOD was awarded the Best Documentary Award at the Liverpool Underground Film Festival. The festival seeks to showcase daring, unique, and entertaining independent films that transgress convention. And now HOGWOOD is free with Amazon Prime. Celebrations all round!
“To paraphrase Werner Herzog, a filmmaker must not be a fly on the wall, but a hornet that stings. Hogwood uncovers some brutal truths of animal farming. It is as harrowing as it is vital.”
– Richard Weston, Liverpool Underground Film Festival Director
“I am thrilled that HOGWOOD has been awarded the Best Documentary Award at the Liverpool Underground Film Festival. This film encapsulates so much about Viva! – I am proud of our brilliant investigations team that consistently brings together powerful footage and of our director, Juliet, who infuses her own passion into the horror. HOGWOOD is more than just a film – it exposes the modern horror stories taking place each day, hidden away in the idyllic British countryside. The public has a right to see what goes on behind the factory farm walls.”
– Tony Wardle, Director of HOGWOOD and Associate Director of Viva!
Heavy Metal Act Rammstein Stars in 5 Minute Warhol-Style Pro Vegan Video
Plant-based meat company LikeMeat recently released an extraordinary food performance film featuring German musician Till Lindemann (Rammstein). With the art movie, LikeMeat wants to draw attention to the global and ever-growing Veganuary movement and motivate people to go vegan this January (video below).
The plant-based meat company’s food performance film features Till Lindemann eating a plant-based burger with vegan chicken made of soy protein from LikeMeat, which was acquired by The LIVEKINDLY Co.
Billie Eilish Launches Trailer For Her Upcoming Documentary
Vegan musician Billie Eilish says she is 'terrified' by the prospect of the film, which will be released in February next year.
Vegan musician Billie Eilish has launched the trailer for her upcoming documentary.
The film – called Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry – will premiere on February 26 next year in cinemas and on Apple TV+.
It will feature footage filmed over the last two and a half years, showing the young musician growing up under the spotlight.
In September 2018, a small group of us opened up a non-profit vegan restaurant in London called Unity Diner. Through opening the restaurant we wanted to show off how delicious vegan food is, but at the same time also use the money generated to open up an animal sanctuary.
Two years later it feels amazing to say that we have successfully managed to do just that, and I am so thrilled that the Surge Sanctuary is now a reality. But we couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone who has worked at Unity Diner, eaten at Unity Diner and supported the work that myself and the Surge team do. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much to all of you who have been a part of this journey so far.
We already have a group of residents who have settled in and are getting used to lounging around, eating lots of delicious food and most importantly, living their lives without being harmed or exploited. And we can’t wait to keep growing the sanctuary and welcoming more and more animals so that they too can live the life that they deserve to live.
Thank you so, so much for everything, and I hope that you enjoy this video.
Check out our website, let us know if you're able to help out & join our mailing list: surgesanctuary.org
TIKTOK: The farmers & ranchers who have a message for vegans
The farmers, ranchers and even vets of TikTok have plenty of outrageous things to say to vegans. In Earthling Ed's second TikTok response video, he goes through their arguments against veganism and react to what it is that they have to say to the vegan community.
Vegan 2020 is the latest installment in PBN's annual series of films.
Every year since 2015, PBN has released a documentary showcasing the growth of veganism over the last 12 months.
Since 2015, the annual documentary has grown bigger, attracting millions of views each year. Vegan 2018 and 2019 peaked, premiering in cities around the world, including London, Los Angeles, and Beijing.
Vegan 2020 charts the victories and challenges of the movement over a year which has seen the world in general change beyond recognition.
Vegan 2020 is sponsored by abillion - an awesome app that helps you find the best vegan food and products near you!
This film is free to watch, however if you wish to make a small donation to help it reach more people, please consider supporting PBN here: plantbasednews.org/supportus
Joaquin Phoenix a 'perfect match' for black-and-white vegan documentary
Many people stopped eating meat after watching the film
Joaquin Phoenix's latest film isn't an easy watch – and given its stark anti-meat agenda, it isn't meant to be.
The Joker star and vegan activist executive-produced Gunda, a stripped-down, black-and-white movie delivering intimate portraits of a cast of adorable farmyard animals.
The film has no narration, dialogue or plot. But as viewers get to know Gunda the Norwegian pig and her litter of squealing newborn piglets living their everyday lives, their inevitable fate looms.
"The life of piglets is obvious. They become sausages," said director Victor Kossakovsky.
"But Gunda, she became so famous... so many people stopped eating meat (due to the film) that the owner of the farm decided she will live until the end of her days.
"So at least one pig is alive after this."
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