Exploring Alternative Proteins and the Future of Meat Production
Protein is one of the four main food groups that form a balanced diet. Our bodies use proteins as building blocks for our skin, bones, muscle, vitamins, and hormones.
Meat is a major source of protein across the world. About 86% of people consume meat that comes from animals. This meat mainly comes from livestock, poultry, or fish.
People eat meat for a variety of reasons. Some people like the flavor of meat or enjoy preparing meat dishes together with other people. Some communities have historical or cultural ties to eating meat. Some hunt or fish animals for meat as their primary source of nutrition.
But a large portion of meat comes from animals raised on factory farms. Factory farms are large-scale industrial operations that subject animals to extreme abuse and stress, endanger public health by polluting the air, soil, and water, and emit a significant amount of greenhouse gases.
Recent breakthroughs allow us to get protein through different means that are healthier for people, animals, and the environment. Products that mimic the taste and texture of meat can be created from plant protein—including beef, chicken, and even seafood.
Research shows that plant-based protein is healthier and more sustainable than conventional sources of meat.
Lab-cultured meat is produced from real animals’ cells and has the same characteristics as “natural” meat. Lab-grown meat generates far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than factory farming methods. These innovations are shifting meat production and consumption.
Plant-based meats are increasingly available and in demand. Some high-end restaurants have ditched meat from their menus and even fast food chains like McDonald’s now offer plant-based meat choices.
Meat’s market share could drop to as low as 40% by 2040. The reduced environmental footprint from this shift will greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and let us sustainably feed the world’s growing population.
How Earthling Ed responds when people say that they 'don't care' about what happens to animals.
He says "My first debate video from my US university tour is up for you to watch now, featuring a student who claims that he doesn't care about what happens to animals, and that morality is subjective. Let me know in the comments what you thought of my response."
Something to be grateful for this American Thanksgiving are the innovators who make it easy to leave turkeys off the table. Last month Jo-Anne visited Tofurky, headquartered in Oregon, to document the processes and people behind the food. Best known for its Thanksgiving alternatives, Tofurky has become vast, selling food in 25 countries.
We Animals Media's latest feature in NowThis details why turkeys should remain off the table, and our latest Tofurky content shows one of the many innovators helping to achieve that ambition..
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Interview with Jonathan Balcombe
Author of What a Fish Knows, Jonathan Balcombe certainly has a few fishy stories up his sleeve. With the publication of his new book, Super Fly, The Humane League asks him all about fishes, flies, and why they are so important.
Your work challenges human perceptions of animals. Have you always seen things differently to others?
Yeah, I've always felt my views on animals are not the norm. They don’t fit squarely in the middle of the average. I think back to my childhood and I would feel quite alienated from little kids who squashed insects under their feet. In fact, I felt they were more alien to me than the little creature that they are killing.
I think a lot of that is learned behaviours, it’s culture. They probably learn that from their parents who maybe didn't like insects and were vocal about that and harmed them or poisoned them or whatever. So much of it is what we learnt from adults. If they has seen their parents care about them or remove them and take them outside and treat them compassionately then I think they pick up on their behaviour.
We’re kind of products of our upbringing so that’s important to keep that in mind. You know I often wonder what would my attitude to animals be like if I was raised in a family that exploited and abused animals all the time. I wasn't - my family was very interested and respectful of life.
Although I do think tonight I was born with a gene for caring about animals, I just feel like it's very intrinsic to who I am. I think anyone today who’s vegan probably feels like an outlier and they don't feel like they’re wrong. We vegans tend to be righteous internally, hopefully not too righteous externally.
We know we're making the right decision by not consuming animal products but we’re not exactly the centre, we’re not exactly typical in that way. So I think those who really care about animals do kind of carry that awareness that they're not completely fitting in and it's not a case of how should I fit in better, it's like when are they going to catch up to me.
The meat industry's greenwashing scam has dangerous consequences – Greenpeace
Offsetting and net zero scams are the new climate denial… and it has dangerous consequences.
Corporations like global industrial meat giant JBS get away with polluting, thanks to net zero” marketing scams. But JBS isn’t tackling the main source of its climate impact: methane from cattle. Their “Net Zero” plan also allows them to profit from the destruction of the Amazon and other habitats for years to come, fueling the climate and biodiversity crises.
To avoid an extreme climate emergency we need to halve global emissions in the next 10yrs. We need fast emissions cuts. We need #realzero.
What is real zero? Real zero = Net zero - offsetting
We need to stop climate pollution, as it happens, at its source. No delays that cover-up polluting business as usual.
At #COP26, governments must deliver REAL climate action to cut emissions and protect nature.
"They’re Trying to Kill Us" Film - Exclusive Interview With Co-Director John Lewis
Our modern food system isn’t just harming animals—it’s harming the health of our communities, too.
John Lewis (@BadAssVegan) came to Farm Sanctuary to discuss his new documentary They Are Trying to Kill Us, which explores the food insecurity crisis and the work of BIPOC communityleaders who are creating greater access to the benefits of healthy, plant-based foods.
This film is available to watch, on demand, for $20—and when you access it through our affiliate link before 11/17, 50% of your purchase will go to support, care, and advocacy for farm animals: killusfilm.com/FarmSanctuary
How Conscious Can A Fish Be? asks Ryuji Chua
Can fish feel pain? Are they intelligent? Are they even conscious? For most of my life, I didn't know but I also didn't really care.
In this video, I take a look at stories and evidence that led me to understand who fish really are. I challenge their typical stereotype as stupid, mindless animals to show that they are conscious beings who think, feel, and suffer, and have a lot more in common with humans than initially meets the eye.
If you want to dive further into this topic, I highly recommend Jonathan Balcombe's book "What A Fish Knows". It was a huge inspiration for this video, and served as the starting point for my research.
Cattle grazing and production is one of the most destructive of human activities, if a full accounting of all the costs were considered.
I recently received a video titled Audubon Conservation Ranching: Hooves on the Ground, Wings in the Air from the Audubon Society. The video promotes beef production to save grassland birds.
The video is a slick production of happy talk featuring some urban cowboys. And it plays on the old, tired Condos vs. Cows argument. The idea being if you don’t want to see land subdivided, you must support cattle ranchers.
The numerous ways that livestock production negatively impacts the environment, from water pollution to Greenhouse Gas Emissions to soil erosion and displacement of wildlife, are never mentioned in the video. Promoting ranching as a way to protect birds is like encouraging alcoholism as a solution for heroin addiction.
There is no doubt that grassland birds are declining for a host of reasons. But far more important is the conversion of grasslands into ag lands—a fact never mentioned in the film. In much of the Great Plains, grasslands are being transformed to wheat and corn crop production—both sustained by Ag subsidies. Urban growth is a significant factor in some parts of California, but so is the change from rangelands to ag crops.
Urbanism is often not the most significant factor in the loss of grasslands. Instead, the changeover of grasslands to vineyards and other higher “value” crops is the biggest factor in some California counties. For instance, the city of Santa Barbara occupies approximately 12,000 acres, but vineyards occupy 20,000 acres in the county.
Not mentioned is that pastures and hayfields occupy much more acreage of California than all the urbanism put together. Some 51% of California non-federal land is used for pasture and range. By comparison, only 5% of California’s land area is urbanized.
Anti-meat documentaries turned me vegan – I’ve never been healthier – Becky Derbyshire
While watching dolphins being killed in their thousands for no other reason that they were in the way of the fishers, I had an epiphany.
By that stage in April of this year, I was only eating fish but right then and there, I stopped eating meat altogether and I haven’t looked back. I’m healthier than ever and I owe it all to two documentaries called Seaspiracy and The Game Changers.
I’ve always had issues with my digestive health. When I was around 11, I started getting really nasty stomach aches that would seem to last for days at a time. For this reason, I had to take so much time off school just to recover.
When I eventually went to the doctor after many years of having constant stomach aches, they told me it was likely irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and put me on various tablets to help reduce the symptoms, but none of them seemed to make the slightest bit of difference.
Admittedly, at the time, a lot of my diet was made up of sweets – anything from chocolate bars to pic n mix – from our local sweet shop. It wasn’t unheard of that I’d have jelly beans for breakfast.
I also didn’t really have much of an appetite. I would graze on small things all day like snacks and biscuits, but would never finish my main meal – the meal with all the vegetables in.
My doctor eventually told me that it was something I would probably grow out of at some point and the IBS symptoms did subside a little as I got older but it never really went away completely. I would get bloated and gassy after pretty much every meal.
This continued until one day when I was around 37, my husband and I finished the series we were watching and saw the Netflix documentary, The Game Changers, on our suggested watch list. We love to watch documentaries and almost always watch anything similar that comes up.
Essentially, it’s a documentary about how eating meat affects your body, both inside and out. But one part really stuck with me and is the main reason I decided to change up my diet.
There’s Now A Fully Vegan TV Network – And It’s Free
UnChained TV offers what mainstream cable networks won’t: transparent and compassionate “infotainment”
A new all-vegan streaming TV network is here, and it’s poised to make a splash in mainstream media, all while driving the vegan movement forward.
Called UnChainedTV, the platform features plant-based cooking shows, documentaries, talk shows, and breaking news. Films and TV series are also on offer – including thrillers, and adventure and conservation content – as well as music videos by vegan artists. The best part? It’s all free.
It comes as global streaming rates reach an all-time high, with more people seeking out engaging, thought-provoking content from the comfort of their homes. And simultaneously, the public’s interest in sustainable and compassionate lifestyles continues to grow.
UnChained TV unites these concepts, working to usher in a new era of cruelty-free, plant-based living.
“We give viewers thought-provoking content they cannot get on mainstream television networks. We offer solutions to the world’s leading problems: the climate crisis, deforestation, wildlife extinction, human hunger and human disease,” said the network’s founder Jane Velez-Mitchell.
“People who click on UnChainedTV get a window into a life-changing transformation.”
Velez-Mitchell is no stranger to the television industry. An award-winning journalist, she has worked inside mainstream media newsrooms for decades, including in New York and Los Angeles. She was a host of her own on CNN Headline News (HLN) for six years.
Velez-Mitchell wants to bring similar content to UnChainedTV, too.
“We have the capacity to go LIVE and have a whole slate of shows just like any mainstream cable TV network, like CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News. That’s the next step as we grow our vegan network,” the entrepreneur told Plant Based News.
“Having worked in national cable television, as well as syndicated TV and local news, I know how a network runs and grows and we are going to make that happen for this lifesaving information. The technology is in place and that’s the most challenging part. So, now we are ready to roll,” she continued, adding that they’re building the “vegan CNN.”
Billie Eilish and John Lewis’ New Documentary Takes On Environmental Racism & Food Injustice
“They’re Trying to Kill Us” exposes injustices and food deserts in Black communities in the US.
Co-director of "Cowspiracy" releases new documentary "They're Trying to Kill Us" which explores the influences of hip hop, racial injustices, and food deserts in America.
Pop icon Billie Eilish and fitness influencer and “Bad Ass Vegan” John Lewis are teaming up for a new documentary exploring the cause and effects of environmental racism and food disparities in Black communities across the US.
They’re Trying to Kill Us, releasing online Nov. 11, employs an all-star cast and crew to tell an intricate story of food inequality and injustice through the lens of hip hop and urban culture.
Directed by Keegan Kuhn, co-director of Cowspiracy and What the Health, and Lewis, the new documentary is a staggering look at how structural racism and concerted government efforts have impacted the health of Black and Indigenous communities across America.
The film follows Lewis as he crosses the country, looking for answers as to why Americans of Color experience higher rates of chronic disease while “examining the intersections of food, disease, race, poverty, institutional racism, and government corruption,” according to the movie’s website.
Eilish, a vocal vegan and environmental activist who’s supported Global Citizen events including One World: Together at Home and Global Citizen Live, joined the film as an executive producer alongside vegan NBA athlete Chris Paul.
“I want people to see this film. It is so important to help all of us understand the depth of the issue, and that we must all take action to change the food system,” said Eilish.
“Meat me Halfway”, Reducetarianism with Brian Kateman – The Doctor's Kitchen Podcast
"Finally, I can say I watched a genuinely balanced documentary about food and the environment. I’ve seen all the classics: “What the Health”, “Forks over Knives”, “Gamechangers”, “Food Inc” “Seaspiracy” and others like “Kiss the Ground”. I’m constantly asked about it on social media and friends. Did you see INSERT DOCUMENTARY NAME. What did you think? And invariably I always have to point out the flaws, the biases, the shock tactics, the spin.
But this documentary is refreshingly different. “Meat Me Halfway” produced by my guest today, Brian Kateman, is a documentary about finding common ground at the dinner table. It poses more questions than answers and it allows you to make your own mind up. It doesn’t have a clear ideology woven through the narrative and it’s more exploratory than it is explanatory or defensive.
When I was watching the movie, I made notes to pick up on with Brian when I knew I was going to speak to the documentary host, but a little later in the movie they discussed the nuance of that topic. I didn’t have any follow up questions to the answers they posed at the end of the movie, because there weren’t any answers. This is complicated.
And the conversation we’re having within our own avocado toast eating echo chambers, centres around idealism rather than practicality. And this is why I thought this documentary was particularly great.
Brian is also co-founder and president of the Reducetarian Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy to create a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world. The ‘Meat Me Halfway book’ is out next year and ‘The Reducetarian Cookbook’ is available in all good bookstores.
Listen the end where I reveal my favourite meat alternatives and hacks to reduce your meat consumption whilst maintaining a nutrient dense diet." Dr Rupy Aujla
The path to going plant-based has obvious upsides, but can also be isolating and difficult. Shouldn’t there be some middle ground for people looking to make a change without totally upending their lives? Leader of the Reducetarian movement, Brian Kateman explores this issue through the lens of his own personal decision to reduce eating meat. Grappling with how to sort through conflicting advice, Brian seeks a practical path forward. "Meat Me Halfway" is a groundbreaking investigative journey that seeks to create some common ground at the dinner table.
Viva!'s Biggest Ever Campaign Has Launched – Take Away The Meat!
Viva! has created a vegan TV advert for Channel 4. Now, help them ensure it’s seen by millions.
Working with a top film production company, we have created a high-quality TV advert which will capture the attention of everyone who sees it.
Viva!'s new TV advert follows the journey of an everyday meat-eating couple as they decide which takeaway meal to order. Snuggled up on their sofa, with their beloved dog, they choose pulled pork from the food delivery app ‘Just Meat’.
Hungry in anticipation of their meaty meal, the couple race to the door when the delivery driver rings the bell. Upon opening the door, the couple are shocked to find an adorable little piglet on their doorstep and the delivery driver brandishing a butcher's knife announcing: “Just Meat, delivered fresh to your door.” Gob-smacked and confused, the couple don’t know what to do. Surely, they won’t kill the cute little piggy?
The advert encourages the public to make the connection between the animals they choose to keep as companions and the ones that are destined for their dinner table. Viewers are invited to consider the morality of eating meat, helping them to make the connection between animals and food. The solution? Try vegan of course!
The advert will be broadcast just before Valentine’s Day on Channel 4 and its associated networks.
A very generous donor has pledged to match EVERY donation we receive up to the value of £40,000! Not only that, we have also secured an additional grant from Channel 4 which will double the total again!
Help us bring the vegan message directly to an audience of over 16 million people, via their TV screens.
What does the latest research on Vitamin D say? Subscribe to NutritionFacts.org’s free newsletter to receive an infographic summary of the main takeaways and Dr. Greger’s recommendations: nutritionfacts.org/subscribe
Russell Brand on Viva!'s Vegan Podcast - November 2021
In this episode, Viva! Charity founder and director, Juliet Gellatley, chats with award-winning comedian, actor and activist, Russell Brand.
Russell is passionate about climate change, animals and veganism. He shares his thoughts on these issues in a lively conversation with Juliet.
The interview was recorded live at Vegan Camp Out 2021.
Viva!’s head of communications, Faye, joins Helen to break down the interview and expand on some of the topics discussed.
Celebrity-Backed Vegan Documentary To Expose Racial Inequality In The Food System
Chris Paul, Billie Eilish, and John Lewis are among those backing the new film!
A new vegan documentary is poised to expose the racial inequality that is rife within the food system. Called They’re Trying to Kill Us, the film features notable figures from hip-hop, medicine, politics, and sport, supporting the notion that ‘poisonous diets’ are ‘the single biggest threat to Americans of color’.
Headed by co-directors John Lewis and Keegan Kuhn, the film highlights the link between diet, institutional racism, disease, poverty, food deserts, and government corruption.
The documentary investigates why African Americans are twice as likely to die from diabetes than white Americans, and why black and Indigenous People of Color are dying from COVID-19 three times more than white Americans.
Veganuary caught up with Chris Packham at COP26 in Glasgow, where he shared a truly inspirational message with us!
Chris Packham has been at COP 26 for the past two weeks, and he's wondering why there’s silence around the impact of animal agriculture on climate change. After all, animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions which is the same as all forms of transport combined.
By switching to plant based diets, you can massively reduce you carbon footprint. Will you join us to make a positive difference for the climate?
Giles has been a keen gardener for 30 years. He has planted community orchards, forest gardens and medicinal herb areas at a variety of projects. He runs the World Healing Project, promoting wellbeing for people and the planet, and has just released an 8-year project, One World, which features musicians and singers from around the world. gilesbryant.com
Ellen Mary: Horticultural radio show host, TV presenter, writer and of course vegan.
Travelled all over the world to discuss the benefits that nature provides to our wellbeing – specifically gardening.
Piers Warren: Conservationist, author and keen grower of organic fruit and vegetables.
He is the founder of Wildeye – The International School of Wildlife Film-making. Writer of several books and co-author of The Vegan Cook and Gardener.
Veganic Gardeners’ Question Time hopes to inspire and bring new ideas to foragers, growers and gardeners alike.
Now more than ever it is vital that we engage with how our food is grown.
Tune into our show and become part of the growing revolution which can not only transform your garden plot but also change the way the world grows its food.
Vegan Filmmaker Jack Harries Debuts YouTube Series On Climate Crisis
'The leaders at COP26 need to deliver', says Harries in the debut episode at the start of his journey on the magnitude of global warming
Jack Harries, a vegan environmentalist and filmmaker has debuted a series on YouTube on the human cost of the climate emergency. Featuring David Attenborough, the eleven-part line-up, Seat At The Table, is a deep-dive into those most affected by climate change.
And, Harries is taking his discoveries to the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, to plead with world leaders to instill vital action.
In one of the ‘most ambitious’ challenges of his career, Harries is hoping to give voice to those most underrepresented in conversations on the climate.
As the climate crisis intensifies and extreme weather events become more frequent, our society needs to take real action to address climate breakdown and ecological collapse while advancing social and environmental justice.
Changing our food system is one such critical step, particularly industrial animal agriculture which generates a substantial portion of global GHG emissions and uses over 80% of all farmland while providing only 18% of food calories.
Today, vital ecosystems are being cleared for animal agriculture. This land use change accelerates biodiversity loss which exacerbates food insecurity worldwide and decreases the environment’s natural ability to sequester carbon.
Changing the way we produce and consume food can meaningfully address all these issues. Switching to a plant-based diet will significantly reduce our carbon footprint. Our leaders can assist this transition by divesting from industrial animal farming corporations. Governments currently extend massive financial support to animal farming with global farm subsidies valued at $540 billion each year. These funds further concentrate the factory farming of animals.
With no restrictions on polluting practices and toxic inputs, factory farms are able to maximize profits and expand their operations. These operations are detrimental to the health of the farmed animals and the wellness of workers and communities.
Emissions from factory farms pollute the soil, air, and water. Meat corporations have attempted to hide these harms behind ineffective solutions that distract from the enormous impacts of animal agriculture.
In order to maintain a healthy environment for all life on this planet and feed the growing human population, the future of food must become more sustainable.
We must invest in new forms of agriculture that protect and restore the environment. Many animal farmers are already transitioning to sustainable agriculture. We can accelerate this transition by picking what we put on our plates and telling our elected officials that transitioning to a plant-based food system is necessary for climate resilience.
To learn more about how animal agriculture impacts the environment, visit sentientmedia.org
Why SHOULDN'T we support zoos and their conservation work?
Earthling Ed says "When I was growing up, a day out at a zoo was one of my favourite activities. I loved seeing all the different animals and I never once questioned whether or not zoos were ethical, or if they actually did benefit the conservation of animals in the wild."
Interestingly, I stopped going to zoos before I became a vegan, with the last zoo I visited being Barcelona Zoo. I had recently seen the movie Blackfish and had become passionate about the captivity of marine animals, but I hadn’t yet extended that concern to the captivity of terrestrial animals as well.
However, as I was wandering around Barcelona Zoo I came across a bear enclosure, inside of which was a bear sat forlornly looking around. I followed the gaze of the bear as they looked at each of the walls of the enclosure and it suddenly hit me, these are wild animals being held captive. They have no agency, no chance of escape and no freedom.
But even if animals aren't happy in zoos, isn't it all justifiable anyway because zoos do so much for conservation? Watch the video below to find out."
The time to act is now! Climate change affects both humans and non-human animals alike. Vegan FTA is proud to endorse the Plant Based Treaty, an initiative that aims to halt the widespread degradation of critical ecosystems caused by animal agriculture, to promote a shift to more healthy, sustainable plant-based diets and to actively reverse damage done to planetary functions, ecosystem services and biodiversity.
In this exclusive Vegan FTA interview, Gareth and Jackie are joined by Anita Krajnc, Executive Director of Animal Save and co-founder of the Plant Based Treaty, as well as the Honourable Emma Hurst, MP for the Animal Justice Party, Australia.
Together they discuss the importance of vegans backing environmental campaigns to benefit the animals, the impact of legislative actions and go in depth on aspects of the treaty.
Join us in creating change for the animals, the planet and ourselves by endorsing the Plant Based Treaty!
Exploring 'Earthlings’, the animal-rights film featuring Joaquin Phoenix
For many individuals considering a drastic lifestyle change, often it is through watching personal accounts of encouragement, or documentaries, either feature-length or YouTube shorts, that help to persuade and stimulate. Documentaries are, after all, a gateway to further thinking, conversation and debate, with films such as Blackfish leading to Seaworld ending their orca breeding programme, as well as Super Size Me leading to plummeting profits for the fast-food giant McDonalds.
Similarly, for the vegan and vegetarian community, films have long been a crucial part of recruitment and education, from recent efforts such as Cowspiracy and Seaspiracy to earlier films such as Forks over Knives and Food inc. Whilst such films have certainly caused a cultural splash, there is no film that has grabbed public attention more than the 2005 American documentary Earthlings, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix.
Exploring humanity’s use of animals for pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research, Earthlings is an unflinching assessment of our own relationship with the species that we share our planet with. Taking six years to complete, the film directed by Shaun Monson covered pet stores, puppy mills and meatpacking plants, using footage captured by hidden cameras that exposed some of the largest food industries in the world.
Jane Goodall Has Fought to Save the Planet for 60 Years. Why Her Next Project Is About Lab-Grown Meat.
Legendary primatologist Jane Goodall will narrate Meat the Future, a forthcoming film about the next agricultural revolution where animals are no longer slaughtered for food.
World-renowned conservationist Jane Goodall recently signed on to narrate Meat the Future, a new film about lab-grown meat. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Liz Marshall—who also created animal-rights film Ghosts in Our Machine—the documentary follows cultured-meat company Upside Foods (formerly Memphis Meats) as it works on its mission of making traditional animal agriculture obsolete. Founded by cardiologist Uma Valeti, Upside Foods uses a small amount of animal cells and grows them in a bioreactor. The result is real, sustainable meat that is indistinguishable from its traditionally raised (and slaughtered) counterpart.
Meat the Future followed Upside Foods over the course of five years, from its first lab-grown meatball that cost $18,000 to produce to a chicken fillet and duck a l’orange it made for half the cost, in an effort to illustrate how the next agricultural revolution is taking shape. “Over five years, our lens was situated at the forefront of a historic and hopeful movement of change,” Marshall said in a statement. “What the future holds for cultivated meat is unclear, but I believe its revolutionary journey into the world will stand the test of time.”
The film premiered at a special presentation at the 2020 Hot Docs Film Festival in Canada and its worldwide sales rights (outside of Canada) are represented by MetFilm Sales. Since its Canadian premiere, Meat the Future has been updated for world distribution to include breaking news, music from Moby (who just signed on as an executive producer) and narration from Goodall.
Environmental Impacts of Pork Exports in Argentina
Pork is one of the most consumed meats worldwide, and China accounts for almost half of global pork consumption. In 2019, China culled millions of pigs due to an outbreak of African swine fever. This resulted in the need to import over 20 million tons of pork to meet China’s demand..
When considering countries to import from, Argentina appeared as one of the solutions to this deficit by opening the possibility of a pact of pork meat production with China—known as the Porcine Pact. If this pact is made, to meet the demands of China, Argentina would have to produce 900,000 tons of pork per year to export. Argentina’s pork production would go from 6 million to 100 million pigs in a period of 5 to 8 years. 25 industrial pig farms would be installed in the North of the country to achieve these numbers.
An increase in the production of pork would also increase the emission of greenhouse gases. Although they are not ruminant animals, pigs still generate methane and nitrous oxides. Besides the emissions from pig digestion and waste, transporting pigs and pork products from Argentina to China, which is over 13,000 nautical miles by boat, would result in high emissions.
Consuming cows’ milk can increase the risk of many health problems including digestive issues, diabetes, asthma, and cancer. More than 6 billion people globally consume milk and dairy products, but up to 65% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant.
Bosnia and Herzegovina consumes over one billion pounds (500,000 MT) of dairy products each year. 84% of Bosnia’s population from ages 15-65 consume milk every day, but at least 25% of Bosnian citizens are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest milk sugar—lactose. When there are not enough lactase enzymes produced in the intestines, undegraded lactose goes to the large intestine, where it is broken down by intestinal bacteria, resulting in digestive difficulties.
Climate campaigners have long targeted the financial sector—banks, investors, insurers, and pension funds—for funding the fossil fuel industry. With many of the same culprits funding agribusinesses, and clear connections between the meat and fossil fuel industries—including their shared exacerbation of climate breakdown, ecological collapse, and environmental injustice—it’s time for climate finance campaigners to expand their scope beyond fossil fuels.
Some of the world’s largest meat companies like JBS, Smithfield, and Tyson also have ties to each other. In 2009, The National Bank for Economic and Social Development invested $2 billion into JBS which led to the acquisition of the leading chicken brand, Pilgrim’s Pride. JBS company also purchased Smithfield Beef Group, Inc. in 2008, which was the beef subsidiary of one of the largest meat producers in the world. JBS even purchased the Mexican and Brazilian poultry sectors of their closest competitor, Tyson Foods, in 2014.
Environmental Impact of Chicken and Egg Production
In an intensive system of farming, billions of chickens live in cramped conditions and are exploited every year for meat and egg production. This form of farming aims to keep as many birds as possible in a limited area while maximizing profits.
Egg production is no different. The impacts range from poor living conditions for the animals, poor working conditions for humans, and pollution and degradation of the environment. Recently, research published by the Journal of Cleaner Production revealed an ecological footprint from the current productive system of eggs, where every dozen eggs emit 2.7 kilograms of CO2,and approximately 196 liters of water are used to produce one egg.
Chicken meat is playing an increasingly large role in the American diet as people trade red meat for more poultry. Americans now eat more chicken per capita than beef or pork. The annual American appetite for chicken produces 129 billion lbs of CO2 emissions per year—the same amount as 12.37 million cars. Between 1981 and 2006, GHG emissions from the Canadian poultry industry increased by 40%.
Due to the rise of global demand for chicken and eggs, animal feed production must also rise. Over one-third (37%) of global soy is fed to chickens and other poultry. In 2004, the chicken farming industry utilized a total of 294 million tons of animal feed. The global poultry feed market was valued at $175.9 billion in 2018, growing at a rate of 4.5% over the forecast period.
This increased feed production has resulted in the expansion of croplands resulting in deforestation of biodiverse forests and pollution of water resources. This pollution is caused by the use of mineral fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. It also contributes to air pollution from nitrogen fertilizer which happens through the evaporation of ammonia.
Earthling Ed has written a book called This Is Vegan Propaganda: (And Other Lies the Meat Industry Tells You)
Ed says "I'm so incredibly excited to be able to announce today (23rd Sept) that my debut book, This Is Vegan Propaganda: (And Other Lies the Meat Industry Tells You), is being published by Penguin Random House on January 6th 2022 and you can officially pre-order the book from today."
"If you’ve positively benefited from my content, then this book is for you. It’s the accumulation of six years of research and work, compiled into a comprehensive yet digestible book that presents an indisputable case for veganism.
The book breaks down how we got to where we are today, how we continue to justify what we do, and importantly, how as vegans we can break through those justifications.
I wanted to write a book that would empower vegans and that would ultimately make you feel more confident talking about veganism with the non-vegans in your life. After finishing this book, you’ll know in detail the irrefutable arguments for veganism and also have an in-depth understanding of the cultural, social and psychological drivers that influence our behaviours.
However, I also wanted to write a book that is for non-vegans as well, both those who are already interested in veganism and those who are the most sceptical. This book is for everyone, for you and for your non-vegan friends, family members and loved ones." Earthling Ed
Award winning writer, director, producer Liz Marshall announced today that musician, humanitarian and activist Moby signed on to Executive Produce and provide music, and award-winning renowned conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall signed on to narrate Marshall’s MEAT THE FUTURE, a timely documentary about the next agricultural revolution. Variety called the film “engrossing” and “persuasive” when it world premiered as a special presentation at the Hot Docs Festival. MetFilm Sales is representing worldwide sales rights, excluding Canada.
A character driven, deep dive into the game changing world of “cultivated” meat, Meat the Future follows a visionary CEO, Dr. Uma Valeti, as he sets out to make his dream a reality for us all. Imagine a world where real meat is produced sustainably without the need to breed, raise and slaughter animals. This is no longer science fiction. Cultivated meat is a food innovation that grows real meat from animal cells and it’s now within reach. Mayo Clinic trained cardiologist Dr. Valeti, is the co-founder and CEO of Upside Foods (previously Memphis Meats), the leading start-up of the cultivated meat revolution. From the world’s first meatball which cost $18,000 per pound to the first chicken fillet and duck a l’orange for half the cost, the film follows Valeti and his team over five years as the cost of production plummets, and consumers’ eye the imminent birth of this timely industry.
With the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November and the recent UN Climate Change Report sounding a “code red for humanity,” a look at our unsustainable relationship to meat, and innovative solutions could not be more necessary. Animal agriculture dominates nearly half of the world’s land surface, producing more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation. The prospect of meat consumption doubling by 2050 is not only sobering, but also a wake-up call for solutions. Compared to conventionally produced beef, cultivated beef is estimated at scale, to reduce land use by more than 95%, climate change emissions by 74% to 87%, and nutrient pollution by 94%.
“I’m very happy and proud to announce that I am an Executive Producer of the documentary MEAT THE FUTURE, by award-winning writer-director Liz Marshall. It’s about the remarkable development of cultivated meat, which can help us save the only home that we have in our fight against climate change.” commented Moby
“I’m excited about the documentary because it is solution-focused. The film proposes a way forward, to reduce methane, to reduce water and land use, to lessen the suffering of animals, and to prevent future viral outbreaks. I hope it sparks your imagination and inspires change.” added Dr. Jane Goodall
Director Liz Marshall adds, “Over five years, our lens was situated at the forefront of a historic and hopeful movement of change. What the future holds for cultivated meat is unclear, but I believe its revolutionary journey into the world will stand the test of time.”
An award-winning filmmaker who has written, directed, produced and filmed multiple impactful documentaries around the globe since the 1990s, Liz Marshall opened our eyes to the inhumanity and environmental impact of animals exploited for food, fashion, entertainment, and research with The Ghosts in Our Machine. Additional films include Midian Farm, about a 1970s back-to-land social experiment, and Water on the Table about the human right to water amidst a global water crisis.
London-based MetFilm Sales, run by ex-Dogwoof exec Vesna Cudic, acquired the world sales rights (excluding Canada) when Meat The Future had its world premiere at Hot Docs. Since its Canadian release, the film has been updated for the World, to include breaking news, music from Moby and narration from Dr. Jane Goodall.
Written, directed and produced by Liz Marshall, Meat the Future is executive produced by Kyle Vogt (co-founder Twitch, Cruise), Chris Hegedus (The War Room, Startup.com), Janice Dawe (Sugar Coated) and Moby.
Produced in association with documentary Channel, the Canada Media Fund and the Redford Center Grants with funding provided by the New York Community Trust. Produced with the participation of the Rogers Cable Network Fund. Produced with the participation of Little Walnut.
Kate Winslet Narrates 'Eating Our Way to Extinction' Doc About the Climate Crisis
Putting star power behind a documentary always gives it a boost, and the latest environmental doc is no exception. Narrated by Kate Winslet, the documentary Eating Our Way to Extinction just premiered, with a goal of inspiring viewers to understand the gravity of the climate crisis and take action.
“This is the film future generations will be wishing everyone watched today,” Winslet’sTitanic love interest and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio said in a quote for the film’s trailer.
'Eating Our Way to Extinction' sheds a light on how the climate crisis impacts people around the globe.
In addition to Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet narrating and executive producing Eating Our Way to Extinction, the film also features philanthropist Tony Robbins, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, plant-based physician Dr. Michael Greger, and many other prominent figures. The film is directed by brother-brother duo Otto Brockway and Ludovic Brockway, it runs for an hour and 21 minutes, and its official partners include Ecosia (who is planting 10,000 trees to offset the carbon created during the doc's production), Plant Based News, and Veganuary.
The documentary includes original footage from some of the most beautiful places on planet Earth, including the Amazon rainforest, the Mongolian desert, the Norwegian Fjords, and the Taiwanese Mountains. At these far-reaching locations, the filmmakers interviewed locals and Indigenous peoples who are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis, highlighting the fact that those who contribute to climate change the least are the ones most affected by it.
Visit: eating2extinction.comEating Our Way to Extinction is now available to rent or purchase via Amazon, Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu.
Link Between Animal Agriculture and the Fashion Industry
The food industry exploits and kills millions of animals each year not only for food production, but also for fashion. The fashion industry uses animals for common materials such as leather, wool, feathers, and down. Most of these non-food items typically come from animal agriculture.
Wool has been a fabric source since before 10,000 BC and continues to be used in clothing, bedding, and carpeting around the world. The domestication of sheep led to a boom in the wool trade globally and was a large contributor to the wealth of Spain. Riches from the wool trade even helped fund the voyages of the conquistadors to the New World.
Ducks and geese are the primary animals used for the production of down—which is used for jackets, bedding, and other products. But ducks and geese are not raised solely for their feathers and down. Most of them are first raised and exploited for eggs, meat, and foie gras.
In industry speak, this is “sustainable” “upcycling.” However, animal rights activists have documented cases where feathers were plucked from live birds, leaving them bloodied and in pain. In other cases, geese are force-fed to produce foie gras. Finally, almost all feathers for blankets and coats are sourced from factory farms, which create insufferable conditions for animals forced to live in crowded, dirty conditions before they are slaughtered.
Purchasing leather, wool, down, feathers, and other animal products contribute to animal exploitation in the food system. The fashion industry makes meat and dairy more profitable and supports systemic animal cruelty. It's time for the fashion industry to shift away from animal-based materials and adopt plant-based fibers.
Animals in Society: Why Do We Love Some Animals and Harm Others?
Throughout our lives, we interact with animals in many different ways. We love our companion animals and invite them into our homes. We see animals at zoos, pet stores, and marine parks. We play with stuffed animals and watch wildlife specials.
But we often overlook other animals, especially the ones we use for food. Most people eat animal products or use products tested on animals without thinking about the amount of harm this causes. These businesses and practices often facilitate industrial animal cruelty—favoring profits over their health and well-being.
We need to examine why we love some animals, but harm others, and change this relationship so we can grow as a society.
Some zoos educate the public and aid in conservation efforts, but the majority of zoo animals suffer terrible living conditions. They are abused and neglected for human entertainment. Private zoos are known to procure animals from the illegal wildlife trade, and many of these animals are endangered.
Marine parks can also get sealife illegally, and take animals out of their natural habitats. Signs of psychological distress are often found in captive marine life.
Companion animals are also at risk of abuse and neglect. Puppy mills that supply pet shops raise animals in hazardous conditions.
And animals bred for sport often live short lives riddled with injuries.
For animals used in fashion, their lives are far shorter than their natural lifespan as they often need to be killed before they can be used by humans. Sheep, foxes, mink, and other animals are kept in unsanitary conditions and given harmful medication to increase the size and amount of fur or wool they produce.
Animals are also used in testing for medicine and other products. Regulatory agencies mandate animal testing despite clear evidence it isn’t useful. A U.S. FDA study found that over 90% of drugs tested successfully on animals fail in human clinical trials. Lab animals are killed if there are too many of them, or if they grow old or sick.
We must change the way society treats animals and show them compassion by choosing cruelty-free products that are not made from or tested on animals. By adopting pets from local shelters instead of breeders. And by supporting animal sanctuaries over businesses using animals for entertainment.
Greenwashing? It's time to talk about humane washing.
Everyone's always talking about greenwashing, but how often do we hear people talk about humane washing?
Humane washing is essentially the same as greenwashing, but instead of trying to make you think that their products are sustainable, it’s a tactic the meat, dairy and egg industries use to try and convince you that their products are ethically produced and good for the animals they raise and kill.
In Bolivia, meat exports increased 176% between 2019-2020. The increase in beef exports coincided with two seasons of devastating forest fires. The forest emergency was associated with international meat export agreements, and the clearing of land for agriculture and livestock production was also related.
Cattle contribute significantly to methane emissions, mainly from enteric fermentation (methane that is generated during the digestion of livestock). Of the total methane emissions from Bolivia’s agricultural sector, it is estimated that the livestock subsector reaches between 57.92% and 58.20%.
This model is repeated in other countries that also have important forested areas. Rising demand for beef will continue to destroy these habitats. A shift towards more sustainable foods can help prevent further damage.
There are currently over 30 dairies operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a number of dairies have met all the conditions for exporting products outside BiH. Between 13,000 and 14,000 farms produce milk for the market. Raw milk production in 2019 amounted to 643 million liters, of which about 97% of production was raw cow's milk.
Animal agriculture also makes up one-fourth of the global water footprint, 19% of which is from dairy cattle. Production of cows' milk requires 13 times more water than oat milk, and it is estimated that 1 liter of cow's milk requires around 628 liters of water—some sources say it could even be over 1,000 liters of water. Meanwhile, producing 1 liter of oat milk requires only 48 liters of water. According to this estimate, BiH’s 2019 production of dairy (643 million liters) required over 400 billion liters of water.
So what can you do? Switching from dairy to plant-based milk is one way to influence the reduction of global food systems' water consumption. There are also a variety of challenges and resources to help you go dairy-free like the Go Dairy-Free Challenge and Switch4Good. Other ways to make a difference include spreading the word about dairy production's large water footprint (share our video below) and asking your favorite businesses to add dairy-free options to their shelves and menus.
Slaughterhouse work has been linked to a variety of mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder. It has also been connected to higher incidents of domestic violence as well as alcohol and drug abuse. One study noted relatively high levels of anxiety, anger, hostility and psychoticism among slaughterhouse workers. Symptoms can also include violent dreams and some workers seek treatment similar to that used to help war veterans.
In addition to mental health risks, workers within the meat industry are at high risk of physical injuries too. A Human Rights Watch report named meatpacking as “one of the most dangerous factory jobs in America, with injury rates more than twice the national average.”
The Amazon Rainforest has been likened to the lungs of the planet—a testament to the importance of this forest to the world. But human exploitation of the Amazon Rainforest is at an all-time high. Deforestation poses a threat to indigenous communities, countless species, both known and unknown, and the overall health of the planet.
The Amazon has long done its part to balance the global carbon budget, but according to a study published in Nature, the Amazon is now emitting more carbon than it captures. This is due to a disruption in the balance of growth and decay as well as emissions from forest fires.
Every year, in the Chiquitania region of eastern Bolivia, burning events are carried out to prepare the land for planting crops and raising cattle—often generating fires that burn out of control. In 2019, things took a turn for the worse. Boosted by a controversial governmental decree that promotes the expansion of the agricultural frontier and allows “controlled burning” in forests, the chaqueos (burning events) triggered a crisis for the area’s unique dry forests and savannas.
INVESTIGATION: Pregnant Cows Killed in Brazillian Slaughterhouses
Animal Equality has released a shocking investigation into Brazil’s meat industry and its practice of slaughtering pregnant cows. Considered an animal mistreatment practice and condemned by experts, we are urging Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture to forbid the killings of these at-risk.
Animal agriculture is destroying Brazil's habitats and our planet, and is responsible for the suffering of billions of animals every year. Animal Equality is calling on Brazil's National Congress and world leaders to take actions that will hold the meat industry accountable for its crimes.
There are currently 25.9 billion chickens living in the world, and chickens account for 95% of animals farmed for food globally. Chickens on factory farms are kept in cages or, if they are "free-range," packed together in barns.
Because there are no distinct and uniform standards as to what constitutes free-range eggs or cage-free eggs, many people rely on certification schemes to choose their eggs. There are many of these schemes, all of which regulators audit independently.
Why? Well because this Adam Henson, TV presenter and according to some, Britain’s favourite farmer, apparently said:
“if you’re drinking soya milk, that might have come from South America and caused deforestation, the destruction of species [and] the displacement of indigenous people” so “You're better off drinking milk from a local dairy farm that's been bottled there and delivered to your doorstep, where cows are wonderfully looked after and the family contribute to the local society and economy.”
Tesco bosses want you to think they’re on track to meet their zero deforestation targets. They’ve produced social media adverts hoping people see them as climate champions. But Tesco have a burning secret, they’re fuelling forest destruction.
Greenpeace have made a video that shows their hypocrisy, can you help Tesco feel the heat and watch and share the video?
Tesco is the worst supermarket in the UK for forest destruction - and they’re fuelling forest fires in Brazil. As the UK’s biggest supermarket, Tesco sells more industrially produced meat than any other. From buying meat from companies owned by Amazon rainforest destroyers, to selling chicken and pork fed on soya from deforested land elsewhere in Brazil, Tesco is making big profits from products linked to forest destruction.
They’re also deliberately trying to mislead the public by claiming they’re on course to hit their zero deforestation targets when their meat is not deforestation-free. In reality, they are selling industrial meat at such a scale it can’t be sustained without deforestation.
Tesco buys British meat from companies owned by notorious forest destroyers JBS, who have been repeatedly linked to Amazon deforestation and human rights abuses.
Deforestation isn’t just a threat to our climate - it also threatens local Indigenous Peoples’ lives and lands, as well as risking precious and unique wildlife. Communities who are the best guardians of the forest are facing serious, life threatening violence and forced eviction from their lands. Tesco must stop contributing to this crisis.
Tesco wants to be seen as on the right side of history. To do that, they need to stop greenwashing and start leading - by immediately dropping all forest destroyers and replacing half the meat they sell with affordable and healthy plant-based options by 2025. Can you help expose Tesco’s burning secret and let the world know they’re fuelling forest destruction?
Tesco can see the tide turning. They see the public shift in concern around the climate - and see how people are connecting their food to our planet. They’re trying to hide their burning secret from the world - so let’s help expose it.
Our biggest news yet! As of today (6th September 2021), Plant Based News Limited will be launching its first-ever public crowdfunding campaign. We’ve come a really long way and we wouldn’t be here without you. As some of our most dedicated supporters playing a huge role in helping us build Plant Based News, we are delighted to share this opportunity with you!
Plant Based News (PBN) is a mission-led media company creating awareness about ethical consumerism, conscious living, sustainability, and the vegan lifestyle. We work to educate, entertain and inform. We report on all things vegan (news and lifestyle) and truly believe the world would be a greener, kinder and healthier place if more people switched to a plant-based diet.
Our website Plantbasednews.org is one of the leading plant-based online platforms. According to google search console, it obtained 23.6M search impressions over the last quarter.
Each month, we reach over 70m+ impressions across our platform (including social media channels); as well as over 2.4m social followers.
Our platform is underpinned by a design agency that provides us with the ability to create original media for our platform and other organisations in the space.
Simon Amstell supports veganism as ‘one thing to stop human beings from ceasing to exist’
Comedian directed vegan mockumentary ‘Carnage’ in 2017
Simon Amstell has described veganism as “one thing” humans can do to deal with the “systemic” problems of climate change.
The stand-up comedian has been vegan for many years and in 2017 made the mockumentary TV film Carnage, which is set 50 years into the future in which everyone is vegan and people are struggling with guilt for their past meat and dairy consumption.
The film was well-received, with The Independent’s Max Benwell calling it “the world’s first vegan comedy that’s actually funny”.
However, despite Carnage being widely watched, Amstell has revealed in a new interview that many viewers struggled to understand the message at the heart of the film.
“I went to a dinner party where the people in front of me were both saying they loved the film, whilst eating the leg of a chicken,” the comic told BBC News.
"There’s very few things you can do as an individual because the problems are systemic. But if you want to do one thing to stop human beings from ceasing to exist, then have a chickpea!"
Animal Equality’s investigators traveled to the state of Mato Grosso to monitor the record burning in the Pantanal and Cerrado regions. Once again, they discovered that the deforestation and fires in these regions are consequences of Brazil’s ever-expanding meat economy.
Interviews with firefighters and local activists trying to stop the fires revealed that ranchers are illegally setting fires to clear land to raise cows for meat and planting soy (most of which feeds farmed animals).
The culprits of these illegal fires, destroying the planet, all too often go unpunished. And fueling the flames is the global demand for meat driving them to clear more and more land.
As the largest exporter of beef in the world, the meat coming from Brazil’s deforested land is making its way to dinner tables in every country, including the United States.
These unregulated fires are causing mass destruction of our planet and the suffering of millions of animals, which is why we are asking the Brazilian Congress to take specific actions to hold the meat industry accountable for its crimes.
Organic Dairy Farm Investigation by Animal Equality UK
In 2018, Animal Equality released undercover footage of calves being violently handled on an organic dairy farm in Somerset which supplied Waitrose.
We filmed young calves being thrown, slapped, and callously force-fed. Other calves were denied access to water for up to 29 hours on some of the hottest days of the year. Babies were routinely separated from their mothers less than 24 hours after birth – an inherent part of the dairy industry, where maternal bonds are broken so that milk meant for cows' babies can be bottled and sold to us.
Our investigation revealed that Coombe Farm failed to meet even the minimum legal requirements for looking after calves and fell well below organic and RSPCA standards, despite being certified by the Soil Association and RSPCA Assured.
Labels and awards can’t protect animals from suffering in the dairy industry, but you can. Choose from the many delicious cruelty-free plant-based milks now widely available – it’s never been easier to ditch dairy!
The International Vegan Film Festival will serve some of Wicked Kitchen’s iconic dishes at the week-long event later this year
Plant-based food giant Wicked Kitchen will be the main sponsor of the world-renowned International Vegan Film Festival (IVFF) this year..
The annual festival is designed to showcase some of the world’s best vegan films, in a bid to promote the movement.
Each year, the International Vegan Film Festival looks to meet the increasing appetite for information that offers an insight into the vegan lifestyle.
From animal agriculture to the health benefits of plant-based eating, each film amplifies key thinkers across the movement.
Now in its fourth year, the IVFF has featured titles such as Apocalypse Cow, Hogwood: A Modern Horror Story, and Monbiot: Arresting The Truth.
It’s running for a week in Ottawa, Canada, from October 31. And, attendees will be able to sample Wicked Kitchen’s foods at select World Tour screenings.
Interview with investigator and filmmaker Chris Shoebridge
We Animals Media contributor, Chris Shoebridge, is a self-taught filmmaker and photographer based in the UK and Europe.
Originally working with organizations such as the BBC, the National Trust and Swim England, Chris is now focused on animal protection and veganism, producing short documentaries, undercover investigations and promotional films for various campaigns and non-profit organizations.
We Animals Media spoke with Chris to find out what inspires his photo and film projects.
We Animals Media (WAM): Which came first for you: animals or photography and filmmaking? Can you tell us a little about your path to where you are today?
Chris Shoebridge (CS): Twelve years ago I was just getting started as a full-time photographer when I saw a short film of the UK’s first slaughter investigation and decided to become vegan. I had a few big commissions at the time, and worked with the BBC, the National Trust, and several other Trusts and National Governing Bodies. I was also involved in activism in my spare time, including collections, marches and demos, helping to set up a vegan festival, and volunteering for a local animal rights group, but it took a couple of years for me to clearly see the overlap between my professional skillset and the objectives of the activism I was already doing. It was a short film which changed my life, and so I already had a sense of the power of visuals in encouraging positive change. From that moment, it was clear where my future lay. Creating powerful and beautiful images that reveal difficult truths and celebrate solutions is the very best way I can contribute to animal protection and a kinder world.
Too often the suffering of animals is hidden behind closed doors.
But if we're going to stop the abuse, we need to be aware of it, to bring it out into the light.
We tell the stories of the animals on factory farms through words, pictures and video. It can be hard because their suffering is extreme. But we know they deserve to have their stories told.
Photographers like Andrew Skowron are vital to get the stories of abuse out there. To tell people the truth behind corporate ad campaigns. To let people know what animals are really facing every day.
So today, we share his story.
"One photo can say more than an hour of argument battles."
As an investigative photographer, Andrew Skowron reveals the truth that is hidden behind the walls of factory farms, truck trailers, and slaughterhouse gates. He hopes the images he captures of animal suffering will awake human compassion in everyone who sees them.
Listen to his story.
We have been blessed by your patience, and we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It's been a long five years, but time we truly think will have been worth the wait. At the start of this project, we could not have fathomed it would have taken this long with countless hours of blood, sweat and tears to get us to the finish line. But we are there!
We are so excited to finally announce that we are launching our advertising campaign before the film's release this September!
We would also love to announce that we have the incredibly talented Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet narrating the film. Having her voice will make this Cinematic Feature Documentary truly global, and certainly help spread the message of our Planet's climate crisis. Kate has been an immense help on the film and really got behind it and us, and in doing so has become an Executive Producer. We have also been working closely with James Wilks, Joseph Pace, and Susan Vitka, the Producers from The Game Changers Feature Documentary. They have also come on board as Executive Producers.
We've had one very large driving force to keep our team dedicated to keeping us moving forwards, and that is the reality of the vast devastation animal agriculture is having upon our Planet, and we knew 'the time we have on this planet, is ticking.'
We've had quite the adventure making this film and many a tale to tell, from being shot at by cattle farmers in the US…. to being chased out of the depths of the rainforest by Paramilitary.
We are hosting our World Premiere on the 8th of September at the famous Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square. We'd love to have you all there, but sadly with Covid, we've been given a very limited number of seats and having to prioritise these for cast, crew and press.
Our timing couldn't be more perfect with the release of this film, after this year's ever-increasing events of natural disasters, Covid and COP 26 in November. So any help with you all getting behind this project for Planet Earth, we will be truly grateful for.
NEW INVESTIGATION! The truth behind Morrisons chicken – Narrated by Chris Packham
Filthy. In pain. Abused.
This is how chickens are suffering on farms that supply Morrisons. And the truth was revealed in an investigation released by Open Cages.
The investigation, narrated by naturalist Chris Packham, shows the horrific lives of FrankenChickens. Bred to grow too big, so fast that painful deformities and lameness are common, these poor animals face extreme suffering every day.
Animals deserve better than this. And we're working on change.
"FrankenChickens are the supermarkets' terrible, cruel secret."
- Chris Packham
New Documentary Hopes to Bring Vegans and Meat-Eaters Together
The rise of veganism in recent years has been matched by an increase in documentaries that highlight the various reasons why we should stop eating animals. Almost simultaneously, meat has become a central tenet of today’s climate culture wars, meaning conversations surrounding animal products are eliciting increasingly heated reactions.
Meat Me Halfway, the new documentary from Reducetarian Productions, looks to diffuse the situation. By attempting to find common ground between vegans and meat-eaters, the documentary lays the groundwork for a better food system, though it is the pursuit of neutrality that causes the film to falter on a few occasions.
Like other documentaries focusing on meat consumption, Meat Me Halfway isn’t afraid to shy away from the necessary conclusion: animal agriculture is one of the most destructive industries on the planet. But it also admits that a total overhaul to veganism is unlikely in the short term. Meat Me Halfway’s solution is to advocate for a more palatable message: less meat consumption, rather than no change at all.
In the words of Brian Kateman—whose journey to understand why it’s so difficult to abolish factory farming serves as the centerpiece for the film—“it’s better to have the average person cut back on their meat consumption by a small percentage, rather than getting a small number of highly committed people to go vegan or vegetarian.”
Industrial-sized mega-farms are on the rise and it's the animals that pay!
Across the beautiful British countryside an increasing number of industrial-scale chicken farms are appearing, rearing birds in abhorrent conditions for our nation's leading supermarkets, restaurants and food outlets.
From birth to death in just five to seven weeks, these factory farms are not only causing misery and suffering to millions of birds each week, but they are also posing a grave risk to public health and threatening our environment.
Viva! investigators went inside three broiler chicken farms, supplying the country's largest poultry producers – Avara, Hook2Sisters and Moy Park.
Animal Aid’s ground-breaking investigation into horse slaughter was featured exclusively on BBC1’s Panorama on 19 July, The Dark Side of Horse Racing.
The harrowing footage reveals, in heart-breaking detail, the fate of those horses who find themselves ‘unwanted’.
Arriving at the abattoir either singly from private owners – or in large truck loads – we see nervous horses being led to a kill room, shot in the head and then hoisted into a butchery where their throats are slit: The majority of the meat is destined for human consumption.
Animal Aid investigators worked tirelessly to film this incredibly distressing footage, showing the slaughter of 267 horses and ponies, between October 2019 and February 2020.
Some of these animals would have once been much-loved companions. A number were from the horse racing industry, whilst others seemed to be from managed feral herds. We saw ponies shot in front of one another – and, disturbingly, our cameras even captured the slaughterman swearing at scared, anxious horses.
The Argument for Eating Insects (Instead of Going Vegan)
"Eating insects instead of conventionally farmed animals is being touted as the future of food, with headlines such as 'If we want to save the planet, the future of food is insects" hitting the news recently. So today I take a look at the environmental and ethical arguments behind the proposed solution of eating insects.
In truth, the ethics of what we do to insects comes down to the insects’ capacity to suffer and experience subjectively, in essence, their sentience. With the available knowledge that we have now on animal sentience, we might take the position that eating insects is morally preferable because they are less sentient than animals such as pigs, cows, chickens, fish and the animals we conventionally consume - but this argument misses the point.
The question isn’t ‘are they as sentient as other farmed animals’ but rather ‘are they sentient in a morally relevant way’? If we choose to ignore what is already being suggested about the consciousness of insects we may one day, in the same way that we have with other non-human animals, realise that their capacities exceed what we once thought." Earthling Ed
New documentary argues carnivores and vegans can find middle ground
Directed by the founder of the Reducetarian Foundation, 'Meat Me Half Way' is fascinating and multi-faceted.
“Meat Me Half Way” is an 80-minute investigative documentary scheduled for release on Tuesday. The film explores the tiny islands of common ground that could exist in the gulf between vigilant vegans and overcommitted carnivores if the two groups took a moment to listen to each other.
I could watch this film again and again. That’s high praise from me because I am a plot person. Once I know how a story plays out on the screen (or in a book), I rarely feel the urge to watch (or read) the same story again. With “Meat Me Half Way,” I really have no idea how this story will play out as the issues surrounding meat-eating are both national in scale – industrial meat production emits huge amounts of greenhouse gases – and as highly personal as what you choose to eat for dinner. Given that the film establishes reasonable arguments for both eating and avoiding meat, the outcome could go either way. The point is to listen carefully to the other side.
Is the idea of ethical meat consumption a fraud? That question is explored in “The Last Pig,” which chronicles a former livestock farmer who became vegan. The subject of the film, Bob Comis, and the filmmaker, Allison Argo, joined Adam Reilly on Greater Boston to discuss.
“I grappled with the ethics of raising animals for slaughter from the very first two pigs that I raised,” Comis said about his journey to becoming vegan. “It was a gradual process that ended up in a precipitous fall off of a cliff because I had a more or less mystical experience one morning with the pigs where my own being ended and theirs being began. And I sort of felt on a fundamental level that pigs and I were the same type of being, if not the same type of being all together. After that experience, I couldn’t possibly do it [raise pigs for slaughter] anymore."
Cow review – Andrea Arnold’s first documentary is meaty slice of bovine socio-realism
The director details the life of dairy cows with unflinching and empathetic precision
With this documentary, Andrea Arnold has created a kind of agribusiness pastoral about the daily life of cows on a working dairy farm. Her camera simply gets up close and personal with cows as they moo and trot around and give birth and stare with mysterious placidity into the camera – sometimes thumping up against her sound mic with an almighty bang.
Arnold immerses herself in the bovine world as far as she is able, getting alongside the cows in the farm during the calving process, with the shots of ropes pulling on little hooves emerging from the mother, an image which hasn’t changed too much since the days of James Herriot and All Creatures Great and Small. We see the cows out in the field on a bright summer day, and sometimes we see them out there at night, in an exotically conceived long shot: cows silhouetted against trees under a stark moon. We hear human voices from the very beginning, often cheerfully calling the cows “girlies!” – no word could be less suitable for these mighty beasts. But we don’t see any people until the very end.
The Most Logical Arguments AGAINST Veganism (In 10 Minutes)
Earthling Ed goes through the most frequently used arguments against vegans, including:
It’s my personal choice to eat animal products; animals taste good; farmed animals can live a good life; animals are killed humanely; lions eat meat; we’ve eaten meat for thousands of years; eating animal products is legal; we need to eat animal products for nutrients; animals are bred to be killed; plants are alive too; it’s cultural and traditional to eat animals; we’re more intelligent than animals; we’re top of the food chain; what about human rights; veganism isn’t perfect.
OPINION: Why The Impact of Animal Agriculture Shouldn’t Have Been Overlooked in Netflix’s Breaking Boundaries – by Nicholas Carter
Overall, the David Attenborough-narrated Netflix film does well in delving into the nine boundaries pushing the planet to breaking point at the hands of humanity. But it minimizes the impact animal agriculture has on climate change...
Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet was released on Netflix this month.
Media and political attention to environmental issues have largely focused on fossil fuels and, more specifically, carbon dioxide. That is of course one of the world’s greatest issues and continues to deserve attention.
But the recent release, Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet, narrated by David Attenborough, makes the case for a system of environmental analysis that factors all key biophysical boundaries on our planet.
The lead scientist featured is Professor Johan Rockström. His research on planetary boundaries is both clear and meaningful.
Meet The Experts: Aquatic Animals Q&A with Animal Equality UK
Meet the experts and learn more about aquatic animals! Jenny Canham, Campaigns & Public Affairs Specialist at Animal Equality UK, speaks to Professor Kathy Hessler and Amy P Wilson from the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis and Clark Law School.
For over seven years, Israel Against Live Exports has been investigating and documenting the cruelty and suffering inflicted upon animals arriving at sea ports.
Regarded as property with their most basic needs denied, over one billion sentient beings are transported over extreme distances to fattening farms and slaughterhouses. They are violently killed without mercy by an industry which sell their corpses for human consumption.
Investigators are the silent heroes in our mission to protect animals. They rarely speak publicly because, due to the nature of their work, they have to remain anonymous.
But in a new video recorded and published by VICE, an undercover investigator speaks about his experiences inside almost a thousand farms in the UK and abroad.
It’s a rare and powerful insight into the lives of the heroes that we depend on in order to help animals.
The investigator - who wears a mask to protect his identity - talks about a number of sides of the job, including what factory farms are like to experience in person, what big agricultural companies fear, free-range and organic meat, and the complex mix of emotions he feels as an investigator.
Have you ever wondered who investigators are? Or what their lives are like? 3Find out, wtach this:
If you buy bacon, ham, or sausages in UK supermarkets, then there is a high chance it comes from a farm that looks like Willerby Wold Piggeries. To anyone passing by, this farm - the Red Tractor-certified Willerby Wold Piggeries in Staxton near Scarborough - seems unremarkable. But as unassuming as it may look from the outside, stepping inside reveals an entirely different story that is purposefully kept hidden. The following footage is what undercover investigators working to obtain footage for Surge documented when they stepped inside this farm, which supplies pork products to Morrisons, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, all of which have now suspended the farm. Welfare assurance scheme Red Tractor has also terminated the farm’s membership, stating that it was “shocked” by the footage.
The footage was also sent directly to the RSPCA national control centre and a case number was provided to The Independent.
“This footage is very distressing. We are concerned that there appears to be violations of the laws in place to protect animal welfare on farms. It appears to show disturbing scenes where sick, dying and dead animals are worried at by other pigs, and a lack of enrichment and bedding,” an RSPCA spokesperson said. “As soon as we received the footage, we contacted the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) to urge them to look into this as soon as possible and take action.”
In 2006, the United Nations stated: “The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.”
And then four years later, they warned that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change.
So why exactly is animal farming bad for the environment?
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
How You Can Save the Planet by Hendrikus van Hensbergen, foreword by Robert Macfarlane
If you're worried about climate change, this book is an essential and reassuring read.
We often feel like we don't have the power to make real change.
But our small changes can add up to something BIG.
Packed with reassuring step by step actions and easy to follow DIY activities, How You Can Save The Planet is the perfect gift for young activists who want to make a difference.
With simple explanations, practical tips and stories from children across the world, this guide is ideal for young people who are worried about climate change and want to help our planet!
Crafted by Hendrikus van Hensbergen, whose work is featured on BBC Bitesize [JP2], this inspiring read is perfect for children at KS2.
'Every young person in the country should be given this book' Sir Tim Smit, Founder of The Eden Project
'It's enlightening, inspiring and empowering' Kate Humble, TV presenter
'Wonderfully informative, fun and practical [. . .] A great source of inspiration' The Rich Brothers, TV presenters
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.”
There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years – Updated Edition by Mike Berners-Lee
Feeding the world, climate change, biodiversity, antibiotics, plastics, pandemics - the list of concerns seems endless. But what is most pressing, and what should we do first?
Do we all need to become vegetarian? How can we fly in a low-carbon world? How can we take control of technology? And, given the global nature of the challenges we now face, what on Earth can any of us do, as individuals? Mike Berners-Lee has crunched the numbers and plotted a course of action that is full of hope, practical, and enjoyable. This is the big-picture perspective on the environmental and economic challenges of our day, laid out in one place, and traced through to the underlying roots - questions of how we live and think.
This updated edition has new material on protests, pandemics, wildfires, investments, carbon targets and of course, on the key question: given all this, what can I do?
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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