This is a film I put together about my journey as an animal rights activist and all of the ways we work together to fight for the animals. It is intended to build hope and courage and a way for all of us to find our voice.
Some artistic notes about the film:
When I first heard the song, "We Shall Overcome: Love Will Rise Again" I was deeply moved. This song captures how I feel about being a voice for the animals. I've never felt so empowered, inspired and as strong in my life as I do now. Nimo Patel was so gracious to let me use his music for this film. If you have the opportunity, please visit Nimo's website and learn more about his efforts of using music for social change. If you are able, please consider donating to his cause.
This film explores all of the ways we exploit animals and all of the ways we fight for them. It goes back and forth between the two extremes. For all of the oppression and injustice the animals face, we are there to make things right. You may notice that at times, those oppressing the animals don't seem to even notice what they are doing. We've been conditioned that what we are doing to animals is normal, natural and necessary. The veil is lifting.
When we actively speak up for the animals, we are tipping the scales. It doesn't matter if you're scared, shy or hesitant, you can do this. And if you think that one person can't make a difference I refer you to this poem by Bonaro W. Overstreet:
(To One Who Doubts the Worth of Doing Anything If You Can’t Do Everything)
You say the little efforts that I make
will do no good: they never will prevail
to tip the hovering scale
where Justice hangs in balance.
I don’t think I ever thought they would.
But I am prejudiced beyond debate
in favor of my right to choose which side
shall feel the stubborn ounces of my weight.
In this film, I also wanted to show that activism comes in all forms. Everyone has a talent that can be used towards the fight for animals. Whether that be in the form of direct outreach, protest marches, creating wonderful vegan food, educating others, writing about the fight for animals, supporting vegan businesses, bearing witness, teaching children about living a compassionate lifestyle, having those hard conversations with family and friends or even by simply living a vegan lifestyle, we are standing up for what is right and just. Our life is based on constantly going against the stream and fighting injustice. It can take its toll and there are days where we may feel helpless and like we’re not making a difference but we are. You should feel proud!
I wanted to end the film at the Maple Farm Animal Sanctuary. Like so many sanctuaries, this is a place of refuge and where animals can live out their lives in peace. Animals deserve to have moral consideration and have the ability to express agency over their own lives.
The last image is of Gail staring out into the distance of an open barn door. Gail was used as a dairy cow for the first ten years of her life. I wonder what she must be thinking. Does she remember her time before being rescued? Does she miss her family? Where are they now? Unlike the 300 million cows who are slaughtered every year, she is free...like all animals should be.
I hope this film inspires each and every one of you to be a voice for the animals!
Music by Nimo Patel and Daniel Nahmod at Empty Hands Music, "We Shall Overcome: Love Will Rise Again."
Special thanks to The Save Movement, Toronto Cow Save, Laura Ray, Sheryl Becker, Erica Korff, Lilly Colwell and to everyone who made this film possible.
This film is dedicated to my son, James. I'll keep fighting until you see a more humane and compassionate world.