Last night I attended a special screening of Speciesism: The Movie followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director. Everyone needs to see this film. Vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores … oh, and animals. Let’s not forget the animals.
Which is essentially the point you’ll find at the very core of this 90-minute documentary by young writer, director, and editor, Mark Devries.
Devries leaves nothing to question when it comes to the fundamental question asked in the film: Are humans somehow “above” animals? Half way through a film that, at that point, looked a lot like Vegucated, Devries freezes the audience on the thought of speciesism and, from there, we are led on a journey of discovery about where non-humans fit into the grand scheme of things. And, how “manure lagoons” exist in residential neighborhoods as constant reminders of the cruelty we inflict on animals for the sake of our own diets. When you find out what a manure lagoon is … well … see the film.
Literally every passing minute of the film made me more and more proud to be an ethical vegan.
Throughout the film, Devries interviews and questions an impressive cast of experts (including my personal friend, Professor Sherry Colb, the author of Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger and Dr. Milton Mills, who I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with). Devries sits with Peter Singer, and holds his own with “one of the most influential philosophers alive.” We also hear from Temple Grandin, Richard Dawkins, among others. All adding to a very convincing argument and tidal wave movement that illustrates how humans and non-humans evolved from the same moment in time and were meant to co-exist on this planet peacefully.
Humans have waged an unfair war against innocent animals for their own selfishness.
A highlight of the film is a personal guided tour of the PETA headquarters and hearing from the director herself that sex sells when it comes to gaining traction with their anti-cruelty message. With this thinking, I feel the porn industry is missing excellent product placement and sponsorship opportunities; especially when you consider Riley Reid is a well-known vegan porn star.
The movie is a series of interviews (some of which became redundant) mixed with glimpses into the world of animal treatment in the U.S. Your emotions range from laughter to tears within a few frames of the film as you’re reminded of the ridiculousness of the treatment of animals as a food and clothing source in an age when this is no longer a necessity.
The film climaxes with a pull back of planet Earth that truly makes the audience stop to consider that we are all in this together. This isn’t our planet, as humans; it’s meant to be shared. With all living beings.
Over rolling credits, Devries fielded many pointed questions during the hour-long discussion following the film and his law degree showed. As an aside, I think it’s important to note that Devries himself transitioned from vegetarian to vegan during the making of this movie.
Anyone who sees Speciesism: The Movie will walk away thinking differently. Perhaps they will feel guilty. Or embarrassed. Or sad. Or mad. One thing I know for sure, they’ll never look at animals the same way again.
Want to own the film? Please visit the official website here and order enough DVDs to share with those you love … especially if they’re animals.