March 31, 2007


A friend sent me a link to a video clip about dolphins being killed in Japan. He is someone I know cares deeply about the ocean, so I watched the video. Shocking. Even if you know what to expect.

From the website I clicked a link and eventually ended up on the site for the source of the clip. It is from a documentary film, Earthlings.

It's a feature length documentary about "humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called "non-human providers."

The narrator is Joaquin Phoenix and features music by Moby (both are known for their support of related issues).

The film hits hard at pet stores, puppy mills, some animal shelters, factory farms, the leather & fur trades, sports and entertainment industries, and the medical and scientific profession.

I suppose that if you had to label it, it would be under "animal rights" but I think that slights the film (and probably turns away some potential viewers). Better to look at it as the filmmakers do - that its an issue we need to address as inhabitants of the Earth.

So where is the poetry in this? There isn't any.

I write online on several blogs and websites, but this site, with its audience of poets, seems to be the best place for me to pass on this information. I'm not going to analyze that choice, but perhaps it came when I saw the part of the film that listed:
The 3 Stages of Truth
1. Ridicule
2. Violent opposition
3. Acceptance

WARNING: This clip is tough to watch. If it hits you so hard that you can't watch it all, try this link from the film's website to a 7 minute excerpt that explains the intent of the film without showing any of the animal brutality.

Maybe you will write about it. Perhaps, not a poem, but an email, a blog post...

The film started as a series of Public Service Announcements by the writer/director Shaun Monson. After 5 years, in 2005, it premiered at the Artivist Film Festival, (where it won Best Documentary Feature), followed by the Boston International Film Festival, (Best Content Award), and the San Diego Film Festival, (Best Documentary Film, and the Humanitarian Award to Joaquin Phoenix).

The DVD came out in late 2005, but I had never heard of it before this email came to me. I hope that impression of the readers of this blog is accurate and that you will be sensitive to this issue, pass on the message, buy, rent, view the film and support the issues it addresses.