Visitor:
Activists + > Media
"Speciesism: The Movie" May Change Your Worldview

http://blog.farmsanctuary.org/2013/08/speciesism-the-movie-may-change-your-worldview/

Speciesism: The Movie May Change Your Worldview

Every now and then a movie comes along that has the power to fundamentally change the worldview of its audience. Speciesism: The Movie, a documentary directed by Mark Devries, is that kind of film. It premieres <http://speciesismthemovie.com> in key cities (NYC, L.A., Chicago, S.F., D.C.) next month.

The word "speciesism," which has been popularized by Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer, refers to the assumption that a vast gulf exists between the value of human interests and the value of the interests of all other animals.

Speciesism is, of course, a fundamental principle of human life, as humans view most other animals not as individuals, but as sources of food, clothing, and entertainment - or as targets. Similar to those who have grown up unaware of overt racist or sexist beliefs in their worldview, speciesism is so thoroughly assimilated in most of us that it is invisible and unquestioned.

Yet, in order to view other animals as biologically and cognitively unsophisticated, we have to ignore the scientific fact that other animals possess the same five physiological senses that we do, as well as the capacity for a wide range of emotions. In her introduction to The Inner World of Farm Animals (author Amy Hatkoff), Dr. Jane Goodall writes that "farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear, and pain. They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined ... they are individuals in their own right."

And Dr. Temple Grandin, in Animals in Translation, writes that "When it comes to the basics of life ... [other] animals feel the same way we do." She explains that both humans and other animals share the same core emotions of "rage, prey, chase, drive, fear, and curiosity/interest/anticipation," and the "four basic social emotions: sexual attraction and lust, separation distress, social attachment, and the happy emotions of play and roughhousing."

Although prominent philosophers, legal scholars, and scientists have criticized speciesist assumptions for many years, these questions have never before been the centerpiece of a film. Not only does Speciesism: The Movie ask these paradigm-challenging questions, it does so while taking viewers on an adventure that is tremendously entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny. Devries' interview with a Nazi reminded me of the hoods scene in Django Unchained.

Along the way, Devries meets and questions a remarkably broad range of people, including Peter Singer (who The New Yorker named "the most influential philosopher alive"), Richard Dawkins (the most influential evolutionary biologist of the past century), Temple Grandin (designer of the animal-handling systems used by more than half of the slaughterhouses in the United States), factory farmers, anti-factory farm advocates, various other folks (including me!) on both sides of the issue, as well as people on the street.

For those unfamiliar with speciesism, there may be no more enjoyable introduction to this fascinating subject than Speciesism: The Movie. For those already familiar with the speciesism and searching for a way to introduce friends and family to the subject, Speciesism: The Movie may be a perfect overture.



full story at link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-friedrich/speciesism-the-movie-may-_b_1347514.html

 

Every now and then, a movie comes along that is capable of fundamentally changing the worldview of its audience. Speciesism: The Movie, a new documentary by Mark Devries, is that kind of film.

The word "speciesism," which has been popularized by Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer, refers to the assumption that a vast gulf exists between the ethical value of human interests and the ethical value of the interests of other animals. At its extreme, we may see ourselves as the only species that matters morally, and view other animals as existing merely for our use: to eat, to make into clothing, to perform experiments on, to be entertained by in circuses and zoos. Like those who grew up having overt racist beliefs assimilated into their worldview, some degree of speciesism has been so well-assimilated into the worldview of most of us that it does not even appear to be worth questioning.
Of course, other animals possess the same five physiological senses that we do, as well as the capacity for a wide range of emotions. In her introduction to The Inner World of Farm Animals, Dr. Jane Goodall writes that "farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear, and pain. They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined . . . they are individuals in their own right."

And Dr. Temple Grandin, in Animals in Translation, writes that "When it comes to the basics of life . . . [other] animals feel the same way we do." She goes on to explain that both humans and other animals share both the exact same core emotions ("rage, prey chase drive, fear, and curiosity/interest/anticipation") and the same "four basic social emotions: sexual attraction and lust, separation distress, social attachment, and the happy emotions of play and roughhousing."
So, our worldview may be worth questioning.

continue story at link above

 

For everyone, watching Devries' movie is an enjoyable and thought-provoking way to spend 90 minutes.

 

 


 

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin, annxtberlin@gmail.com