February 9, 2015

The Ghosts in Our Machine

Posted by meli on Monday, February 09, 2015 in | No comments
I cut meat out of my life early on in my adulthood, when I was free to make those decisions, simply because I felt, for as long as I could remember, deep down in my childhood belly, that I had no right to take the life of another living being. And I was so damn proud and humbled by my life declaration… “i am a vegetarian”! Hell yea. 
What I learned a week or so after that, by way of a documentary, was the biggest eye opener and gut check that I had yet experienced; the dairy and egg industry was… heinous. Heinous; that word will have to do, because still, to this day, I cannot come up with a word that encompasses just how evil it actually is. Up until that point, I had harbored ill planted ideas of happy little dairy cows, and a complete and utter ignorance of egg laying hens. I ate eggs, devoured cheese, and drank milk with the best of ‘em, my whole life (I’m from Wisconsin after all), never giving it a second thought. It wasn’t because I didn’t care enough. Or that I didn’t want to be inconvenienced. Or that I was just too lazy. Nope … it was simply because I.Had.NO.Idea! Not a single inkling. 
That day was a turning point for me. I learned to question and rethink everything. I still do. And maybe it’s the part of me that works hard to protect my heart. Or maybe it’s my bleeding hopefulness. Or my instinct to see the best in everyone, always. I don’t know … but I have to believe that if most of you knew just how horrendous these industries are; you’d rethink everything, too. 
In that spirit, and in honor of the start of my own awakening, I’m sharing a documentary … The Ghosts in Our Machine. Now streaming on Netflix. It is hauntingly beautiful in it’s capture of the individuality of animals. Spanning many different industries (fur, testing, sport, food (yes, even of the “free range” organic variety)…) this film depicts the roles we have placed on animals in our society; and begs you to look deeper.
Ignorance can indeed feel like bliss, sometimes.
Awakening can indeed feel burdensome, sometimes.
Fuck sometimes.
Knowledge is power.
Wake up today.

*there are a few harder to watch scenes nearing the end, but this film is free of gore. It's not aiming for shock value. This film depicts the journey of one photographer's struggle to capture hauntingly beautiful photos, photos that so brilliantly capture the individuality and emotion of each animal, in some of the most cruel industries and settings you can imagine, and then walking away. We're all born with compassion and empathy... these photographs tap into that compassion... this is where and how we can create real change! Shock and Awe won't do it ... love will. 

I share that passion with this photographer. Wanting to use my photography skills to illicit feeling and create change; animal welfare and rights being my biggest platform. I've tossed around the idea many a nights, but in the end, I just don't know if I have what it takes to walk away. To leave them. This film both re-inspired that dream; as well as validated my feelings for not pursuing it. I don't yet know which way I'll lean; I am so humbled and appreciative that there are people who know and are doing it! Thank you, Jo-Anne.


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