Just in case you forgot, the NCVA is sponsoring the Ottawa premiere of Maximum Tolerated Dose, a documentary by Karol Orzechowski. It will be held on September 20th at the Mayfair Theatre. Doors open at 6:15. Advance tickets are .
So here’s reason #2 why you should go … Over the last few years, I’ve witnessed something of a sea change in the way animal issues are “marketed” to the mainstream population. Previously, most animal rights films focused on graphic images of the horrible things that animals endure at the hands of humans.
The problem is, a good 90% of the population is completely incapable of processing that kind of imagery. Most turn away in horror. Others dismiss it as propaganda – in many cases for the ironic reason that it simply seems “too terrible to be true”.
It’s taken a while, but animal advocates seem to be catching on. They’re softening their imagery and messaging in order to draw on other emotions besides shock, fear, disgust and shame.
Many at the forefront at of this “new animal rights movement” are artists: painters, musicians, writers, photographers and filmmakers. This is not so surprising, for who knows better how to simultaneously attract our attention and touch our hearts?
The NCVA invited Jo-Anne McArthur to speak at last April’s VegFest. Her We Animals project is one of the best examples of animal advocacy through art that I can think of. Her images are neither gory nor shocking in the conventional sense. And yet they somehow manage to elicit an incredible empathy with their animal subjects. Through her eyes, we see not just the abused objects the animals have been bred to be, but the individuals they were born to be.
Maximum Tolerated Dose takes a similar approach. It’s not devoid of shocking imagery. When you’re talking about animal testing there’s no way to avoid completely the simple facts of what we do to them. But such imagery is not the film’s focus. Rather, it artfully combines appropriate, meaningful, transparently-sourced imagery with the candid testimony of individuals who have seen the animal experimentation industry from the inside.
I’m proud to have the opportunity to promote this new turn in animal advocacy. I think it has the power to change hearts and minds.
I’ve never been able to bring myself to watch a graphic animal rights film. I’ve never seen Meat your Meat, Earthlings, none of them. But I made it through (a rough cut of) Maximum Tolerated Dose without fleeing the room or dissolving into hysterical tears. And, as I discussed in my last post, the film taught this fifteen-year vegan and animal advocate some important stuff she didn’t know about animal experimentation. If you’re still unconvinced – check out the trailers.
Hope to see you on September 20th!