Robert Grillo, Free From Harm
My counter strategy is not just to expose the fictions from popular culture created by those who have a vested financial interest in exploiting animals. The solution is not just to expose what's wrong, but to show what's right. It's the contrasts between right and wrong, truth and fiction, that are so striking.
Andrea White and Errol the rooster
In less than two minutes of channel surfing over lunch the other day, I saw three ugly and deceptive examples of how popular culture portrays animals as "things." The first was a puff piece on a PBS station touting the sustainability of aquaponics (such a lovely-sounding euphemism). For a few seconds, the camera cuts to a cluster of terrorized-looking fish peering out of a tiny window and crammed into filthy and overcrowded tanks shaped like huge industrial pressure cookers. Their waste becomes the "plant food" for baby salad greens. Time to turn the channel.
Next, I stumbled upon a news-hour fashion segment on fur coats.
My next flip of the remote landed me on a cooking class featuring a hipster dude in front of a giant backdrop of a sizzling chicken breast. So many forms of our culture's "entertainment" are predicated on the suffering of other animals who are either completely absent, portrayed as abstract flesh products or as unthinking and unfeeling masses. In less than two minutes, it was time to turn off the tube.
On August 2nd, I will be delivering the next iteration of my presentation called Food, Animals and Popular Culture in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I think a lifetime's worth of channel surfing and web browsing has finally struck a nerve in me. I can no longer sit idly by while the food industry nefariously indoctrinates the public, shaping our attitudes and beliefs about food and animals in ways so powerful, they hijack even many critical thinkers. It scares the hell out of me.
My counter strategy is not just to expose the fictions from popular culture created by those who have a vested financial interest in exploiting animals. The solution is not just to expose what's wrong, but to show what's right. It's the contrasts between right and wrong, truth and fiction, that are so striking. I see this presentation as a kind journey that seems at times too surreal and at other times is all too real. I juxtapose examples of animals in the feel-good, Disney-like world of popular culture with examples of real-life individuals I have met through my rescue work.
I hope some of you can come out and join me for this event which will also feature a presentation from cardiologist Dr. Kevin Fullin (United Hospital Systems, Kenosha) who will share his perspectives, personal experiences and patient results with a plant-based diet. After our talks, we will enjoy some great treats over an hour of networking at the amazing Sol D'Licious Café, a vegan eatery and wellness spa!
Finally, Cynthia Ganatra of the Animal Voices radio show in Vancouver recently interviewed me about backyard chickens, humane claims, wasting eggs and our rescued chickens. Check out this interview in their archives.
As always, thank you so much for your continued interest and support!
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