30 Days Animal Advocacy Round-Up

Did you get a chance to watch 30 Days on FX last night?
image from 30 days

The episode was about a hunter who was involved in animal advocacy for 30 days. He stayed with a vegan family, ate plenty of vegan food, participated in anti-KFC and anti-fur demonstrations with PETA, worked at Animal Acres farm animal sanctuary, visited a homeless dog shelter, talked with an anti-vivisection advocate, and helped rescue a dairy calf from a factory farm.

You can watch it at Hulu or see your TV Guide for repeats.

Vegan Bits provided a very complete and detailed description of the show and commented:

“We fully expected ‘the flaky vegans’ versus the ‘macho hunter’ but we were pleasantly surprised.” [...]

“Interestingly, the first time we really hear about what George is eating is on Day 13, where he’s taken to a vegan restaurant. There isn’t much discussion about what he likes and doesn’t like, but there is a segue into why vegans don’t drink cow’s milk. To which George comments, ‘Most of America doesn’t really care.’ Melissa replies, ‘I do think that people care because people don’t like animal cruelty.’ But George is probably right, people seem to care more about what tastes good, rather than how that food got to their plates.”

I have to agree with Lane from Vegan Bits and with George, I think most people don’t really care. Children care, yes. But most adults, no, I don’t think so. If they do care, that feeling is buried deep under a bunch of lies and myths. I’d like to think people care, and certainly some do – there are new vegans every day! But I think the majority of people just don’t care at all.

Mary Martin commented:

“As you might imagine, he is belligerent at first and has a difficult time, but with time he opens up and softens.”

“At the end, he says he’s not going to stop hunting, but he also calls himself an animal rights activist. My poor husband thought I’d find this all very encouraging but I didn’t. George is still going to hunt” [...]

“My husband came down hard on me and said that though he doesn’t agree with PeTA, how can you expect someone to spend 30 days learning about something so completely alien to him, and become a different person on the spot. After all, it took SEVERAL YEARS of me educating my husband for him to finally change his behavior. And he was much farther along than George!”

I agree with Mary’s husband that this was a great first step for George and likely for many viewers. It’s not enough, and on that point I agree with Mary.

Lastly, PETA Files has an interview with George where he says:

“It is amazing what can happen if you walk into something with an open mind, even if it is against everything you know already. You might think you are 100 percent right on a particular subject. Here’s a news flash: You don’t know everything. Just watch, listen, and learn.”

It sounds like a plug for both the show’s concept and the idea of animal rights. George has expanded his knowledge and his compassion. He’s not nearly a vegan yet, but it’s a good beginning for him. If only everyone had his opportunity.

5 Responses to 30 Days Animal Advocacy Round-Up

  1. I think people care deeply about farmed animals, but that care is buried under years of conditioning and habit and layers of self-protection. Nearly every meat-eater grimaces and often turns away in horror when I show them pictures of factory farm suffering. Videos produce even stronger reactions; frequently they are severe and visceral. In fact, people usually can’t even bear to be told about the suffering and abuse of farmed animals. They may be psychologically and emotionally (and maybe even physically) hooked on meat, but they cannot fully block their natural strong sympathies for fellow sentient beings.

    When people construct implausible rationalizations and engage in denial in order to perpetuate a behavior, that’s a sign that they have an active conscience – which cares – and that they’re engaging in defense mechanisms to quelch inner turmoil. It is because they care deeply about animals that meat-eaters have to resort to such self-protective tactics. Those defensive maneuvers, though they can be frustrating and serve as a barrier to enlightenment and change, nonetheless give me hope, because they indicate the potential for veganism underneath. Veganism is the antidote to the disconnect between deepest morals and everyday food habits. Understanding those dynamics helps me in my advocacy.

    ~ Recent blog post: To Meat-Eaters: Easy Ways to Reduce Meat Consumption While Retaining Your Comfort Foods, Part 43 at http://www.animalwritings.com ~

  2. I agree with the sentiments about the show; however, I had a real issue with Morgan Spurlock’s introduction, which I wrote about yesterday.

    ~ Recent blog post: Damn you Morgan Spurlock. at http://www.not-quiteright.net/tvg ~

  3. Alex, I agree with you! I really hated the intro. Geez.

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