Over the years activists for many causes have successfully used films to move people to action but mass media is changing faster than its audience can assess its sources. The recent animal rights shock-umentary Blackfish, which was presented at Sundance Film Festival, has received an appropriate backlash for lack of fact checking and a type of cutting room trickery that is simply not reporting or news. Documentaries have a long history of presenting both sides for thought provoking aftermath. Campaign films are just advertising. Blackfish is a campaign.
In one scene, a bloody trainer struggles to compose himself while sad music and stories of dangerous whales are voiced over the scene. At no time does the filmmaker include very important information that the trainer, who is involved in the production of Blackfish, got hurt walking into a monitor screen. Movies and stories that are designed to make you feel are powerful. But when they exclude facts to cause feelings about something that never happened, they use their viewers as pawns in their advertising goals. Check out this trainer who is featured in the movie and seeks to undo the damage done to his reputation, the slain trainer Dawn Bracheau's life's work and SeaWorld by the lies in the movie.
- We strongly discourage any further breeding of companion animals, including pedigreed or purebred dogs and cats.
- We encourage vegetarianism for ethical, ecological, and health reasons.
- We call for the eventual elimination of animal agriculture.
- We believe that animals should be left in their appropriate environments in the wild, not showcased for entertainment purposes.
- Hunting, trapping, and fishing for sport should be prohibited.
These beliefs and those who espouse them are honorable on their face. The problem is that recruiting new believers involves lying through stories like Pepper the Dalmatian and movies like Purebred Paradox and Blackfish (whales are not even fish). If gaining support for a movement includes misleading people, it's dangerous. There are many animal rights advocates who see no reason to mislead anyone and don't take part in it. They still want these policies to take hold and actively promote and campaign for laws that will get us all closer to these goals. But the majority of animal rights activists were not born in the 1980's and they know little of the ultimate goals. Most followers are young animal lovers who take excellent care of their pets and make sustainable choices in their purchases. They have no idea that elimination of dogs and cats is part of the plan.
So what can we do about it? The first thing is to unite as dog owners, then pet owners, then animal caretakers and finally as voters. Sometimes groups with differing opinions on puppy vaccine schedules and horsemanship practices spend so much time arguing about how to care for our companions we become a disjointed cacophony. Maybe we don't even get involved in politics. But "politics" gets involved with us whether we choose it or not. If you care about your dogs, pay attention. There are people with money and power who don't want you to have any. And they convince others to support them with movies like Blackfish.