Animal Unanimity hosted a movie event on Wednesday in the Wildcat Theater at Weber State University to inform students about the growing problem of animal cruelty.
“Animal cruelty is such a horrible thing, and it’s wrong,” said Brittney Jenson, a freshman majoring in social work. “Animals should be treated and have the same amount of respect as people do. Just because they can’t stand up for what’s right or have their own say, it doesn’t mean it’s OK.”
The event featured a multi-award-winning film by Nation Earth called Earthlings. The documentary’s purpose was to show society’s treatment of animals and the suffering they go through for people to get food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research.
After the documentary, a short question-and-answer period took place to help the audience further their understanding of the issue.
“I am highly against animal cruelty. I think that people that abuse animals have some emotional issues,” said Julia Bachison, a junior majoring in communications. “I think that animal cruelty is a tell-tale sign that there could be further problems, like child abuse and crimes. Animals need to be treated well.”
Writer, producer and director Shaun Monson began making the documentary in 1999. It started out as a PSA about spaying and neutering pets, but the footage he collected affected him so much that his project soon became Earthlings.
The documentary shows video footage of animals being mistreated in animal shelters, pet stores, puppy mills, factory farms, slaughterhouses, the leather and fur trades, sporting events, circuses, and even research labs. It took almost six years to complete because of the difficulty he faced getting into these facilities to acquire this secret footage.
“Earthlings is shocking and life-changing for people. It will make you look at things differently,” said Michael Brown, former president of Animal Unanimity.
In the film, Monson asks viewers to not shy away or close their eyes, but to watch and realize this is going on in the world.
“It’s important that Weber State students are aware of this issue,” Jenson said. “They should care about animal cruelty because it’s an important subject. Just put yourself in the animal’s point of view. How would you like to be treated like that?”
As an organization, Animal Unanimity fight for animal rights wherever and whenever they are threatened. This includes the food industry, clothing industry, the entertainment industry and experimentation.
“I think people need to just be aware and be responsible if they see something happening take action,” Bachison said
The documentary Earthlings was recently submitted to the Weber County Library and is available to be checked out at any time. It is also available online at www.earthlings.com.
“We all have different opinions when it comes to animal rights, but we come together and create this common ground,” Brown said.