Monday, February 4, 2008

Shooting Against the Mainstream Meat-dia

Whether it’s a chained dog in your neighbor’s back yard, a dairy cow with swollen utters, a protest to stop animal cruelty, or a hen who only wants to spread her wings. Animal rights media is extremely important to the animal rights movement, and far too often over looked by the mainstream media.

Who needs the mainstream meat-dia in the world we live in today! We have every form of getting our voices heard, from web pages to video blogs the information is out there.

Making animal rights media is easy. Making interesting and engaging animals rights media is the tricky part. A good thing to keep in mind is what you want to make of your story. Do you want it to be, censored or uncensored, biased or unbiased. And where oh where should you put it to get it seen by people outside the animal rights community? And the even more gripping question is, how can any compassionate human being desensitize themselves to the violence and torture?

When making a media for animals it’s crucial to be as uncensored as humanly possible. The more we censor the lives of these constantly tortured animals, the more we lean to the direction of: “Happy cows come from California.”, and “Always natural. Always fresh.”, or everyone’s favorite, “Milk, does a body good.”. On television there may be some feathers raised for such uncensored material, and in that case by all means censor, because it’s better to be seen censored than to not be seen at all. But on the Internet all bets are off. Even if the viewer clicks off the minute they see cruelty, the significant point is they see it, and the more it’s out there the more they will have no choice but to look.

Starting a video blog, posting on Indy Media, uploading to You Tube and myspace, are all great ways to impact people that wouldn’t normally be in your community. And love it or hate it, but You Tube and myspace are here to stay and probably the best way to be seen by people outside of any activist world.

As far as desensitizing yourself to the cruelty and torture you will be seeing on a daily basest, well… This is different for different people, some are never able to completely desensitize from these images, and others just pretend to be. Remember being effected by this cruelty is what makes us fight for what’s right, so don’t be afraid to shed a few tears, just remember after you wipe your eyes clear get back up and keep working. The animals will never stop dieing if we stop working to help them.

-Njeri Sims, EBAA Interactive Media Director