ari Quick Links, Sustainability animal rights, beef is not green, carbon footprint, cows, emergency preparedness, feminism, feral cats, fundamentalism, fundraising, patriarchy, poetry, rape culture, rhinoceros, vegetarians, video, wealth inequality, whales 0 Comments
When I read articles about animal rights by non-vegans I’m like, dude, this is an awesome effort and all, but there are lots of books written about this that would be helpful background here. (Sorry y’all, but seriously!)
ari Stories, Supporting Free-living Animals, Theory and Philosophy andy serkis, animal actors, animals at parties, animals in movies, autonomy, consent, cute, exploitation, freedom, hollywood, krisen bell sloth video, labor, love, objectification, personhood, respect, sloths, video 0 Comments
If you haven’t heard, Kristen Bell likes sloths, and her husband, Dax Shepard, got one brought to their house for her birthday. Here they are telling the story in a cute segment from NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! (with a transcript if you prefer that over audio). And here’s the video they talk about in the segment — personally, I think it’s pretty adorable to see someone so excited to meet a sloth that they break down.
This story is so great on one level — I love that Ms Bell loves sloths so much. I love that her husband is so thoughtful to set this up for her because he knew it would mean so much to her, and that he’s so supportive and sweet about her emotional reaction. I love that when they got the sloth in their house that they were responsible about it, adjusting their homeowners insurance and bringing in a professional handler and a little play structure for the sloth — it looks like she mostly just played around while Kristen gazed at her adoringly. I also feel like it’s really great that humans are starting to love animals so much that this is a part of our popular culture.
On another level, and I hate to be a downer, but animals shouldn’t be treated like actors, or party entertainers, because they’re not able to consent to the situation, and are deprived of their autonomy. I guess I could imagine a situation where an animal is somehow orphaned and rescued, and for whatever reason can’t be rehabilitated to live freely in a safe, natural habitat, so they could maybe be a mascot for their species to help educate people about how awesome they are (some wolves come to mind, but don’t quote me on that). But why wouldn’t an animal in that situation be given safe haven at some sanctuary? For every two-toed sloth (or pony!) who has a lovely afternoon at an adoring fan’s birthday party, there are a whole lot of other animals who probably have a really crappy day sitting in a cage or being forced to do the same uncomfortable movie shot over and over and over. (This is why I’m such a fan of Andy Serkis.)
No judgements here for Kristen and Dax — they obviously have their hearts in the right place. But if we really love animals, how should we treat them, ideally? Is it appropriate for our love to be objectifying, focused on our own needs and desires? Or should love come with respect for others’ autonomy?
In 1998 a little otter was found alone and mama-less, and brought to an aquarium. He’s older now, and his elbows are a little arthritic, and getting stiff, so he was taught how to play basketball. So, here you go. Meet Eddie.
Really looking forward to this film. I’m very grateful to be living in this time, when so many others are so conscious, and creating such beautiful media to help this cause.
COMING SOON: www.theghostsinourmachine.com
In Petsami’s “Dog Eat Dog”, watch the crazy true story of Zachary Quinto adopting his first dog companion at an LA animal shelter. As a bonus, the original soundtrack features some great trumpet and tuba. My big takeaway from this charming little film: If every animal were this loved, we’d be living in a beautiful new world. Adopt, don’t buy, everybody!