How does seeing violence in vegan documentaries affect you? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-04-2016, 11:57 AM
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Question How does seeing violence in vegan documentaries affect you?

So, I'm just 30 minutes into Earthlings. Obviously it's a pretty upsetting movie. I'm wondering if anyone feels like they're actually a worse person for having seen the kind of violence portrayed over and over again in this film. I mean, if you can tolerate watching it, would it eventually desensitize you to the violence? And if you do make it through the whole thing without feeling desensitized by the end, does that mean you're suffering mental anguish for a while afterwards? I'm not typically a queasy person, but I'm wondering if I should stop watching it at this point.

I do understand movies like this are a powerful reminder/motivator for people to stay/go vegan, which is a good thing, but what are the costs?
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#2 Old 07-04-2016, 12:17 PM
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I've watched a few documentaries over the years - Meet Your Meat literally changed my life. I've watched Earthlings, Glass Houses, and a few less graphic documentaries too. But I don't watch them anymore - I don't need to, thank you very much! I feel I've earned the right to say "Nope, I know the outcome here, and I don't need to see it!" Sometimes a Mercy for Animals post on FB catches me off guard, and I see clips I really didn't intend to watch.

As for becoming desensitized, I can't imagine watching these kinds of films would desensitize most sincere animal lovers. I think your heart would just break over and over. I know mine does.

I think these films are powerful and enlightening, and open the eyes of the general public about to really happens to animals in animal agriculture. But I don't think it's necessary for a veg*n to keep viewing them, especially if they've accomplished what they were intended to do - make the viewer look for alternatives to animal products.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#3 Old 07-04-2016, 12:43 PM
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How does seeing violence in vegan documentaries affect you?

For me, the longer I'm on this journey (11 years and counting) the more sensitive I'm becoming. I can't watch anything with any kind of violence anymore.

I saw some kids who were digging in the dirt, the other day, and they came upon what looked like a cicada larvae. They proceeded to kill it and I feel like it disturbed me more than it should have. I started thinking about the whole cicada cycle of life and felt really bad because it was such a senseless act.

So no, no desensitizing going on here.


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#4 Old 07-04-2016, 01:18 PM
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Sad that so many people still contribute to it, but at the same time relieved that I am not contributing to it anymore.
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#5 Old 07-04-2016, 02:09 PM
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I'm not a fan of violence. I have never seen "Meet your meat" or similar graphic documentaries and never plan/need to.
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#6 Old 07-04-2016, 02:48 PM
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I have so far avoided watching Earthlings and any other similar kind of documentary, simply because I am incredibly emotional when it comes to the mistreatment of animals (SPCA commercials make me cry). Cowspiracy is pretty tame by comparison (from what I understand) and I was sobbing through a good portion of that one, so I know I'm not going to be able to handle anything more graphic than that. So, no - no danger here of me needing a reminder why I'm vegan ^_^
@karenlovessnow I can 100% relate to that. I would have been very disturbed too - I would possibly even have said something to the kids (if their parents aren't teaching them to revere life, someone ought to). I say a little prayer whenever I see a dead bird or squirrel on the side of the road, even knowing it's possible they died of natural causes; I still feel like they deserve reverence.
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#7 Old 07-04-2016, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
I think these films are powerful and enlightening, and open the eyes of the general public about to really happens to animals in animal agriculture. But I don't think it's necessary for a veg*n to keep viewing them, especially if they've accomplished what they were intended to do - make the viewer look for alternatives to animal products.
That's a good point. Once someone's an established vegan, it's like preaching to the choir. I'm a new vegan (been vegetarian for a few years, and transitioning to veganism). I've been full vegan for just over a month now. I still have that "new vegan high." I want to watch these documentaries to strengthen my resolve and make sure I won't go back once this intense energy and passion fades. Today, my resolve was shaken by being invited to a 4th of July event. I turned it down. There would be hotdogs, potato chips, beer, and cake there. I know I could bring a vegan hotdog or hamburger patty and microwave it, but not only would I have to be assertive enough to do that, but also it's taking place in the house of a hunter where deer heads and guns are proudly displayed on the wall. Not only would I have to look at that stuff, but I'd be torn to pieces for my own values and ethics by a group of people who can't help but get into political debates.

Long story short, I turned them down. However, I hate that feeling compassionate towards animals makes me the outcast. So, I like to watch and do things that make me feel less crazy, and more like it's crazy to kill and eat animals in the first place, haha.
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#8 Old 07-04-2016, 04:20 PM
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I watched some of Meet your Meat years ago, and went vegetarian immediately (young son was urging me to). I can't stand any violent images, they stay in my eyes. I watched Cowspiracy recently, closed my eyes only a few times.

At a veg fair, PeTA was paying people a dollar to watch a five minute video. I was there with some vegans, some not. We vegans waited for the not vegans, who did watch it. And they didn't take the dollar, the PeTA girl said that only kids usually took the dollar after watching the graphic video.
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#9 Old 07-04-2016, 04:41 PM
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We vegans waited for the not vegans, who did watch it. And they didn't take the dollar, the PeTA girl said that only kids usually took the dollar after watching the graphic video.
Wow, I can't imagine children watching such violent videos! I don't like that they exploited the sensitivity of children by putting violent and distressing images in their heads. I watched Forks over Knives and Vegucated, and neither were so revolving around the violence, and I thought both were much more convincing!
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#10 Old 07-05-2016, 01:13 AM
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Wow, I can't imagine children watching such violent videos! I don't like that they exploited the sensitivity of children by putting violent and distressing images in their heads. I watched Forks over Knives and Vegucated, and neither were so revolving around the violence, and I thought both were much more convincing!
They told the parents it was graphic, so I guess it is their decision. I'm assuming it wasn't little kids, I saw a couple of 10-year olds.
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#11 Old 07-05-2016, 09:08 PM
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I do not want to watch it. I worked as a person who took colostrum from dairies so it could be used for medical "human" reasons for premature human infants. This took the food (colostrum is the first milk of a Heifer which is a virgin cow having her first calf). The colostrum was taken from the cow and not fed to the calves. Colostrum is needed by the calves to have an immune system. I would walk over dead calves who had expired for need of their mother's milk, and would actually see a lot of the things they talk about in vegan documentaries, like cows dying in the schutes, (picked up by front loaders) but would see little dead calves just scattered on the ground. I would see cows all peering into the barns trying to catch sight of their babies. Sorry if this is inarticulate, but I saw that stuff. It is true!!! It makes you feel awful. I always think when I know a bad part is coming up-- It is true anyway. I don't have to really see it. I have seen it out of the corner of my eye, and I have seen (and smelled) what the real thing actually is like. At this point almost any picture/video shown to me by a vegan is true. They tell the truth.
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#12 Old 07-06-2016, 02:27 AM
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I can't stand watching violence of any kind. I never have been able to make it through the whole movie Earthlings, and don't feel the need to. That and other vegan documentaries (and books) had a profound effect on me. I have never been able to look at animal foods and products the same way. I also had nightmares watching holocaust movies and documentaries, such as Schindler's List. Very tough. I feel more compassion for people who are marginalized in some way, whether homeless, or mentally ill, or because their beliefs put them at odds with the majority. I don't like to see mistreatment of anyone.

I have always been very sensitive to the pain and suffering of others. I wonder though, if maybe there are degrees of sensitivity among people? And if culture and upbringing influence this?

I have a vegan friend on Facebook, and she just went vegan a half year ago. But I saw a photo of her on her page from several years ago fishing with her husband and holding up a fish and smiling for the photo. And I remembered when I used to fish with my Dad, and do the same thing. For the most part we would always put the fish back as soon as possible and rarely ate them (which in hindsight is even worse), but now I imagine the suffering and terror those fish must have suffered being hooked and dragged out of water and handled by foreign creatures. And gasping while being out of water. Even if they were put back in the water, it must have stressed their bodies terribly. Why didn't I think of these things back then? Maybe it was cultural influence, that fish are less important than people, or don't feel the pain and suffering we do. Fishing is seen as this great sport. Fish are viewed as a necessary food for humans. But I know now this is all untrue. Fishing as a sport now seems absurd. I'm sure my friend feels the same way now.

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#13 Old 07-06-2016, 12:52 PM
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I don't watch such documentaries, and will never watch them. I know what is done to millions of nonhumans daily.
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#14 Old 07-10-2016, 01:33 PM
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I pretty much always watch them. I feel I have an obligation to be continually reminded of what's going on around us no matter how uncomfortable it makes me.
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