13 July, 2012
Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home
Finally, the wait is over!
Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home makes its way into my home. Of course, after hearing about this documentary for years, I had to watch it as soon as it arrived.
First of all, I know for vegans the amount of graphic content they’ll have to endure while watching a documentary is usually the number one thing they want to know before diving into a film. So for this documentary, while there are some graphic scenes, the camera pans away for the worst part of the abuses, which made it honest but tolerable.
Secondly, the documentary is packed with former farmers telling their stories and sharing the message that, you can’t possibly understand how cruel this industry is until you live it. Those farmers lived it and then changed their ways. Many of them have now turned their once agribusiness farms into sanctuaries. It is real people with insider information.
Another thing I liked is that this documentary is heavier than most in its use of baby cows and goats. I thought this was a good move, because it can seem a stretch when other documentaries try to make the connection by paralleling adult cows with our much smaller dogs and cats. They rarely look alike. The use of calves and young goats made it easier to liken those images, circumstances, and vulnerabilities with the very similar looking animals in our own homes. The idea is that one would have an easier time mentally mirroring the sorrow and strain if they can align the two. I think this worked, because at one point, I saw all of these black calves coming down a garbage or laundry-like shoot for slaughter (apparently baby cows can be used for ultra “supple leather” not just veal), but all I could see was my black lab, Stella, coming down that slaughter shoot.
Another way that this film drives home the message is by demonstrating a Singer-like philosophy. The idea goes that we love our children, because we spend the time necessary to develop a bond with them, and if we spent our time with a cow, we would also develop a bond to that cow and wouldn’t want to eat it, just as no one wants to eat their dog. Singer makes the point that no one is really invested in other people’s children or animals, and their only value is to the people that love and care for them, up to a certain age of course. Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home makes it clear that if you don’t take the time to know and appreciate these beings for the joy they want in their lives then you won’t be able to find value in them.
Lastly, I want to give kudos to this film for focusing on animal rights versus the health and environment benefits, and also not promoting “happy meat” by accurately stating that there is no humane way to enslave and kill. (Go to: HumaneMyth.org for more information on that, and buy a t-shirt while you’re there.)
The main message of this film in my opinion: get to know these beings, and you’ll want to see them live their lives free of agony.
Veg Girl says:
“Well done Tribe of Heart, so buy this film today!”