Are animal cruelty videos hard to watch?

September 22, 2010

Question of the week for you guys: do you watch videos that document animal cruelty?  I can’t do it, personally.  I know some people that make a point of it so they can renew their commitment to veganism and so on, but it’s just too uncomfortable and for me, the fact that I can’t watch them drives my personal veganism home anyway.  More thoughts in this 3 minute video:

What about you? Can you get through them? How do you feel about it?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

James September 23, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I don’t jump to watch every new horrorshow that comes out, but if I’m ever going to talk to someone about a specific video, I feel obligated to see that video so that I know what I’m talking about.

I also watch sometimes to see if a video is honest and effective – if it’s something I’d “recommend.” Generally the best are minimally cut and have minimal narration. When there’s a mess of spliced footage and you need a celebrity voice to explain the cruelty, then it feels manipulative and I can imagine that a meat eater would be put off by the emotional PETA vibe. (I have to say that Earthlings is somewhat of an offender here, although it makes up for it in sheer weight and variety of footage.)

Haley September 23, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I watched a bit of the videos when I first switched over, I guess I wanted to see as much of the truth as I could, but I see no need to look at it anymore. My husband actually cried when I was watching meet your meat, I did too.

I love animals and can’t stand that they are hurt, I know they are and see no need to watch the abuse but to do my part to end it.

Jason September 23, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Great thoughts, thanks! So here’s an interesting question – how much do you need to see before you can recommend something? For raw “undercover” footage type stuff, I’m pretty comfortable with passing links along unscreened if there’s enough buzz from others in the community. For documentary style work, I agree with James, it’s best to review it first, and effectiveness and accuracy would be my benchmarks as well. Lately I haven’t been a huge fan of documentaries though, which I can’t explain fully – I know that something that doesn’t work for me might well work for everyone else, but I have a hard time referring people to things I don’t want to watch…

James September 24, 2010 at 7:40 am

I know what you mean. Usually a few seconds will let you know what kind of video it is, although I usually sit through in morbid inertia.

Steph September 26, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Yeah, can’t do it. Definitely feel like it’s required watching if you want to particpate in the meat-eating system. Fully participate! Or fully unparticipate

Colleen September 27, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I don’t and can’t watch animal cruelty videos for pretty much exactly the reasons you articulate, Jason. My visual memory is too strong and once I see something terrible, I cannot keep it from replaying endlessly in my brain. I know why I’m vegan so I don’t need the reminder; more importantly, watching things like Earthlings pushes me too quickly and easily towards despair – and that won’t help me or the beasties.

Jan September 28, 2010 at 1:55 am

First of all, thanks for what you do here – it really helps! I am new to veganism; although I have “dabbled in” vegetarianism and veganism for decades, it’s only been 10 weeks since I became a confirmed vegan. Countless videos and articles have moved me towards this decision, but “Earthlings” was the one that finally “got me there.” I was done consuming animal products as soon as I was done watching “Earthlings” (which took me several days because it was so upsetting). As incredibly hard as it is, I do continue watching and re-watching similar videos, reading and re-reading similar articles. Right now, at least, I need the motivation; maybe it’s because it is particularly difficult and expensive to be vegan where I live, because support is very hard to come by in my world, and/or because I’m 55 and breaking life-long habits. Thank you again!

Jason September 28, 2010 at 10:44 am

Jan, not to be ageist, but I love hearing about 55 year old new vegans! Thanks and congratulations – be sure to ask if you’ve got any questions!

Heather September 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm

No, I can’t get through them and don’t try anymore. I did attempt to read the transcript to one recently, thinking that would be easier for me, but even that set me off crying.

Where I live, I have a constant reminder of animal suffering and cruelty that is more than enough to keep me committed. On my daily commute, I see anywhere from 2-20 animal transport trucks. And this time of year, I see everything from huge billboards promoting hunting ammo to pictures of little kids proudly showing off their dead deer in the “Celebration” section of the paper. 🙁

Jan September 28, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Thanks for the offer, Jason!

ran ran ruuuuu November 11, 2010 at 2:16 am

T_T i don’t want to watch that video of a woman cru–ing a cat i alomst had a ♥attack :,( i can’t stop crying why would a dumbass korean do that with her fucking heels i hate that stuff

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