The Ghosts In Our Machine

Twyla Francois & Olivier Berreville

“Liz Marshall’s upcoming film THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE delves into an issue that is close to our hearts.  As farm animal cruelty investigators we see these suffering ghosts on every investigation. There exist many levels of ghosts in our machine – from the 650 million “food” animals born and killed annually in Canada that most of us only experience as dead flesh on a plate, to the brief snapshots of helpless eyes peering out of trailer portholes we’re uncomfortably faced with on Canadian roadways.  To us, the ghosts are the millions of animals almost no one will ever see, languishing in dark, filthy sheds, slowly dying from disease, illness or injury.  These are the animals who don’t even make it to the trailers and who haunt our dreams as the ones we couldn’t help. THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE shines a bright light into these dark recesses and helps others understand what we’ve come to learn – each and every one of us can decide the future for Canada’s 650 million farm animals.  By choosing a diet free of meat, eggs and dairy you can help bring an end to their suffering.”
Twyla Francois and Olivier Berreville
Farm Animal Cruelty Investigators

Twyla Francois is Head of Investigation for Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Food Animals and Central Region Director for the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition.  She will soon be moving to Mercy for Animals Canada where she’ll serve as Director of Investigations. Twyla holds a B.A. with a double major in Anthropology and Psychology and spent two years studying Forensic Anthropology at the Masters level learning to speak for victims of violent crime who could no longer speak for themselves.  After receiving a photo of a tied up, suffering pig at a local collecting station, Twyla went on to conduct an investigation where she learned of the shocking, systemic and routine cruelty experienced by farm animals. Twyla’s work as a farm animal cruelty investigator has been the focus of numerous documentaries including No Country for Animals (Global National), Bêtes à bord (CBC Radio-Canada), and No Country for Horses (CBC National).

Olivier Berreville holds a PhD in Biology from Dalhousie University, and has been involved with various non-profit animal protection organizations for more than 12 years. He is presently Scientific Advisor for Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Food Animals and the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition.  He has been the Canadian National Contact for the International Network for Humane Education since 2003, assisting life science students learn in their chosen field without harming animals.  Originally from France, Olivier spent much of his childhood around farm animals, witnessing not only the complexity of the animals’ lives but also the reality of their exploitation at the hands of humans.  Olivier has since conducted many investigations across Canada with a focus on on-farm conditions.  His field experience, together with his scientific background, allow him to advocate for animals from a unique perspective.

Together, Olivier and Twyla have rescued and been fortunate to share their lives with numerous farm animals, from Wilbur, the pig rescued off the highway after a trailer accident, to Marlene and Natalie, unsold chicks about to be stomped at a livestock auction, to Sophie and Katie, two injured and traumatized turkeys who escaped the catchers hired to load them for slaughter..

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