The Ghosts In Our Machine, a ground breaking new documentary was screened on April 30th 2014 in Grand Rapids, MI. The event was hosted by Kim Kyunghee Enochs, local activist and coordinator for the Grand Rapids Vegan Meetup Group. Food samples and vegan literature was provided byVeg Fund and Veg Lakeshore based in Holland, MI.
The Ghosts In Our Machine is a film written and directed by Liz Marshall, featuring photographer Jo-Anne McArthur and produced by Nina Beveridge & Liz Marshall. The song “Give Up The Ghost” by Radiohead is also featured. With the exception of our companion animals and a few wild and stray species within our urban environments, we experience animals daily only as the food, clothing, animal tested goods and entertainment we make of them and that is what this film aims to show viewers. This moral dilemma of how we use animals is often hidden from our view. The Ghosts In Our Machine illuminates the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world which is full of animal exploitation.
The film follows Jo-Anne over the course of a year as she photographs several animal stories in parts of Canada, the U.S. and in Europe and each story is a window into the global animal industries of Food, Fashion, Entertainment and Research. The Ghosts In Our Machine charts McArthur’s efforts to bring wider attention to a topic that most of humankind strives hard to avoid. The film asks the question, “are non-human animals property to be owned and used, or are they sentient beings deserving of rights?” Jo-Anne says, “The connection that I have to animals while I’m photographing them is one of empathy. There is a huge mistreatment and inequality between human and non-human animals, and that’s always in the forefront of my mind.”
Following the screening of The Ghosts In Our Machine, the attendees had the chance to Skype live with Jo-Anne and to ask some direct questions. This was a truly wonderful experience to be able to chat directly with the photographer and main character featured in this documentary. Jo-Anne also just released her book of photos titled, We Animals. The book is featured prominently in this documentary and is available for purchase on Amazon.