Each animal treated as a Ghost has a story—a story if told from their perspective has a chance of saving many others from the industrial machine. We can either turn away from the sufferer in unawareness or we can bear witness. Liz Marshall’s film is imbued with the greatest and most needed of all perspectives— animal standpoint and sympathetic human eyes. Liz features Jo-Anne McArthur’s ever compassionate and critical lens as she bears witness of extreme animal exploitation that cries out for justice. By inviting her audience to participate in bearing witness as animal equals, Liz also presents Toronto Pig Save’s grassroots activism at a vigil in which animal activists collectively bear witness first hand to the terrified pigs in transport trucks en route to a downtown slaughterhouse. Being present and intervening is a transformative and empowering experience. As Ramakrishna, a nineteenth-century Indian prophet, said: “But my heart has grown much, much larger, and I have learnt to feel [the suffering of others].” Seeing and approaching the suffering animals is a first step to helping them and ourselves! We need to make bearing witness a worldwide social movement. In this venture, we are so very grateful to Liz, her team, and the Ghosts film for demonstrating with great commitment and artistry the power of bearing witness at all levels: film, photography, social media, and grassroots community organizing.
Founder, Toronto Pig Save
Photo credit © Jo-Anne McArthur
Toronto Pig Save formed in December 2010 after Mr. Bean, a dog, put us in touch with our community. Walking Mr. Bean on Lake Shore made Toronto Pig Save formed in December 2010 after Mr. Bean, a dog, put us in touch with our community. Walking Mr. Bean on Lake Shore made the horror and injustice of the constant stream of transport trucks carrying pigs en route to a downtown pig slaughterhouse visible and endlessly heartbreaking. In July 2011, we adopted a commitment to hold three vigils a week–a promise made to the pigs and kept in earnest no matter if it is rain or shine, the holiday season or regular workweek. We hope to demonstrate the great value of grassroots action through the power of collectively bearing witness of animal suffering. Our weekly vigils take place at a very busy intersection in which transport trucks pass as well as in front of slaughterhouses. Their grief becomes our call to action. We draw on Gandhi’s love-based program of sustained nonviolent direct action and a democratic approach to community organizing, with broad-based and inclusive leadership teams. Our hope is a worldwide, mass-based movement in which everyone is invited to bear witness and to organize community events to raise awareness and build an alternative, nonviolent vegan world. Our “Save Movement” has grown across Canada and beyond, encompassing a Cow Save and Chicken Save in Toronto and Pig Saves in Hamilton-Burlington, Guelph and Brandon; Indiana in the US; and Melbourne in Australia..
Toronto Pig Save website
Read Anita Kranjc’s blog – Toronto Pig Save: Bearing witness at slaughterhouses in our city
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