A Major Turning Point for Animal Rights in Australia


Last night Reem and I watched the Sydney premiere of the new documentary “Dominion” at the Opera House Dendy.  It was a sell-out, and afterwards the director Chris Delforce deservedly received a standing ovation. Everyone owes a huge debt to Chris and his team for gathering and sharing this critical information which we would otherwise be entirely ignorant. After years of great personal risk, (even being arrested and raided), using hidden cameras, drones and recognizance missions (even including divers into fish farms), the truth of animal use in Australia is now out in the open. After watching the movie I can say without any fear of contradiction, the myth of humane animal exploitation in Australia is finally dead.

Like many of us, I grew up being told I needed animal products for good health. At least in the modern world this is now known to be untrue and most informed people are aware that the optimum amount of animal products in our diet is zero.  Also, like climate change, there are no longer any informed people who reject that animal products have an out of proportion impact on the environment. Still, the meat industry grows and Australians keep on eating these products in increasing quantities. The most common reasons I hear are “I like it”, “it’s convenient”, and “as long as it’s done humanely why not?

Now that Dominion is out, this last remaining myth is put to bed and it is hard to see how veganism will not grow exponentially once the information is widely shared.  I say this because from my own reading I know that most humans have an innate natural compassion for others, including animals. This does not mean that I think everyone is an animal lover or even loves people.  I just mean that it is human nature to have compassion, and to wish others no harm. Charles Darwin was probably the first person to recognize this nearly 200 years ago. The evidence in Dominion removes any doubt that cruelty beyond belief is happening on a daily basis, and not far from where we live.  I know this will not be acceptable to any human being with a healthy natural compassionate nature.  Think how lucky we are that we can take a meaningful stand simply by shopping a bit differently and choosing one of so many vegan options which are now found just about everywhere.

The film is a follow up to Lucent, a documentary that focused on the pig industry in Australia.  Dominion takes a much broader look at the animal exploitation industries in Australia.  It covers all the major meat animals (cows, chickens, turkeys and sheep), dairy, eggs, rabbits, goats, fish, sea mammals, camels, dogs, and of course fur. Free range farms are widely represented and there is no good news here.  The movie is a culmination of years of hard work and drive to obtain and share facts to allow people to make informed choices. The team could so easily have been put off by the powerful vested interests but they persevered.

The movie covers the breeding, raising, transport and “processing” of animals, almost exclusively in Australia. Anyone who watches this movie will never again look at any animal product without deep and enduring discomfort. After watching, only creative self-deception will allow anyone to continue thinking that there is a humane way to kill animals who want to live. The movie completely verifies what many already know, that the daily activities in industrial animal exploitation industries (where the overwhelming majority of animal products come from) are inherently cruel.

I will briefly share two examples from the countless in the film that illustrate these points; First is the terrified sheep frantically trying to avoid the stun gun, with the multiple attempts by a seemingly uncaring, annoyed worker. The second is the way poultry (chicken, turkeys and ducks) are processed in the automated slaughterhouses, hanging upside down on a continuous conveyor lines. First they are dipped in an electric bath to stun them but if they lift their head (as many do), they remain conscious for the rest of the process where their throats are cut, and finally they are boiled, sometimes still alive. The footage showed several examples of this in multiple slaughterhouses for all types of poultry.

I talk to many decent people who are still eating meat and other animal products who believe that animal use can be (and is) done “humanely” in this country.  As a vegan advocate for five years now, I have found it hard to influence this entrenched thinking. People seem to genuinely believe it and want to keep believing it, rather than consider change like transitioning to a vegan diet. I now feel that if I can get these people to watch Dominion they will be forced to think again. I believe they will see that this daily domination and abuse of the animals in our care should never be supported.

I am going to put my full support behind the Dominion team because I care about people (including non-vegans), I care about the future of life on earth, and I care about the trillions of animals today and into the future that are and will be subject to unthinkable horrors by humans, for no good reason. Also, what I like about these guys is the apparent lack of any politics. Rather they seem to have a single minded dedication to working hard for the animals and for the far reaching effects that will inevitably follow from a vegan dominated world.

Rick for Ethical Vegan Earth Research



To watch the Trailer click on DOMINION TRAILER