I Am an Animal
Premiering on Monday at 8 pm on HBO is a documentary called "I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk
". The movie looks at the 20-year history of the organization, from when Alex Pacheco and Ingrid started it in her living room, to the multimillion dollar organization it is today. It is also a biography of Ingrid, customarily honest, unsparing, and direct.
Criticisms of PETA and their tactics come from Wayne Pacelle
and Priscilla Feral
, as well as a couple of scientists. However, what's striking about the movie is that the conversation that takes place is not about whether we should or should not use animals (something the filmmakers deliberately kept away from) but the tactics used to advocate for their relief. Now, it might be going too far to say that the case against animal exploitation has been won; but the fact that we can even talk about the best tactics to prosecute the case suggests that, at least rhetorically, we no longer have to assume that the case to stop treating animals badly has to made. And, if that's so, then PETA can claim much of the credit.
We saw the film at a special screening at HBO HQ. Among the boldface names attending were Bill Maher
, Alan Colmes
, Sharon Gannon and David Life
, and stalwart activists such as Anita Mackie and Adela Pisarevsky, who take to the streets with the posters, tables, and petitions throughout the year. Needless to say, the vegan (of course) munchies were great.