Here’s an interesting example of utilizing academic study to benefit animals.
Filmmaker and doctoral candidate Mark von Schlemmer is writing a dissertation on the representation of farm animals in film, with a case study on the films Babe and Charlotte’s Web. More from Mark:
I am looking for anecdotal information about the influence of films and these works specifically on people’s food choices. Someday I also hope to write on or make a documentary about people’s “conversion” stories – what specifically helped them decide to live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
If you are interested in participating, answer any or all of the following questions in as much detail as you like. (Your information will be kept as private as you’d like, just let me know.)
1) Has a film or media presentation (TV, web video, etc.) ever had any influence on your choice to adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle? If so, please describe.
2) Are you familiar with the book or movie versions of Charlotte’s Web (1973 animated film or 2006 live action adaptation) or Babe (The Sheep Pig by Dick King-Smith or the 1995 film)? If so, how do you feel about these works in light of your lifestyle choice?
3) Describe the circumstances that led to your choice to adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
4) Please list your name & email address and note your willingness to possibly be interviewed on camera about these choices (someday).
You can look up my film work at www.BluePlanetRevolutions.org and my academic work at www.kansas.academia.edu/markvonschlemmer. Email your stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org (an email address I set up just for this survey).
Oh, and definitely check out his short film, Ahimsa, which is a totally inspiring piece about a very cool farm animal sanctuary.