Satire is woefully underused within animal advocacy, yet you can’t just tell people to “be satirical!” since it’s frequently such a natural skill. When done effectively, I am such a big ridiculous fan, since, probably like no other medium, a good satire has the power not only to make us think, but also to make us laugh at ourselves in a non-threatening way. And yes, vegans laugh. Even lesbian feminist vegans like me.
Animator Zina Saunders, a frequent contributor to Mother Jones, has mastered satire, as is evidenced in two of her cartoons spoofing animal agriculture. My favorite is the clever “animated editorial” entitled “Agribusiness on the Assault,” which pokes fun at the increasingly popular “ag-gag laws.” The description of the one and a half minute animated film explains:
Agribusiness has pushed a law through the House in Iowa that would criminalize shooting or displaying undercover videos that show animal abuse at factory farms. Yet another example of the corporatization of our country, where the interests of big business trump the rights of individuals and free speech and access to information.
And Zina’s equally brilliant “Factory Farm Superbugs” goes like this:
From the folks who brought you E. coli and Salmonella, factory farms are breeding something new for the American Public: drug-resistant Superbugs!
By the way, if you want more of our thoughts on the importance, and challenges, of using satire as one of many tools to create social change — particularly when fighting for something as “un-mainstream” as animal rights — check out our interview with Ben Grossblatt from Suicide Food for Episode 87 of our podcast.