Speak Out for Species

Members of Speak Out for Species gather around a vegan snack arrangement at a past Animal Voices film festival. "Live and Let Live" will be shown on Feb. 23 to cap off the festival.

Speak Out for Species, a student organization whose aim is to provide education on the moral and ethical treatment of animals, is showcasing the film “Live and Let Live.” This film is part of the Animal Voice Film Festival Series, which tackles the issue of how our society sees and treats animals and provides insight to the growing trend of veganism.

Each year SOS screens one film a week during the month of February. The first film screened Feb. 9 in the Miller Learning Center, room 148. "Live and Let Live," the last film in the series, will be shown on Feb. 23.

“One of the reasons we chose this form of outreach is because it is a great way to raise awareness and engage people across a wide range of different issues and social justice problems including animal protection issues,” said Eric Griffith, a faculty advisor for SOS.

“Live and Let Live” analyzes our societal dependence on animals as a primary source of food and reevaluates common perceptions about veganism. Veganism is defined as the exclusion of meat and animal based products from one’s diet through the supplementation of plant-based foods.

“As we grow up, we absorb from our society a lot of habits and traditions including the practice of eating animals and their milk and their eggs," Griffith said. "And often this habit relies on an unexamined assumption that it’s simply necessary and natural to eat animal products.”

"Live and Let Live" addresses the topic of our use and consumption of animals through a diverse array of personal experiences and anecdotes.

“The film is structured in such a way that you go along on a journey of a diverse array of people and interviews: people ranging from athletes, to farmers, to chefs, scientists, and philosophers, all people that have chosen to adopt a vegan lifestyle,” Griffith said.

Viewers are not simply presented with a list of monotonous facts that drag on slowly, but rather are engaged with intimate stories. This film has an internationally distinct angle as well. The different perspectives in the film are not simply from the United States, but rather represent a larger, global perspective and opinion.

The interviews span from the U.S. to Britain to Germany. Viewers are exposed to how the vegan lifestyle is growing on an international level.

"Live and Let Live” also presents viewers with the practical benefits of a vegan lifestyle. 

While “Live and Let Live” presents a variety of arguments, some being inherently ethical, and others more on a practical level, the film has no central focus. Rather, it covers a wide range of issues and is broad in its scope. The goal of this film is to present audiences with a glimpse of the vegan lifestyle and offer a solution to growing moral and ethical concerns.

“I don’t think that this film is trying to tell anybody what they should do—I think the film is laying out a range of issues and facts that people may not be fully aware of so that they can make more informed and ethical decisions in terms of their own lifestyle,” Griffith Said.

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