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The Division Avenue Arts Collective (115 S. Division · Heartside Grand Rapids) recently hosted an event to raise awareness of the issues involved with the various ways our society engages in animal exploitation . The event was titled “A CONSCIOUS BENEFIT: THE ARTIST IS THE HUMAN IS THE ANIMAL.” This was a fundraiser to generate donations for Farm Sanctuary, a national nonprofit organization that "works to end cruelty to farm animals and promotes compassionate living through rescue, education and advocacy."
The DAAC screened the film “Earthlings,” a documentary on the ways in which humans use animals for their own economic interests. Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, the film explores many of the ways that animals are exploited for the economic gain of our society with little concern for the welfare and comfort of the animals.
The film is replete with shocking scenes of mankind’s indifference to the suffering of other sentient beings: cows in India having their tails broken by their handlers, chickens in a factory farm thrown like bowling balls, dolphins in a Japanese fishing port slashed and left to bleed to death on the docks, and even a fox at a fur farm being anally electrocuted in a very inefficient manner all serve to drive home the point in this documentary. It's also shown that living beings that feel pain and fear the same as humans do are treated like nothing more than raw materials in the industrial setting
While the subject matter of the film, and the cause the fundraiser is to benefit, are a somber in their nature, the mood of the evening was balanced with an opening reception featuring art by four local artists who donated 100 percent of the proceeds to Farm Sanctuary. Rebecca Green, Justin Kellner, Molly Pettengill and Cory Schneider all had several pieces represented in the showing.
Brick Road Pizza (1017 Wealthy Street SE Grand Rapids) generously provided a vegan buffet for the enjoyment of the attendees.
I am an artist/photgrapher/writer currently working on finishing and publishing my first book, Viva La Veggie - A local food revolution, and blogging about it on http://vivalaveggie.wordpress.com. I have lived in Grand Rapids for about a year. I started writing for the rapidian because I wanted to get to know my new city and its people. I work as a social media marketing consultant for Media Monkey owned and operated by My husband, Scott Warren, who is also a Rapidian reporter. We promote small businesses, non-profits, bands, and artists via social media.
Reports on: art, culture, music, food