Australian documentary exposes the dark underbelly of animal agriculture

Dominion, a new Australian documentary featuring footage from factory farms and slaughterhouses across the country, is set to launch in Canberra on the 17th of April.

The feature-length film will premiere to a sold-out audience in Melbourne later this week, and provides a comprehensive account of the numerous ways that animals are used and abused in Australia.

It ultimately draws into question the morality of our dominion over the animal kingdom, exploring six primary facets of animal exploitation, including: companion animals, wildlife, scientific research, entertainment, clothing and food.

The film challenges the notion that animals are there for human use, urging viewers to consider the similarities between racism and speciesism.

Notably, the film will be narrated by international film stars and animal advocates Joaquin Pheonix (Gladiator, Her) and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Lion). Phoenix was also the narrator of the 2005 documentary, Earthlings.

According to the writer and editor of the film, Chris Delforce, the film puts to rest the idea that consuming animals and their products can ever be kind or humane.

“Dominion is largely about freedom of information. I have always believed that truth is our greatest asset in the fight against animal abuse. That’s why myself and others have put thousands of hours of into research and investigations to publish this evidence for the world to see,” Mr Delforce said.

“Dominion shows that cruelty within animal agriculture isn’t about one-offs or rogue operators, it shows that it’s part of their business model. That’s why we’re calling on the government to act now and implement a scheme to move farmers away from animal to plant-based agriculture.”

The film was first announced on the 15thof October 2015 with a crowdfunding campaign which raised over $19,000. Having since received funding from other animal protection institutes and campaigns, the film was completed in January 2018, and draws heavily upon the Aussie Farms Repository to publicise the most recent footage from across the country.

As a result of collecting footage, Mr Delforce faced Australia’s first ever “ag-gag” charge, a law which operates to prevent animal protection advocates by limiting their access and preventing them from recording the operations of commercial agricultural facilities. The charge was later dismissed in court.

“Dominion is just the beginning of what will be an enormous uprising in Australia. People can join us, or they can step out of the way. We won’t be going anywhere,” he said.

“With Australia being the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world, and the vegan and vegetarian population increasing by over 11% between 2012 and 2016, Dominion will only help to see that number grow. It’s time for our farmers and government to act instead of keeping their head in the sand about this large-scale abuse. There is a reason why the food industry has predicted plant-based eating to be the biggest trend of 2018.”

“There is no way that viewers can see this film and not act by changing their own choices and lifestyles. But that simply isn’t enough. We’re calling on the government to do something about this routine, systemic cruelty now.”

Dominion will premiere in the ACT at the Canberra Institute of Technology on the 17th of April. Tickets are available to purchase here.

Published in Curieux Magazine. Image by Simon Berger on Unsplash.

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