Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Transcript of Shaun Monson's ARZone Guest Chat of 6/7 November 2010

Transcript of Shaun Monson’s ARZone Guest Chat

6 November 2010 at:

3pm US Pacific Time

6pm US Eastern Time

11pm UK Time and

7 November 2010 at:

8am Australian Eastern Standard Time



Carolyn Bailey:
ARZone would like to warmly welcome Shaun Monson for today’s Guest Chat.

Shaun is the Writer, Director and Producer of the award winning documentary Earthlings. Earthlings focuses on the suffering of animals used for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research and is narrated by Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix.
Shaun is a founding partner of Nation Earth, which is the production company responsible for Earthlings. Shaun and Nation Earth are currently working on volume two of the Earthlings trilogy, which is entitled Unity. Unity continues the theme Shaun established in Earthlings, of the interrelation of animals, nature, and humankind. Unity will explore the unifying force of consciousness found in humans, animals and nature.

Shaun’s comedy Bad Actors, a 1995 film, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001. After 9/11 he directed a one-hour documentary on
the Taliban called Holy War, Unholy Victory, hosted and narrated by Academy Award winning actor George Kennedy (Cool Hand Luke). Shaun became a vegetarian in the mid 1990’s and vegan shortly after. He is an advocate for human and other animals, as well as the environment.

Shaun has generously agreed to engage ARZone members today on topics ranging from the Earthlings trilogy, to Shaun’s extensive advocacy work and more. Please welcome Shaun Monson to ARZone.

Welcome, Shaun!


Jason Ward:
Welcome, Shaun!


Will
Hi


Valentine Vance:
Hello


Kate Danaher
Yo


Brooke Cameron:
Hi, Shaun, welcome!


Caroline Raward:
Hi Shaun, Pleasure to be here!


Ines ARA:
Welcome Shaun


Nath
Welcome :-)


Justin Lee Bellini:
Welcome mate


Gemma Elsworthy:
Hello Shaun, Carolyn and everyone


Roger Yates:
Hello Shaun


Stacey Rakic:
Hello, Shaun.


Tina Menier:
Good afternoon!


Fifi Leigh:
Hi


Sadia V Madie:
Hi Shaun, nice to be here with you :-)


Michael T Tiedemann:
Hi Shaun! Thank you for EARTHLINGS!


Daniel Manahan:
Hey bro excited to get started!


Outi Aromies:
Hi and woofh from snowy Finland! -Paolo the rescued dog from streets of Romania and Momma-


Shaun Monson:
Thanks everyone. Nice to be here with you too


Carolyn Bailey:
Before we begin, I’d like to request that people refrain from interrupting Shaun during the chat session, and utilise the open chat, at the completion of Shaun’s pre-registered questions, for any questions or

comments you have.

I’d now like to ask Brooke Cameron to ask Shaun his first question, please go ahead, Brooke.

Brooke Cameron:

Hi Shaun, thanks so much for being here today! How do you think people maintain such a separation between some species we protect and some we deem as expendable? For instance, people won’t beat their “companion

animals”, but they’re OK with eating cows, chickens and pigs. There’s a separation between animals they
“love” and those they consider property to meet their “needs”.


Shaun Monson:
This is what the new film UNITY is all about. There’s a word for this: Duality.


The reason people separate is because they are speciesists. Some species they
like. Others they don’t like. They have not made the total connection yet. So they have their preferences. We have a scene in UNITY where we show 6 little puppies on a porch, immediately followed by 6 lobsters going into a boiling pot. The point being: we would never, ever boil puppies, but lobsters? Sure, that’s fine. And yet both are expressions of life. So that is Speciesism.


Carolyn Bailey:
Thanks so much, Shaun! Ines ARA would like to ask you a question now, please go ahead, Ines.


Ines ARA:
Hello Shaun I love your work, thank you for being here and thank you for making me a vegetarian I would like to know when exactly is UNITY coming out?


Shaun Monson:
First of all, I didn't make you a vegetarian. I think the images you saw did that, and you did that. So for that, I think YOU'RE awesome! Unity will come out in Spring 2011.


Ines ARA:
Thank you, but I saw those images thanks to you


Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks again, Shaun. Nath has a question for you next, all yours, Nath.



Nath:
Hi Shaun, Welcome :-) Earthlings is by far the most powerful documentary ever made, how do you feel when you see how it moves and educates people?


Shaun Monson:
Encouraged. When the film was completed in 2005, (I intended to release it the same time WALK THE LINE came out, which was October 05, because I knew people would be very into Joaquin Phoenix with all the hype from that film) but I couldn’t get a distributor. So the film floundered for a couple years. I was discouraged and felt that not only had I failed to touch the hearts of any human beings, but I had also miserably failed to help any

animals. The distributors said EARTHLINGS would never see the light of day and to sweep it under the rug.


But in 2007 the film started to catch on, and continues to do so to this day. So in answer to your
question I am very encouraged by the positive effect it has had on humanity and the animals, and this was the only reason the film was made: to have a positive effect.

Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks again, Shaun. Tim Gier has a question for you next, which Roger Yates will ask on his behalf, go ahead, Rog


Roger Yates:

Thanks C. In an article published at the Huffington Post, you voice your support for the TV show Whale Wars, Sea Shepherd Conversation Society and direct action. You draw parallels between activists in the animal

advocacy movement with those who took part in the Boston Tea Party and the Suffragette movement.


Can you talk about what you see as the benefits of direct action and where you would draw the line in trying to protect animals and forward the cause?

Shaun Monson:

Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PETA, made an interesting statement once. She said, “We asked
nicely for years, and we’re ignored. Someone makes a threat, and it works.” This quote is less a reflection

of PETA, by the way, than it is a reflection on humanity. You have to take a stand in this world for anyone to notice you. You have to provoke. That’s why Michael Moore’s films did so well. They provoked. They shocked. Direct action can be non-violent or violent. I never advocate violence. But direct action gets an issue noticed.

I’m not sure if there is any particular line that can be drawn between protecting animals and forwarding the cause because it’s up to the individual. One individual might be extremely aggressive in their approach,

while another writes books. Both can raise awareness.


Roger Yates:
Thanks Shaun... The next question comes from Carolyn Bailey - go C....


Carolyn Bailey:
Thanks, Rog Hi Shaun, I can understand the inspiration behind Earthlings, but I was wondering what the inspiration was in making Unity, which seems to be more a philosophical film.


Shaun Monson:
This one will take some explaining, so be patient with me here. Okay? Here goes ... UNITY is more of a philosophical film, you’re right, which has made it rather difficult to edit because many segments are so

abstract. But this was the inspiration, as you said. Before making EARTHLINGS,
the inspiration for that film nagged at me incessantly. I would lie awake at night thinking, you’ve
got to show it all. You’ve got to somehow get footage of all the primary ways in which we use animals and expose it all, raw, uncut; just lay it out there in the sun and don’t hold back. After all, the documentary film is the non-fiction film. And so that’s what I did, come what may.

Then I started getting this nagging feeling for UNITY, but it was different. It was more about logic
and reason and philosophy. There was no point making another film that’s all carnage, carnage, carnage. I just did that. This time we had to challenge the viewer’s core belief systems, and the things they may feel are self-defining, (identity, race, religion, nationality, political preference, etc.) and drag that out into the sun and examine it from all sides.


UNITY asks the viewer who is Christian or Muslim or Hindu, whatever the case may be why they cultivate love and compassion on the one hand, for some expressions of life, let’s say the "in-group" (the

family, the village, the tribe, or the nation) but then have an attitude of aggression or apathy on the other hand for other expressions of life, or the "out-group." This is not unity, despite what their religions or books or prophets or civil rights leaders are saying. This is duality.


Even with all our technology ... All these religions ... All these self help books and 12 step programs ... Even with Oprah ... We're still dualistic ... And this is the core message of both UNITY and EARTHLINGS – that

we are the same, meaning we are expressions of life ... and life is multitudinous in its expression. Just
look at it ... Life is expressed as mold, as bacteria, as fish, or as lions and tigers and lambs.


The list goes on and on. We are earthlings. This is a word we cannot divide. Earthlings includes

humans and ants.... All our other words divide: human, animal, male, female, etc. But earthlings encompasses us all. Unity, as a word, also encompasses all. There is no separation. But humanity LOOOOOOOOVES to separate! So this film is about our perceptions.


Don’t worry, there is plenty of animal footage in the film. But I felt we needed to broaden our reasons for liking or disliking someone or something. And that was the inspiration for UNITY.

Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks very much, Shaun. It sounds very exciting! Flor De Oro Cabrera has a question for you next which Roger will ask, thanks, Rog!

Roger Yates:

Shaun, I would like to show your documentary in the area where I live (Jacksonville,NC), probably in an auditorium or library, I would have to place an ad probably in the Awakenings magazine to let people

know of the showing. Do I need your authorization for it? Thank you



Shaun Monson:

Yes, please. But we’ll give it to you. Go to www.earthlings.com and send us your request in an email. Shouldn’t be a problem at all.


Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks again, Shaun. Next up Jason Ward will ask a question for Belinda Morris, thanks, Jay.


Jason Ward:

Thanks Carolyn. Hello Shaun. Earthlings - and, presumably, its sequel, Unity - form part of a trilogy that focuses on humankind's relationships, particularly to animal life. Yet within the greater animal advocacy movement, factionalism, contention and strife often predominate - especially re principles, missions, and strategies.

Do you regard these groups/organizations as therefore working at cross-purposes and what, if anything, would you advocate that would promote a greater co-operation and unity of purpose amongst the various animal
rights, and welfare, proponents? Thank you.



Shaun Monson:
Yes, sometimes they cross purposes, but such is humanity. As we all evolve, no doubt we’ll stumble and overlap and point the finger at one another. Greater co-operation might require a bit more evolving, and sometimes that’s uncomfortable. Most animal groups have a name they’re branding. So

it’s a brand. And they are attached to their brand, meaning they don’t always like or approve of the way other animal rights groups, or "brands," are operating. And conflict ensues. But that is more of an ego issue (a human issue) than it is an animal issue.


When I embarked on UNITY I hoped it would be a film for the world to see, to somehow soften them in all their wars and strife. But then when I see some of the bitterness and judging and finger pointing among animal

activists, I think, “Man, the movement needs UNITY just as much as the world does.” Ha!



Roger Yates:
Thanks Shaun. The next Q comes from Brooke Cameron


Brooke Cameron:
Thank you, Roger. Shaun, how does one define “productive animal”?


Shaun Monson:
Productive to whom? If an animal exists in nature here on planet earth, it has a purpose merely because it is in-being. Being viewed as productive, if I’m understanding your question right, sounds more

like how can an animal be beneficial to another, or something else, like us humans. In which case, there are several answers. In America we don’t really eat sheep, but in the Middle East they eat a lot of sheep. So to us, sheep are not productive for food, but to them they are. (You’ll have to forgive me, I’m not sure if I understood your question properly or not.)


Roger Yates:
The next one comes from on-a-roll Carolyn Bailey - Carolyn.....


Carolyn Bailey:
Shaun, can you tell us about the third film in your trilogy, which I believe is about nature? Is there any particular inspiration for this one?


Shaun Monson:
Did I answer that last question ok?


Brooke Cameron:
Perfectly, thanks, Shaun


Shaun Monson:
I’ve already begun researching the third film. I don’t have a title for it yet, but it will be a word like Earthlings and Unity; something that encompasses all.


The third film is primarily about evolution. And by that I mean, our capacity for growth. We elude to this in UNITY when we say, “The child becomes the parent, the acorn becomes the mighty oak, the caterpillar

becomes the butterfly, and the human being becomes enlightened.” I also became rather fascinated with astronomy while making UNITY and you will see more of that in the third film as well.


But in UNITY we have some astounding images of the cosmos. These are inserted for perspective. When we realize that our Milky Way galaxy is made up of between 2 billion and 4 billion stars, and that our particular star, the sun, is only one of those stars on the outer rim of the galaxy, then we begin to realize how

silly it is for us to conquer one another and murder each other and have dominion over each other for the short time we’re here. Humanity has been at war for 97% of recorded civilization. A shocking statistic, isn't it? One
wonders what all this killing and ego is really for? What does it achieve? Ask all the Alexanders and all the Napoleons and all the Hitlers what becomes of the conqueror? Where are their empires now? Their vast and glorious empires?


They don’t exist anymore except in books.


We quote Carl Sagan in UNITY when he says, “Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.” So again, it’s

perspective And we desperately need wider perspective.. So in the third film we want to expand beyond just loving animals (as we address in EARTHLINGS), and beyond just loving one another (as we show in UNITY) into compassion for everything and anything essentially anything that is in-being. Basically, anything that Is Isness.


You know, the Hindus believe that everything has a soul, literally everything in existence has a soul. What a beautiful notion. Rocks have souls. Joseph Campbell, the great mythology teacher, describes it like bubbles in a

soda bottle. You pop the top off and where do all these bubbles come from? The void. And where are they going? Who knows? But there they are, coming and going. So these are the ideas of the third film.


Carolyn Bailey:
Thanks so much, Shaun.


Erin:
And the next question comes from Tim Gier asked by Jason Ward.


Jason Ward:
Thanks Erin. Some people complain that high-profile campaigns undertaken by some groups to save one species or community of animals reinforce speciesism. They contend that by singling out whales for

protection, for example, a group gives the public the impression that whales are special and more worthy than other animals. You speak out against speciesism, can you talk about whether these kinds of focused campaigns help or hurt all animals?



Shaun Monson:
Good question. Man, you guys are drilling me today :-) Ok, here goes... Any exposure to animal cruelty that gets media attention and somehow reaches people is a good thing. But it is speciesism, this is

true. However, I can’t say that exposure to one issue, say whaling, hurts other animals that otherwise wouldn’t be hurt. After all, humanity is unspeakably cruel. We don't need any inspiration
from activists to make us more cruel, that's for sure. Saving whales doesn’t make us crueler to pigs. We are, what I call, "deviantly brilliant." For instance: A lion takes down a zebra and kills him. But a lion would never
think of capturing the zebra and feeding him an iron-deficient liquid diet for a few months in a crate so that his meat would turn soft and pink so that he could have veal. That's an exclusively human form of cruelty. And so I don’t think any campaign that raises awareness about this animal or that, is subsequently hurting other animals even more. In short, humanity is awfully stubborn. And so we have to celebrate every victory. But I do understand your point, and I do agree that favoring one species is speciesism.



Jason Ward:

Thank you Shaun



Shaun Monson:

Did I bore you all to tears?



Valentine Vance:

not at all



Ines ARA:

oh god no you don’t



Carolyn Bailey:

Hah, nahh, I think they're just waiting for open chat to address you personally.


Thanks again, Shaun, Nath would like to ask another question, please go ahead, Nath



Nath:

Hey Shaun, Earthlings contains some graphic footage of animal cruelty for example the footage of circus animals being beaten. Were any of the people featured torturing and killing animals ever charged or sent to
prison?



Shaun Monson:

Not to my knowledge, sadly. And if they were, the fine was light and the sentence brief. But the film was not part of an investigation anywhere. The footage I obtained was from animal groups who had already tried
to punish these individuals and the business they worked for. So you might say I obtained all this footage
after the fact.



Jason Ward:

OK, next we have a question from Gemma Elsworthy - go ahead Gemma when you are ready



Gemma Elsworthy:

How can you change peoples’ opinion about eating “meat” when they have eaten meat for a lifetime, especially hunters, and people that think animals have no feelings, how do you change their view without getting into an
argument with them? Also do you think petitions actually work as I’ve been
signing and writing letters for years and they are still clubbing seals and
skinning animals for fur etc. And, your hair is great hahah



Shaun Monson:

You can’t change their view, you can only suggest. .. You can only indicate.



Ok, (thanks), I'll come to petitions in a moment. Let me address the first part of your question in regards to changing others... As I said, you can't change their view, you
can only suggest. You can only indicate. “The greatest miracle in the world is to change a single thought,” said the Buddha. Why is that? Because nothing is more real to us, in all our existence, than our own thoughts. Take a moment and think about that. It's true. So all you can do, Gemma, is suggest. All you can do is plant seeds. Sometimes your seeds will be cast on stoney ground. But other times they will take root in rich soil. Therefore, keep casting your seeds. And try not to be frustrated. Frustration arises from an expectation not being met. Hunters have a different constitution than you do, at least at this point in their lives and in their evolution.



When it comes to feeling pain, however, there are a few points you can mention that might plant a seed for them. After all, most of these animals are vertebrae, meaning they have a spinal column just like us.
This means they also have nervous systems. So ask them this: Did nature imbue
these animals with sensitivity in order that they should NOT feel? That will
stump them. Then listen to what answer they try to conjure up. One more thought. There is also something called “Expression of Preference” which means that even though animals can’t communicate to us what they are thinking or feeling, their body language will indicate preference. They flee from predators, meaning they prefer to not be killed. Or they prefer certain grass to eat. We open the new film UNITY with a
four-minute uncut shot of 2 cows at a state slaughterhouse in France. You don’t see them being killed. You just see them waiting outside before they are killed. Then the first one goes in and the door closes. The other one remains outside. After a few seconds we hear the shot of the captive bolt gun and the second cow
flinches. It frightens him, clearly. And he begins to back up, and
to try to find a way out. This is called “Expression of Preference.” And anyone with cerebral function (which may not include your hunter friends, by the way) can clearly see that this animal is scared and doesn’t want to die.



So reason with them. But don’t try to change them.
Change has to come from within.




Gemma Elsworthy:

Thank you. You said that so well!



Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks again, Shaun. Jamie Rivet has a question for you next, which Roger will ask for him, thanks Roger.



Roger Yates:

Hello, Shaun, how can we expect to accomplish anything in terms of animal lib while capitalism and the notion of animals as property
continues unfettered? Moreover, what are we gonna do about human overpopulation? I mean we are leaving nothing behind here-- we are consuming EVERYTHING. What are your thoughts? Thank you!



Shaun Monson:

Don’t worry about capitalism, and here’s why I say that. Ask yourself, honestly, “What can
I do to change this system?” You can vote, you can campaign, you can protest,

you can make phone calls and sign petitions, but what else can you really,
really, REALLY do to change things? And that answer is: Nothing.



Thomas Janak :

You could make EARTHLINGS though.



Shaun Monson:

Politicians have a hard enough time changing things and they work in Washington. But what you can change is how you spend a dollar. Every time you spend a dollar you cast a vote. So just don’t buy what they’re hawking and you’ll be fine. If everyone did that, it would change the industry. Just say to yourself, "hey man,
I'm not buying your Nikes." It's that simple



And as for human population, same question, what are you going to do about that? Well, you have a couple of options. You can choose to
not have children and you can adopt. That would help. But that’s about all you can do. And now for the most, dare I say, "spiritual" comment of the day. Remember, the meaning of life is one thing, and one thing only – – to raise your consciousness. Nothing more. Sure, you can master a skill, and start a business, or raise a family, and learn another language, but we are all still mortal, which means we come

and we go. As Buckminster Fuller said, punning the famous line from the Bible, “And it came to pass, not to stay.” This world is a transition zone for all of us. How else are we supposed to evolve from evil monsters into loving beings unless we have a transition zone to do it in?



So don’t burden your mind too much with these questions of accomplishing things in the world. Just be the most loving, conscious vegan you
can be. And then, my dear friend, you will become a sign. You will become a

signal. And others will follow.



Jason Ward:

Next we have Ben Hornby asking the final pre-registered question before moving on to the 'open chat'- go for it Ben!



Ben Hornby:

Thank you, Shaun! What’s your reaction to those who say “Don’t show me”, “I can’t watch”, “I don’t want to know”?



Shaun Monson:

I always wondered what it is about human beings that makes us NOT want to look at stuff. So what I usually do is reverse psychology. I agree with them and say, “Of course, who would ever want to look at this? Who wants to watch animals suffering?” And then I tell them how all the distributors told us the same thing. In fact, they
told us that we could NOT release this film. And that people cannot and should not see it under any circumstances. That’s how it is in China, by the way. The government controls everything. E V E R Y T H I N
G! So I start to create this mystique around it, and suddenly they get curious. They say, “Well, what’s so bad about it? Why don’t they want you to release it?” And I just keep using reverse psychology. Basically, I tell them they can’t watch it, and that they’d have to seek it out to find it. So instead of imposing it on them, I kind of take it from them. Now the reason I do this is because one thing Americans don’t like to be told is that they can’t do stuff.



Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks again, Shaun, for some really insightful responses to some great questions.



That concludes the formal section of Shaun's chat today. I'd like to open the chat up now to all members who wish to engage Shaun.



Valaentine Vance:

Absolutely wonderful!



Carolyn Bailey:

Please feel free to send a private chat message to me, Roger Yates or Jason Ward if you wish to address Shaun.



Gemma Elsworthy:

You are brilliant



Carolyn Bailey:

Kelly Carson has a question for Shaun first, but had to leave, so Roger will ask on her behalf, thanks again, Rog.



Roger Yates:

Shaun, thank you so much for being here. The single-issue debate is a relatively new subject. I've had to put a few projects on the back
burner to help a friend rescue hundreds of rabbits from our local university grounds when they announced that they were going to cull them. Isn't a "single-issue" really just a rescue on a larger scale?



Shaun Monson:

Yes, I suppose. But I wouldn't be too worried about labels. The rabbits need help and you're helping them. They intersected in your
life. Good on you, mate.



Gemma Elsworthy:

Petitions, do they work?



Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks, Shaun



Shaun Monson:

Shall I answer Gemma's question?



Carolyn Bailey:

If you could, thanks, Shaun



Shaun Monson:

Yes, they work ... to a degree. And I'll take any degree we can get. So absolutely.



Gemma Elsworthy:

Me too but I don’t really know if it helps, or they’re just left in cyberspace



Valentine Vance:

Not at all!!! I dont think



Gemma Elsworthy:

ok thanks



Valentine Vance:

Every little bit helps :-)



Stacey Rakic:

And it doesn't hurt to sign them.



Valentine Vance:

Maybe he wil say.. right.



Carolyn Bailey:

Nath, please go ahead with your question



Nath:

Hi Shaun again, What do you think of the idea and belief by some in the animal movement that factory farmed animals, where they live a life or torture and hell and then end up being brutally killed, are perfectly ok to
feed to companion animals?



Shaun Monson:

That's a tough one, isn't it?



Nath:

Indeed



Shaun Monson:

It really brings up the question of having companion animals. Dogs can eat vegetarian, no problem. Cats sometimes have a bit trouble with this



All we can do is try our absolute best. I fed these 2 rescue cats some vegetarian food I discovered and I was feeling pretty good about
myself until they started catching and killing birds and mice. Some companion

animals are carnivores ... it's a tough one



Roger Yates:

Thanks Shaun - next up is Ines ARA - go ahead...



Ines ARA:

While we were chatting here, my father called me and I told him I was busy chatting here, he said thank Shaun for what he is doing and for helping you becoming a vegetarian, but I could never make myself watch movies
such as EARTHLINGS; so what do you tell people who agree that being vegan or vegetarian is great but they are just not willing to give up tasty rotten flesh of animals?



Shaun Monson:

I don't blame you. They're not ready for it yet ... Let me explain ... Sometimes, when we are so stubborn, life has a funny way of breaking us down. If we refuse to grow, then the universe seems to lend a progressive hand, either through disease, or suffering, or pain, that snaps us out of our stubbornness. I use the term "progressive" intentionally. So those people will continue eating meat until they get sick. Or some such ailment. You don't have to worry. The universe or the law of karma, or whatsoever term you prefer, will balance things out again.



Ines ARA:

i hope you are right



Shaun Monson:

Keeping trying, in the meantime. But again, you can't do it for them.



Ines ARA:

thank you



Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks, Shaun. Daniel Manahan would like to ask you a question now, thanks, Daniel, go ahead.



Daniel Manahan:

Shaun, do you believe in Big Bang or Intelligent Design? With regards to the creation of the universe miracle? What do you believe is our reward after death for such compassion and awareness?



Shaun Monson:

Well, that's a loaded question. Holy crap, I better answer this one right ... :-D



Ines ARA:

Hahahahah



Daniel Manahan:

Bill Maher style



Shaun Monson:

Ok, here goes ... First of all, I'm an idiot. I don't know anything. The only thing I believe to be true is compassion and gratitude. I have no idea how this universe started, if it started at all. "Started" is a time word. Funnily enough, this is how UNITY begins. So I will answer you with a piece of dialogue from the beginning of the film. (I haven't disclosed this to anyone yet, by the way)



Daniel Manahan:

Awesome



Shaun Monson:

Maybe I shouldn't ?



Carolyn Bailey:

Yeah, go for it, Shaun! :-)



Ines ARA:

no please do it lol



Shaun Monson:

Kidding, here goes ... The following is the actual narration to the beginning of UNITY ...



Roger Yates:

Reverse psychology - don't tell us Shaun...



Shaun Monson:

Think of now what the universe is ...



"Space ... and outer space a coagulation that becomes a nebula. "And out of that nebula ... "Millions of galaxies ...
"And out of this constellation of galaxies comes forth our home galaxy, the Milky Way. "A group of some 2 billion stars orbiting a galactic center (well, I could go on ... the imagery is beautiful and the music is by Sigur

Ros) But the point is that worlds come into being and worlds go out of being. Just like life. Whether a god created this universe, or a big bang, it really doesn't matter Raising our consciousness is all that matters. One last thought on this. The reason there is so much suffering in this world is because we are
so discordant of love. Love is the highest possible attainment for humanity. It is the top rung of the ladder and I suspect that love is actually the lowest rung of the ladder for God, or the infinite, or the divine. Therefore, for us
to just love each other more, is to merely touch the feet of god. Sorry if that sounds a bit religious.



Daniel Manahan:

Applause! Likewise



Shaun Monson:

I'm not religious, as it turns out. But there you go.



Jason Ward:

Thank you again for your insightful answers Shaun. We really appreciate it here today- Dennis Dougherty has the next question for you Shaun - Go ahead Dennis.



Dennis Dougherty:

Hi Shaun. We have a strategic focus group (SFG) that scans the environment to see what we need to address as a company to stay in business and to be beneficial to the planet. SFG meets monthly. We shared Earthlings in the SFG group. And that group shared the video with other people in the company. They held small lunch meetings to watch the movie. That inspired people to have vegetarian offerings at several company events, large annual meetings, picnics, and small group meetings etc. Earthlings provokes, as you mentioned earlier, yet, I think the solution side needs development to balance provocation and solutions are not there yet, examples
being how to prepare delicious vegetarian meals or provide local vegetarian restaurants in the community. I think solutions or change-resources need to be considered in provocative awareness building or people fall back to old behaviors.


Shaun, your thoughts?



Shaun Monson:

Excellent point. Here's the rub though. First of all, I agree with you wholeheartedly. However, we can't police people. See, no one has to police you guys. You are self luminating vegans. You are like the sun that shines of its own accord. But a lot of people are like the moon, who only reflect light, and they go round and round in these cycles, like the moon, of dark and light, dark and light, but each of you here, who were also moons at one point, somehow made the jump to the sun. So again, you can encourage and support these people in their attempts, but ultimately they must make the leap of their own accord.



Dennis Dougherty:

Then be happy to plant seeds... Thanks Shaun



Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks, Shaun, Outi Aromies would like to address you, go ahead, Outi



Outi Aromies:

Hi from Finland!



Shaun Monson:

Hello



Outi Aromies:

Is there anything we can do to help strays in eastern Europe? The conditions in their so called municipal shelters are horrible, they are torturing dogs to death. I have adopted my dog from Romania and there are so many left, suffering, abused, starved ,poisoned, tortured. Thanks.



Shaun Monson:

Man, I wish I was Superman so that I could fly around the world at supersonic speed to help all these poor little creatures ... Sigh ...



Herdis Daughjerg:

Not only Eastern Europe. Greece, Italy, Spain too.



Shaun Monson:

Well, is there any footage of these conditions? I'm a footage guy. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I'd start by getting footage, cutting something together, and getting it out there. You know, educating.



Outi Aromies:

Yes, there are many.



Ines ARA:

yes I have a whole movie about stray dog condition in Bosnia



Shaun Monson:

Can you send any to me?

I'm always looking for footage



Outi Aromies:

I have friends in Romania who would love to send them to you Shaun!



Ines ARA:

The guy who made this movie would love people to see it so I am pretty sure he would agree



Shaun Monson:

Email Melissa at earthlings.com, tell her we spoke on this interview, and she'll get you an address to send it Thanks!!! mel@earthlings.com



Roger Yates:

The last question comes from Thomas Janak.



Thomas Janak:

With the anti-whaling day happening in many cities in many continents more or less simultaneously, I believe that energetically good
thoughts are also helping the event - do you believe that too and shouldn’t Earthlings

be shown everywhere simultaneously?



Shaun Monson:

Energy? Absolutely!!!! Showing Earthlings everywhere? Yes to that too!!!



Carolyn Bailey:

I'd like to thank Shaun for being incredibly generous with his time today and answering some great questions with insightful and helpful responses.



Ines ARA:

Yes, thank you, Shaun



Maggie Baker:

Thanks, Shaun



Pauline McGuigan:

Namaste Shaun :-)



Jason Ward:

Thanks Shaun you rock!!!



Tom Mcleod:

Thanks Shaun!



Thomas Janak

Cheers mate



Valentine Vance:

Very much so



Stacey Rakic:

Thank you so much, Shaun, that was amazing.



Carolyn Bailey:

ARZone sincerely appreciate you being here today, Shaun. You really have been awesome!



Jacqui Wairepo:

thanks Shaun - you're a legend! total inspiration :-)



Valentine Vance:

Does anyone know or have heard about the crush videos??



Will:

Thanks mate



Nath:

Thanks Shaun



Brooke Cameron:

Thanks, Shaun!



Shaun Monson:

Thanks to all of you!!!



Gemma Elsworthy:

Thank you so much



Thomas Janak:

Valentine, did an interview bout that see www.wildtimeonline.blogspot.com



Tina Menier:

Love you Shaun, your my Hero



Shaun Monson:

Be well



Ines ARA:

send me a private message valentine



Valentine Vance:

Thank you Shaun, I learned a lot!



Sadia V Madie:

In gratitude express i the delight and say Many Thanks



Nath

:-)



Herdis Daughjerg:

Thanks so much, Shaun




Carolyn Bailey:

We'd also like to thank all members for contributing to Shaun's chat, thanks everyone!



Dennis Dougherty:

Thanks for Earthlings!!!!!



Ines ARA:

nvm ill do it thank you Shaun



Valentine Vance:

I got ya. Thank you again!



Kate Go Vegan:

Many many thanks Shaun. You're such an inspiration.



Tejas:

Thanks Shaun



Roger Yates:

ARZone exists to promote rational discussion about our relations with other animals and about issues within the animal advocacy
movement. Please continue the debate after a chat by starting a forum

discussion or by making a point under a transcript.



Don’t forget to check out the new ARZone Q&A site, Words to Inspire: http://animalrightszone.blogspot.com/



Animal Rights Zone on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Rights_Zone_%28ARZone%29



Welcome to ARZone. Staffed entirely by grassroots volunteers.



Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) is a voluntary, grassroots, abolitionist animal rights social network created in December 2009 with the aim of encouraging rational dialogue in the animal protection movement through
forum and blog posts.



Jascqui Wairepo:

Hey thank you too Carolyn, Jason & Roger - this has been outstanding for me as a 'first timer' here with you all - such a cool eye opener to know there are so many wicked people around the world who share this
common outlook on life. :-)


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