Celebrate World Vegan Day – Screen The Last Pig in your Community!

Looking for outreach ideas to mark World Vegan Day? Why not host a screening of The Last Pig? World Vegan Day, November 1st is an ideal time to raise AR awareness in your community (or any time in November). VegFund is eager to support animal rights activists like you in sharing this powerful film in communities across the globe! The film has just finished screening at independent theaters and on the festival circuit and is now available for community screenings. Read on to find out more about the film and how you can host a screening.

“THE LAST PIG is a lyrical meditation on what it means to be a sentient creature with the power to kill. Deeply immersive, the film follows a pig farmer through his final year of slaughtering pigs. Through sparse, intimate musings, the farmer reveals the growing conflict of a life spent ‘peddling in death.’ ”

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About The Last Pig

This intimate and deeply moving film asks its audience to understand the sanctity of life, with the goal of expanding our capacity for compassion. The Last Pig documents the journey of farmer Bob Comis’ final year farming pigs, with a soul-bearing and honest narrative about the ghosts that will haunt him forever and the struggles he faces to reinvent his life. Comis has been chronicling his life as a pig farmer via HuffPost and his personal blog for the past ten years.

The pace of the film is unhurried and meditative, enabling the viewers to absorb life on the farm and in the slaughterhouse. With stunning cinematography and a beautiful backdrop, Argo documents the life of this small-scale livestock farmer in meticulous detail. Her work illuminates the reality of this industry on a most humane level — from the always entertaining and unique nature of pigs, to the unsettling sounds of the slaughterhouse where their lives draw to a close.

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This feature-length documentary will move your audience and inspire them to question the role of farm animals in our lives. Interested in hosting a screening? Read on for some recommended steps to get started!

Host A Screening

  • Review Screening Guidelines:

Review our screenings guidelines and consider whether you’d like to plan a screening event on your own or in partnership with a local vegan or animal rights group. Also consider what kind of venue you’d choose to screen the film. VegFund is able to cover some of the costs associated with renting a space as well as vegan food samples for audience members.

  • Apply for a grant!

Once you decide you are ready to host a screening, please visit VegFund’s grant application portal to apply for grant funding to cover the film’s license as well as certain event-related costs.

We’ve already heard from activists across the globe expressing their interest in hosting a screening of this film. Join them and play a part in changing hearts and minds. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via conferences@vegfund.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

For the pigs.

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About The Filmmakers

The Last Pig Director/Producer, Allison Argo of Argo Films:

Allison Argo is a six-time Emmy-winning filmmaker and noted animal advocate. Her inspiring films, all broadcast by PBS and National Geographic, have won more than 80 awards internationally and have reached audiences worldwide. Argo has worked on the frontline for over 20 years, fighting for the just treatment of nonhuman beings. She is known for her emotionally-charged and meaningful films, particularly her intimate portraits of endangered and abused animals.

The Last Pig Producer/Cinematographer, Joseph Brunette:

Producer and Director of Photography, Joseph Brunette, is an award-winning cinematographer whose work has appeared on National Geographic, CNN, PBS, NOVA, Nature, Discovery, and History. Brunette has an ability to capture the essence of even the most poignant moments, and his sensitive work behind the camera enables a level of intimacy and honesty that reveals the vulnerable heart of any story. The Last Pig holds special meaning for Brunette, who has long been an advocate for animal welfare and the environment.

The Ultimate Betrayal – An interview with author Hope Bohanec

By: Sally Thompson, VegFund Volunteer

The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat?, a new book by Hope and Cogen Bohanec, provides insight into the secrecy surrounding animal farming and the emergence of products that use misleading buzzwords to deceive customers who are endeavoring to make compassionate choices. Drawing on peer-reviewed research, worker and rescuer testimony, and interactions with the farmed animals themselves, The Ultimate Betrayal explores the recent shift in animal agriculture and the misleading information surrounding it. Are “happy”, “cage-free”, and “humane” products really what they sound like? Do they exist? This book aims to answer these and many other questions.

VegFund recently had the opportunity to interview Hope and learn about the inspiration behind the book, her life as an activist, and much more.

VF: What inspired you to write this book?

HB: I live in Sonoma County, California and for several years now, there has been a trend leaning toward local, slow and “humane” meat, dairy and eggs. This new way of labeling animal products is so pervasive and getting to be more and more available. I know people in our area that had been vegetarian and vegan that are experimenting with buying eggs from the farmer’s market, or getting meat from a local butcher, because they felt the animals were now treated humanely. I felt that this new method of small scale farming needed to be thoroughly researched, reviewed and reported on. That’s what I have done with The Ultimate Betrayal.

VF: What was the most challenging part of writing this book?

HB: Finding the time. As the book was coming together, I could see it clearly, and knew what I needed to do, but I just didn’t have the time as I was working as the Campaigns Director for In Defense of Animals. I left IDA so I could focus full-time on the book, and for seven months, that is what I did. It was financially challenging, but I knew it was the only way I could get it finished.

VF: Was there a particular interview or conversation that particularly stood out to you?

HB: I interviewed several people that had worked on farms and in slaughterhouses that sold the meat, dairy and eggs under these alternative labels. The one that still haunts me is the story of the chicken hatchery that provided chickens to a processer that sold to Whole Foods. The descriptions of the little, newborn chicks getting caught in the machinery, having their skin and limbs ripped from their little bodies and being left to suffer all day, was just heart-wrenching. Every worker had horrible stories, but that one for me was somehow so troubling, I still think about it often.

VF: Was there a pivotal moment that helped you make the connection and begin to change your attitude towards nonhuman animals?

HB: I went vegetarian 28 years ago when I was 16 and vegan 4 years later. I had always loved animals and had images of them all over my room. One night my mom cooked a chicken whole. I saw that bird on her side, dead in the middle of the table and it clicked in me that that was an animal! I loved animals! Why was I eating them? Even though we were in Dallas, TX and no one knew what the word meant, I became a vegetarian. Vegan came four years later when I had moved to San Francisco and read a PETA brochure about animal agriculture. Learning about the suffering of dairy cows, I felt that it would be hypocritical if I didn’t take it all the way, even though it was really hard back then. I have a sweet tooth and there was nothing vegan but beans, rice and veggies. If you wanted a cookie, you had to bake it! I got really good at vegan baking and I still enjoy baking, even though it’s not as necessary any more— we have come so far in 20 years. Yay vegan doughnuts! 

VF: What outreach techniques do you feel are key to getting those we engage to understand the issues surrounding the ‘Humane Myth’?

HB: One thing I recommend is for activists to read my book. I tell animal advocates that as they are reading my book, when they come across a study or story that affects them, memorize it and have it “on hand” as you are talking to people. In conversations around veganism, more and more we are hearing people say, “But what about organic dairy? Aren’t those cows treated well?” or “I buy my meat from a local butcher who only has happy animals.” As activists, we need to be informed with responses to each of these situations and labels. We are ready with great responses for factory farming, but what’s happening now is that many people think that their meat, dairy or eggs is NOT coming from a factory farm, so it’s ok. We have to shift the conversation to help them to understand that no matter the size of the operation, or the label on the product, those animals are still suffering and we have no right to take their lives. 

VF: What’s the main message you want readers to take from this book?

HB: This quote from the book sums it up nicely, “There is an intrinsic element of cruelty in animal agriculture that cannot be eliminated with any small scale operation or organic label. It’s a business making money on the bodies of other sentient beings. This can never be free of fundamental insensitivity and a deep betrayal that runs counter to any humane treatment of another.” - Hope Bohanec, The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat?

 VF: Where can people find out more about your book tour?

HB: They can go to the Speaking Schedule page of my website for a list of events. If someone is interested in having me come and speak about the book in their city, they can contact me at hope[at]the-ultimate-betrayal[dot]com.

VF: Is there anything else that you would like to share with readers?

HB: If you would like to purchase The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat? You can contact Hope directly at hope[at]the-ultimate-betrayal[dot]com. It is also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.   

For more information on The Ultimate Betrayal, author Hope Bohanec, and the excellent outreach that she does, please visit www.the-ultimate-betrayal.com. We would like to thank Hope for taking the time to provide VegFund with insight into her life as an activist and the creation of this book, and we wish her all the best with her upcoming tour!

Hope Bohanec has been an animal and environmental activist for over 20 years. Dedicating herself to these issues, Hope has been involved with public education campaigns, demonstrations, and fundraisers. Hope’s partner, Cogen Bohanec, and co-author of The Ultimate Betrayal has spent over a decade assisting Hope with numerous animal protection and environmental issues, as well as serving as a co-author and co-lecturer on a variety of articles and presentations.