On Vegan Filmmakers and John Perkins
What do vegan filmmakers have to do with John Perkins, of Confessions of an Economic Hitman-fame? Nothing, other than I received messages from both yesterday (and you may have, as well).
On Monday . . . .
the first fan-managed, motion picture studio, Green Light Flix announced that it is now recruiting 50,000 vegetarians and vegans to join their "Producers Club." Blending activism and entertainment, Green Light Flix members help develop and produce media, such as feature films, videos, podcasts, webisodes, and more.
"Vegetarians, animal rights activists and environmentalists have a very rare and often negative represen t at i on in cinema and television. Our mission is to change that. We want to show activists in a positive light while entertaining and educating audiences," said Dawn Black, co-founder of Green Light Flix.Green Light Flix fills a critical gap in the entertainment industry. For the first time, a community of environmentalists, animal rights activists, and vegetarians will be able to help choose, promote and have an impact on media that appeal to them. Fans get the opportunity to discover new storytellers while getting insider access and VIP perks for their contributions."There are millions of vegetarians and vegans around the world, and many of us are insulted by being portrayed in films and TV shows as pale, 85 pound hippies that look sickly and need a murdered f arm animal's carcass and dairy products to feel better," said Scott Cardinal, GreenLight Flix co-founder and Director of Development. "Environmentalists and animal rights activists are usually portrayed as kooks, too. Imagine heroic films like 'Rocky,' dramatic films like 'The Breakfast Club,' romantic comedies like 'Serendipity,' and more — except the main characters are obviously animal rights activists and vegetarians or vegans. That is what we plan to do. The positive examples would do more to promote our positive lifestyle than all the horrific slaughterhouse videos on You Tube."
Green Light Flix' 2009 slate includes "V-Day," a forward-thinking documentary about what the world would be like in the future if everyone was vegan; "GreEntreprenuer," which is interviews with owners of earth-friendly businesses; "Guy Going Green," about a 355 lb. man changing his life for the better; a series of cooking DVDs; and a few dramas and comedies with characters that are admirable animal rights activists, vegetarians, vegans, and environmentalists.
"Producing and distributing feature films and videos can be a great form of activism. Finally, animal rights, vegetarian, vegan and eco activists have an opportunity to join in on this while supporting the causes they believe in," claims Board Advisor Steve Silberberg.
The projects are financed by Membership dues which turn Fans into Producers and investors. Once the productions are done, Limited Edition DVDs are distributed to those same Member whose annual dues financed them. Memberships start at $25 a year. Members will help make major business decisions including logo design, web design, film development, marketing and distribution, etc. Members will also receive VIP perks, such as a free member T-shirt, DVDs, 25% off all products, and more. Green Light Flix will donate 10% of net profits to animal rescue, rights, welfare organizations selected by its members.
"Many animal rights groups produce footage of slaughterhouses and animal cruelty, which most people do not want to watch. While this information needs to be made public so people can learn the truth, we also need positive videos showing what the world could be like without dependence on animal products. Green Light Flix will do that, and we are excited to support them." said Jodi Chemes, VP Youth Outreach, Florida Voices for Animals.
To learn more about Green Light Flix or to become a member, please visit www.GreenLightFlix.com
And from John Perkins . . .
The new year will be a truly momentous one. Economic crises. New US president. Radically changing world. You are an essential agent of change.
Let's keep in mind the following:
For the first time in history
– every sentient being is experiencing the same crises of global warming, economic trauma, diminishing resources, vanishing species, violence due to desperation.
– we are all communicating with each other through the internet and cell phones – less than 5% of the world's population lives in the US and consumes more than 25% of the planet's resources
– geopolitics is controlled by those who run the biggest corporations (the corporatocracy); governments serve as their vehicles, not the other way around- corporations are totally dependent on us to buy their goods and services
– we the people, the consumers, hold the power to determine which corporations will succeed and which will fail; the marketplace is democratic if we choose to see it as such.
After Obama's election, I received emails from around the world congratulating the US for having the ability to change so rapidly: from a conservative White Republican 4 years ago to a liberal Black Democrat. Many reminded me that Obama keeps emphasizing that there are great challenges ahead and we all must work for change.
We All Must Work for Change!
As you do your holiday shopping realize that every time you buy something (or decide not to) you are casting a vote. It you do not purchase goods made in sweat shops, there will be no more sweat shops (or the current ones will be turned into legitimate factories where workers receive fair wages, health care, and retirement pensions). When you refuse to buy from companies like Nike because they use sweat shops, send them an email telling them so. Check out www.sweatfree.org/shoppingguide and let those companies know why you patronize them. Little steps like that will change the world. Seem simple? It is – in principle. But you MUST participate.
Every indigenous culture tells us that we are entering a period with the potential for changing human consciousness, for creating a sustainable, just, and peaceful world. But it will not be automatic. We must make it happen.
You must commit yourself to change!
Season's Greetings. Happy New Year!
Now, Perkins' letter is definitely preaching to the choir, and the idea of changing the world through consumerism definitely has its flaws, but I'm still a supporter of using your dollars for change. Though I prefer donations, many people don't give to even one organization I'd give to, and I'm not about to support an organization I don't support just because it's a gift. Instead, I'll buy a gift. I go to places like Ten Thousand Villages to see if there's anything appropriate (and vegan), and now I'll use the above shopping guide, as well.
These days, we need all the help we can get–vegans and omni's alike.