A new animal rights documentary premiered on World Farmed Animals Day, October 2nd 2023. “A Day in the Life of a Farmed Animal” is a collective project that empowers people around the world to speak up for farmed animals, share their stories, show their personalities, and raise awareness about the unnecessary suffering they go through every single day. With footage from 25 filmmakers from 11 countries, A Day in the Life tells an intimate and truthful story of what farmed animals go through during the arc of a 24-hour day.
Producer Shaun Monson says “This is a truly visionary film; one that draws you into the lives of animals all over the world. It is a film that achieves the miraculous, not only telling a story from the animal’s exterior, but somehow from their interior as well”. A Day in the Life of a Farmed Animal is available on their website and their YouTube channel.
Director Alessio Schiazza, who also worked on musician and animal rights activist Moby’s “Punk Rock Vegan Movie” and actor and animal rights activist Joaquin Phoenix’s “Liberty”, has crafted an incredibly visually appealing piece that also conveys the emotions and grueling lives of farmed animals in this 39 minute documentary that allows all animal lovers to put themselves in these animals’ feet, hooves, paws, and claws.
“The goal is to shed light to the animals that live in darkness and unfortunately are not seen by humans; they’re voiceless, they live in the dark, their personalities are not seen, their lives are not known, so the goal is to share their lives, share their stories, for everyone to understand that they’re all individuals, they all have personalities, and they all deserve to be free”, says Schiazza.
The documentary starts at 7:00 am in Mumbai, India, with sights of baby buffalos and presumably their parents who watch them from the distance that a rope forces on them in a place where they’re being kept for the use of humans; and it approaches its end at 4:00 am in Belgium, Brussels, on a pig farm that is nothing short of nightmares and yet, unfortunately, with common imagery from similar operations anywhere else in the world.
To this main journey of the film, they have added a closing piece filmed in Sairano, Italy, at 6:00 am. This is the location of the sanctuary Progetto Cuori Liberi, the home and place of safety of hundreds of animals rescued from a variety of situations, including the animal agriculture industry that exploits their bodies and steals their lives. On September 20th, the world watched in horror how the Italian authorities made their way into the sanctuary repressing the activists that were there to protect the pigs from an order given by the Italian government to kill them due to an outbreak of african swine fever from animal farms. Of course, Cuori Liberi is not a farm, it is a home.
Despite their courageous and compassionate efforts, the authorities succeeded in the execution of the resident pigs that day. Schiazza was there and he has said it was so clear to him that this tragedy needed to be included in the film: “… because it’s a slice of life, a slice of history, and it needs to be documented, it needs to be a reminder for the rest of our lives. It’s something that we need to talk about to make sure it never ever happens again”.
A Day in the Life of a Farmed Animal is a moving film with a refreshing approach: “ [It] captures the innate power of a documentary. No dialogue. No interviews. Just pure, honest footage. The film is deeply moving and a superb example of the true essence of the non-fiction film. This is because documentaries have really changed as streamers battle for market share, and select subjects focused on either true crime, celebrities, or episodes that end with a cliffhanger. In other words, a genre that once existed to inform and enlighten is now primarily a commercial product”, says Monson, adding “[the film] returns viewers to the profound potential and lasting impact of a documentary film that can alter the human heart. This is a motion picture that reminds viewers of the power of the edit, when to hold on an image longer, and at what moment the film must move on, leaving the viewer to ponder the outcome. This is not a film intended to entertain or bemuse, but reawaken and engage the audience’s introspection. It is a documentary that leaves space for contemplation, something lost in this age of voracious appetites for so-called content.”
The documentary has been submitted to various film festivals, so stay tuned and please support this amazing project to maximize its visibility and its potential to touch hearts and change minds about our non-human animal friends being exploited all over the world.