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December 2017
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White God: A Film for the Animals

In today's episode, I review a Hungarian film called White God by director Kornél Mundruczó. The film won the Un Certain Regard award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and the main canine actor received their presigious Palm Dog Award. This film is at once a revenge film, a science fiction film, a horror film, a political film, a coming of age film, and a film steeped in stark realism. But most importantly, for me, for you, and for the animals, it is an animal rights film. Take a listen, and be sure to watch the film. NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS PODCAST.

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Today's story demonstrates the lengths to which people will go to protect the ones they love. In her stories and plays, Susan Glaspell (1876-1948), bestselling novelist and Pulitzer-prize winning playwright, created many sympathetic characters who make principled stands. And that is why I chose this story for today's narrative; it is about a little boy named Stubby who takes a very principled stand to protect his dog, Hero.

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Everything we know about the Greek philosopher Pythagoras (ca. 580 B.C.- ca. 490 B.C. - he died when he was 90 years old!) comes from those who lived many years after him, and fortunately, his philosophy of vegetarianism is beautifully memorialized in Ovid's great epic poem, The Metamorphoses. Early vegetarians were called "Pythagoreans," and 2,500 years after his death, his admonitions against slaughtering animals for human consumption still ring true.

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Several years ago, I happened upon an amazing book called Poetry’s Plea for Animals: An Anthology of Justice and Mercy for our Kindred in Fur and Feathers. It’s a collection of poems about animals and about the plight of animals who are at the mercy of humans. It published in 1927 and contains such chapters as "Burden-Bearers," "In War Service," "The Last and Least of Things," "Braves of the Hunt," "In Captivity," and "Performing Animals." As subjects of these poems, animals are exalted in ways they have yet to witness off the page. These poems serve as touchstones that link us to the early pioneers of the animal protection movement, and they are the inspiration that can keep us moving forward.

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