Ingrid Newkirk said, "To rid ourselves of our biases takes effort, and sometimes it takes an experience." In Year of the Dog, a charming movie starring Molly Shannon as Peggy, it takes the experience of losing her beloved dog Pencil to open her eyes to the larger, unknown world of animal abuse. While we are nation who cherishes their companion animals, even fiercely debating where Barack Obama's puppy should come from, most give little thought to the animals they wear and eat.
When Peggy, a dog lover like so many, meets Newt, she becomes exposed to the horrors of animal testing, factory farming and the fur trade. Peggy even visits a farm sanctuary and treats her coworkers to vegan cupcakes (the latter with results many of us are accustomed to).
While Peggy eventually takes things to the extreme, her love for animals - and her mission to expose as many as she can to their widespread mistreatment - is something we can all relate to. Despite the many vegans and animal advocates I've met, we are still small in numbers, and often our passion for animals can seem so mysterious to others. That is why I found what Peggy said so poignant as she tried to demystify her passion to her friends and family.
"There are so many kinds of life in this life. So many things to love. The love for a husband or a wife, a boyfriend, a girlfriend. The love for children. The love for yourself. And even material things. This is my love. It is mine. And it fills me, and it defines me and it compels me on."
After the holiday madness, this is a DVD for all animal advocates to enjoy in the comfort of their home.
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