Animal Rights Cinema on Your Campus

Sometimes activism can be as easy as watching a movie with friends. With so many mainstream movies that feature the animal rights message—whether they’re about the horrors of factory farming (Food, Inc.) or cruel experiments done on Chihuahuas (Legally Blonde 2)—it’s easy to use movies as a way to help people realize how horribly animals suffer and to encourage them to make simple lifestyle changes, such as going vegan and buying only cruelty-free products. Help students see how easy it is to help animals by organizing a video screening on your campus. Here’s how to do it:

Before the Event

  • Pick a date and time when students will most likely have free time, and talk to those who run your student activities office about reserving a large classroom with a screen and other necessary equipment so that you can show your video or DVD.
  • There are plenty of mainstream movies that touch on the animal rights message; all you have to do is decide which one will attract the most students. Here are a few examples:
    • Food, Inc.: This documentary exposes how our nation’s food supply is controlled by corporations that put profit ahead of consumer health, the American farmer, worker safety, and, of course, animals’ well-being.
    • Forks Over Knives: This film argues that animal-based and processed foods are responsible for most, if not all, degenerative diseases.
    • Fast Food Nation: The subtitle of the book that this is based on is The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. This celebrity-packed film will have everyone thinking about the human rights abuses and cruelty to animals that are standard in the fast-food industry.
    • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Eating meat will never be the same! This is the film that will forever change the way you look at the slabs of dead flesh on your plate.
    • Legally Blonde 2: When Elle finds out that makeup companies conduct cruel tests in animals, she heads to Washington to help pass a bill that would ban animal testing.
    • Charlotte’s Web: See how some amazing animals plot to save their friend Wilbur the pig from slaughter.
    • Dr. Dolittle: A doctor discovers that he can understand what animals are saying, and when the animals realize that he understands, they go to him for help.
    • Babe: Learn about an incredible pig and his love for all the animals on the farm. Remember: Please don’t eat Babe for breakfast!
    • Earthlings: Joaquin Phoenix narrates this thought-provoking documentary that exposes humans’ unnecessary and cruel dependence on animals for food, clothing, and entertainment and for use in experiments.
  • Begin advertising at least two weeks in advance. Talk to those in your student activities office, in your student government, or in any other group on campus that regularly organizes movie screenings to see if they would be interested in partnering with you for this activity. With added help and resources, your advertising will reach a bigger audience, and you might even be able to get more people to show up by offering free vegan cookies and soy ice cream for those who attend. Create fliers that you can post on bulletin boards around campus, and be sure to give them out to people when you’re leafleting and tabling.

During the Event

  • You want people to do more than sit, watch, and leave. Make sure that everyone there knows why you’re showing a particular movie by briefly explaining the connection to animal rights; show a clip of cruelty to animals—such as “Chew on This” for factory farming or “Testing … One, Two, Three” for animal testing (e-mail for a FREE copy)—give everyone a leaflet when they arrive, set up a table with more information, and ask everyone to sign a petition.

After the Event

  • Send an e-mail to everyone who signed up, thanking them for attending the video screening and encouraging them to attend your next group meeting or planned event.
  • Submit a report to peta2 so that we can reward you with 500 Street Team points for all your hard work. We’ll give you 250 extra Street Team points if you passed around a petition and 50 points for each e-mail address that you send to


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