Russell Crowe as "Noah"

How Change Happens (Sometimes)

Back in August, I wrote in The Atlantic that we might be reaching a significant moment in the animal rights movement: the end of the use of animals in entertainment. From a new federal regulation regarding chimpanzees to the success of Blackfish, this summer’s hit documentary on the abuse suffered by animals at SeaWorld, there…

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The “Blackfish” Effect

I was back in The Atlantic today writing about the use of animals in film and television. Here’s an excerpt: Lately, though, the issue has been making headlines with surprising frequency. Last year, HBO’s Luck was canceled amid protests over the deaths of two horses on set. Similarly, Peter Jackson was criticized for the deaths of up to…

Plaguedogsposter

The Plague Dogs – Revival of a Masterpiece

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have probably noticed my passion for animal advocacy creeping into some of my posts. In general, I try to keep my perspective on these issues out of this space, but I have not always been successful at it. Still, I welcome guest posts on any…

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Does “Parks and Recreation” Hate Animals?

I don’t think of network television as a place where we can learn about our political values – but there are exceptions. Because “Parks and Recreation” leans center-left in its politics and consistently works to incorporate topical political subjects into its stories, it can be seen as an excellent barometer of mainstream progressive politics. In…

Caesar (Andy Serkis) in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

Movies That Matter (UPDATE): “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

A few months ago, I wrote about the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, federal legislation that would end the use of chimpanzees in research and experimentation. At that time, I argued that the recent glut of films about primates (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Project Nim,” “Chimpanzee”) have reflected a cultural…

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Movies that Matter: “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

In this series, Movies That Matter, we examine films that have affected public policy. See the last MTM here. Yesterday, the Senate Sub-Committee on Water and Wildlife held a hearing on S. 810, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act. The bill, known by its awkward acronym GAPCSA, will end the use of chimpanzees…