If there’s one documentary that has opened my eyes regarding the treatment of animals for food and fur, it’s ‘The Witness’. A co-worker of mine is a good friend of the film’s focus, Eddie Lama, and she passed it to me one day. Emotional intensity is one way to describe it.
What makes this film so amazing is that you’re watching an individual take action on something that he could have cared less about a few years earlier. This guy, Eddie, disliked animals — especially cats — until one day a stray kitten came into his life and changed everything. He did research, became so appalled by what he found, went vegan, and decided to rig up a van with external plasma televisions. Now, he drives around New York City, pulls up to busy street corners and plays videotapes of animals being killed for fur, food, stuck in traps, etc. The reactions are as you would expect; people crying, shamefully turning away, jaws slacked. It opens your eyes and makes you think about your role as a consumer.
Alicia Silverstone apparently feels the same way and is getting the word out through a MySpace email; encouraging people to see ‘The Witness’. Here’s a brief excerpt from her message,
“As an ardent advocate for animals, I have long been waiting for a depiction that really cuts to the heart of why those of us who work so hard for compassion do so. The Witness gets it right, putting a human face on an issue that is too often misunderstood. One look at The Witness will convince you that Eddie Lama, the remarkable man at the center of this documentary, is truly an extraordinary person. And yet, at the same time, he’s no different than you or me.
Eddie’s story is about changing your life, taking a stand for those who can’t and being true to what is rightâ€”whether it’s on behalf of animals or any other cause. It’s a call to all of us to do something, to make a difference. In a cynical world, that is something we can’t be reminded of enough.”