When I tell people that I just finished my Honours degree with a thesis on cannibalism in the movies, the main response I get is ‘what the…?’
My focus on films about cannibalism didn’t develop out of a love for horror movies, but out of my long-held passion for animal rights.
It’s astounding to me that while we are shocked and disgusted at depictions of cannibalism, most people can still carve the dead flesh of animals, chew it up, and ingest it without a second thought.
All living beings are comprised of the same things: flesh, bone, and blood; we all share the same capacity for love, joy, fear, and pain.
With my thesis, I wanted to explore and break down the disconnect that keeps people from seeing every animal they eat as an individual who did not want to die, who most likely suffered throughout his or her life, and who endured a terrifying and grisly death.
I am grateful to the educators at Southern Cross University for awarding my thesis the University Medal.
But for me, the true measure of success will be my ability to use what I’ve learned to help people see other animals not as meals, but as the individuals that they are.
My other big project, the Australian Vegan Starter Kit, is available right now from PETA.org.au.
Desmond Bellamy , PETA Australia