Maximum Tolerated Dose – I got my copy!

Last week I received my first real piece of mail at our new house (since receiving advertising for moving companies, security companies, and the like doesn’t count) was a padded envelope with a very special DVD in it. You could even say… it was a special edition DVD (because it was.) It seems hard to believe but the last time I saw this haunting, powerful film was in September. And it’s still stuck with me. Maximum Tolerated Dose is a film that explores the lives of humans and non-humans involved in animal testing. Be it the animals that are tested on, or the former animal experimenters grappling candidly with their past work in that industry. It’s artistic, haunting, and oddly beautiful while at the same time being completely heartbreaking. The Special Edition DVD comes with a 20-page booklet with an essay by Dr. Lauren Corman, professor of Sociology (Critical Animal Studies) at Brock University, and the “MTD User Guide,” a scene-by-scene guide giving extra context for the film. Special Edition DVDs contain: Maximum Tolerated Dose the film, uncut.  Subtitles in Spanish, Italian, Polish  Almost a full hour of Special Features: Full interview with Lynda Birke (40mins) & “Animals in Rocket Flight,” a film by the U.S. Army If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at the trailer and see if it’s playing in your area. You can also read filmmaker & director Karol Orzechowski’s Q&A with Our Hen House for a bit more on the salient hows and whys of…

Read more

Toronto Animal Book Club – First Meeting – Sunday, April 21st 4pm

After being inspired by a recent post on Our Hen House, a group of us has decided to start a Veg/Animal Book Club in Toronto, our first meeting is April 21st at 4pm. Location to be announced once I get final numbers. To find out more information feel free to contact me directly, on twitter – @mdgee, or join our facebook group. We’ve opted to start with The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J Adams – a book that has inspired a lot of people (as indicated by the Defiant Daughters book released recently) and inspired a lot of criticism as well/ (and more from an Animal Voices interview with Mirha-Soleil Ross – transcript) We’re looking to create a positive, respectful space to share, read, learn, and talk about animal friendly literature and non-fiction. You can learn more about goals and see a list of potential future books here, Hope to see you at our first meeting!  

Read more

Maximum Tolerated Dose – Toronto Screening.

Yesterday’s Maximum Tolerated Dose screening was amazing. You can read filmmaker, Karol Orzechowski’s Q&A with Our Hen House for a bit more on the hows and whys of the film. The movie was powerful and moving, without being horrifically upsetting (I still haven’t seen Earthlings for precisely that reason.) Though that’s not to say it wasn’t moving (or upsetting), and I may have cried quietly to myself throughout the film (along with several other snifflers in the audience.) It was beautifully shot and put together, with a thoughtful use of music to present the story and ambiance. I watched the film as both a vegan and a once upon a time scientist (though my subjects were volunteering humans). I have heard arguments from both sides (and I think it’s probably clear which one I’m on.) Showing the point of view of the humans that were once involved in animal research, with a compassionate lens was intentional and one of the strengths of this film, because I think it has the ability to inspire a shift in perception on both sides. I was left with the impression that people involved in animal medical research are not necessarily dispassionate monsters, but people telling themselves a series of justifications on why they are doing what they’re doing. One of the people in the film, Dr. John Pippin,  discussed (his own) cognitive dissonance as a former research cardiologist (now the Director of Academic Affairs at the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine) was fascinating and telling. When searching…

Read more