Monday, September 5, 2011

Monica Richards, "Like Animals"

I am very happy to share some exciting info with everyone. I was recently asked to put together a video for a song called "Like Animals", recorded by a long-time role model of mine, Monica Richards. Monica is well known throughout the Goth scene as both a solo artist and for her role in Faith & the Muse. After doing a couple of features on her in Paragon, we kept in touch and I've been honored to call her my friend ever since.

On Monica's Infrawarrior album, she recorded her own version of the song "Like Animals" which was in the original Dr. Dolittle movie. She told me that she'd been wanting to release a video for the song for a while now but has never had the chance to get it done. I offered to help out, since I'd already been working on a documentary for For The Animals Sanctuary and have a good amount of footage stored up already not only from there but from other times I've worked with animals or just shot stock footage for myself.

Though the lyrics of the song really point out how terribly humans treat animals, we wanted to keep the overall message positive, so instead of focusing on the horrors we commit against nature, we decided we would show positive interaction instead. In a way, this helps to balance out the message and will hopefully bring a new level of awareness to some people. Some scenes feature very special animals that deserve mention, so I'd like to point those out right now:

Opening - These are wild horses that live in Outer Banks, North Carolina. They've lived on this stretch of beach for years now and are a well known feature of the area for locals and tourists alike. Strict rules prohibit people from getting too close or interacting with them, and that's what's kept them alive for so long.

00:09 - This is Shelby, a remarkable pit pull that was abused and abandoned as a puppy, and is now not only rehabilitated, but working as a therapy dog. Working with Shelby for this video was great, and her owner Joe was very nice to let us have some time with her. You can see a quick interview we did with Joe where he tells us all about Shelby here.

00:28 - Amy is the youngest cow at For The Animals. She's very sweet and loving despite almost being killed and discarded very young. You can find more info on Amy here.

00:35 - Becky and Bridgette, 2 sisters waiting to find their forever home, currently at a nearby shelter in NJ.

00:44 - Here we see Hope, Herbie, Kevina (back, left to right). They are the other 3 cows that currently live in For The Animals, and in front of them is one of the 10 female goats that they rescued.

00:53 - This is Bumper. She's partially blind and has some neurological problems with her back legs and can sometimes find it difficult to stand up on her hind legs if she's not moving.

00:58 - A year ago we took in a stray mother, Smokey, and her 4 kittens Harmony, Melody, Steele, and Luna. This is footage from when the kittens were merely a few weeks old, still nursing from their mother.

01:06 - Katie was rescued from a life of neglect, and eventual slaughter, and brought to For The Animals by 2 caring individuals who immediately went vegan after learning about the horrors of factory farming.

01:14 - Tom and Jerry. If you look in the background of the Bumper footage you'll see these guys in their cage. All of these animals have nothing to fear because the shelter they are living at is a privately-owned no-kill facility with lots of dedicated volunteers.

01:29 - One of the many cats that call For The Animals their home. I don't want to get any names wrong, but I'm 99% sure this is Peekaboo

01:34 - One of the hens living at For The Animals, again, not positive of the name here. Notice how she'd been debeaked prior to being rescued from slaughter. It's common for chicks to have their beaks burned off with a hot knife because farmers don't want them pecking at each other while crammed into tiny cages together.

01:38 - This is Debbie, co-founder of For The Animals, with Brutus. His brother Boo Boo can be seen behind him.

01:53 - Hope, For The Animals Sanctuary

02:30 - Boo Boo, For The Animals Sanctuary

02:35 - Joe Dwyer and Shelby, as we were setting up for the interview I linked to above.

02:41 - Kevina, For The Animals Sanctuary.

02:45 - This Red-Tailed Hawk is missing an eye. I don't know his story, but he was rehabilitated and now can live out his life safe and sound at a local rehabilitation/environmental center in NJ.

02:58 - This fox, along with his family of about 4 or 5 others, live in the same environmental center as the hawk.

03:02 - I don't pick favorites at all, but Herbie here has a special place in my heart. He is at For The Animals because he made news a couple years ago when he broke free from the truck that was taking him to slaughter and ran through NYC for a while before finally being rescued and spared his life. There is a very good piece on him here.

03:08 - Hope, For The Animals Sanctuary.

03:39 - This is some home footage that I asked Monica to send me of her 3-legged Shepherd Fozzie. Monica wrote a very touching, heartfelt piece on him after having to face that awful decision that we often hope we never have to deal with as pet owners.

03:43 - This Siberian Husky was my dog, Ranger. He is also no longer with us. I've had lots of pets growing up, all kinds of them, but I'd never felt loss like when we had to say goodbye to Ranger.

So that's the run-down of the important players in this piece. Some footage is personal, some was shot specifically for this, and some was shot as part of other projects.

I hope that the lyrics and footage touch all of you and will make you rethink how we treat animals. Whether a companion animal, a wild creature, an insect, or a farm animal, we're all connected. Please try and remember that the next time you hear about a child abusing an animal, or someone giving up their pet to a public shelter where its days are numbered simply because they can't care for it, or even the next time you consider a family pet or what to put on the dinner table. We're not better than them, just different, but if you do think we're better than them, then act like it. Choose to live compassionately in all aspects of your life, and show all the Ranger's, Fozzie's, Herbie's, Hope's, Katie's, Tom's and Jerry's, that they're worth more than what some people give them credit for.

More soon,

1 comment:

  1. It is a very nice video you made, sincerely.
    Soft, lovely... it brings me tears in the eyes. That's hope.
    Thanks a lot.
    From France,