Free Birds, A personal story

Nicole Hoffman November 1, 2013 3
Free Birds, A personal story

Thanksgiving. If you’re like one of the millions of the vegans and vegetarians in the United States, you bought or plan to buy your Tofurky to celebrate this day of thanks American style. In light of this nationally celebrated holiday that more often than not involves a dead bird on the table, and the anticipated release of the children’s animated movie Free Birds, I felt the need to share my personal story about another children’s movie not dissimilar from Free Birds that started it all.

Free birds movie

When I initially saw the trailer for Free Birds, a movie starring the voices of Owen Wilson and Amy Peohler about two turkeys that go back in time to change the course of history that solidified their place on the table, I couldn’t help but hope this lights a curiosity of veganism in children everywhere. At it’s simplest level, it gives a voice and personality to animals that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance. This reaction is probably common among vegans (correct me if I’m wrong) but it hit closer to home for me as I remembered what REALLY sparked my interest in eliminating meat from my life.

I went vegetarian at 14, then vegan at 19.

If you ask me what turned me vegan, I credit Skinny Bitch all the way. No one, though, has inquired as to why I went vegetarian in the first place. The answer I give may surprise you. At the ripe young age of 10, I was enjoying a summer at day camp which I had done every summer since I was 2. As much as I loved the swimming involved, I also thoroughly enjoyed the days we got rained out because that meant a trip to the movies. One special day, we saw Chicken Run. It changed my life forever. At only 10 years old, the idea of eating a living thing that panicked like they did before getting the ax seemed immoral. It took a few years for the thought to stir in my mind before I made the bold decision to go vegetarian at 14. If you’re not familiar with Chicken Run, the premise is similar to Free Birds – chickens trying to avoid getting the ax. Watch the trailer for a refresher.

I tend to fall headfirst into movies when I watch them as so many filmgoers do. I felt connected to these characters as whole humanized characters, not a separate less important entity of the earth or a by product of “the system”. I understood their panic and sympathized with them.

It was as simple as that. I saw a movie, I felt personally connected to it and I made a choice. The movie didn’t have a horrific scene that scarred my vision. It didn’t even show actual animals. But it had a lasting impression on my level.

So here’s some food for thought this Thanksgiving, courtesy of Free Birds.

3 Comments »

  1. Suzanne November 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm -

    I went vegan after reading an article on factory farming in my local newspaper. First I cried and then I threw out every animal product in my house.Then I proceeded to educate myself by reading as many books about veganism as I could get my hands on. I’ve always loved animals, and I was in denial for so long about what they really go through to end up on our table.

  2. Nicole Hoffman
    Nicole Hoffman November 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm -

    I totally understand Suzanne! That’s how we all feel at some point in the process. It’s what comes after, education like you said, that’s the important part.

  3. Anne November 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm -

    Before I went vegan, I kept telling everyone that I wanted to become vegan but I wasn’t ready yet & my mind just wasn’t right yet… I researched for months in Veganism and one day I watched Earthlings….. And that did it for me! Honestly I barely watched the documentary (I just couldn’t handle it) mostly heard it, but after that doc I completely went vegan over night. I have been vegan for 4 months now and I’ve never been happier with myself and I feel such a peace in heart.

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