Written by PETA
Well, if you missed 30 Days on FX last night, don't say we didn't remind you. Fortunately for everyone, George Snedeker—the hunter (and incredibly good sport) who agreed to spend a month with a family of animal rights activists, including PETA's very own Melissa Karpel—has taken some time to answer a few questions about his experience. To watch this episode in its entirety, please click here. Check our the interview below ...
1. When you were first selected to participate in this show, what did you expect the experience to be like? I was pretty scared. I expected to be surrounded by people that just wanted to argue for a whole month. I'm not afraid of an argument, but I thought the numbers were stacked against me. All I was told was that I would be totally immersed in the animal rights movement. As far as the people I would meet, I expected a lot of angry people that yelled a lot. I figured girls and guys alike would be hairy-legged sandal-wearing hippies. For the most part, I was mistaken.
2. How did your opinion of animal rights activists change after your 30 days with the Karpels?I realized almost immediately that animal rights activists, PETA members specifically, were very normal folks. That being said, there are some out there—just as with the factory farms—that give everyone involved a bad name. I learned about several examples of the abuse, neglect, and suffering that occur in factory farming. It's not a pretty industry, and if people were able to experience what I did, you might see a major change.
3. What were your best, and worst, experiences during the 30 days? Living with Melissa and her family as a vegan for the month was by far the most fun. It just took a few days for us to find common ground, and then we worked from that point in a nonjudgmental way. The Karpels are a wonderful family that I was proud to be a part of throughout my adventure. I have made great friends with them, and I miss them. I am a lucky man. It's not hard to find the worst experiences—there were two. First was the initial time I spent at Animal Acres, and second was the time I spent at the UCLA protest. Without getting into specifics, I can just say that being the loudest is not always the best way to be heard. These people were deliberately offensive and were the most close-minded individuals I have ever met. On several occasions, I was verbally abused. I traveled 3,500 miles with an open mind to learn, not to be judged.
4. Are there any animal rights issues that are particularly important to you now that you hadn't thought about before staying with Melissa and her family?I am aware that there need to be changes in factory farming, but aside from veganism, I haven't heard about a practical alternative. I personally prefer to buy my meat and produce from grocers that support the smaller local farms. The Burberry demonstration was hard-hitting, but we don't have very many fur coats in North Carolina. The one subject that I find the most offensive is vivisection. I can't give away anything about the show, but I had no idea how unnecessary it was. Tissue samples are infinitely more effective. For the sake of money, it seems people are abusing animals just because they can. They should be ashamed of themselves and pray that they never have to answer for their actions.
5. What are your views on the tactics that PETA uses to draw attention to the suffering of animals? One area where I think PETA could use some P.R. work is separating themselves from some of the other animal rights groups out there. The term most people relate to animal rights is PETA. Anything that happens for the sake of animals, regardless of how offensive it is, gets hung on the neck of PETA. Consequently, most people think PETA people are nuts. I believe PETA does it the right way: education. ... They keep it fun and provide people with information.
6. If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?I can't imagine changing a thing. Our director, Jay Blumke, and producer, Matt Hobin, did their homework. It would take years for anyone else to get the entire experience that I had. I had total access. It is amazing what can happen if you walk into something with an open mind, even if it is against everything you know already. You might think you are 100 percent right on a particular subject. Here's a news flash: You don't know everything. Just watch, listen, and learn. I still can't get a hold of "bugs." Is it against the PETA tenet not to like them? I have about 1,000 red bugs (chiggers) that hate me. They're trying to eat my legs clean off. Is it OK to hate them back?
And here are some photos of George and Melissa delivering doghouses that didn't make the final cut of the episode:
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.