Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

30 Days: The Aftermath

Written by PETA | June 18, 2008

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:



<img alt="30_days_peta_1.jpg" src="http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/Images/Main/Sections/blog/30_days_peta_1.jpg" width="336" height="448"
Before the doghouse delivery

<img alt="30_days_peta_2.jpg" src="http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/Images/Main/Sections/blog/30_days_peta_2.jpg" width="448" height="336"
George and Melissa after the doghouse had been delivered

—ChristinePosted by Christine Dore

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  • anon says:

    Marie is right. Lorri has chased away LOTS of great people and would not have a problem with help if she did not. She does not belong anywhere around the volunteers. I am friends with the people that donated the money for AA to buy the land they are on and she chased them off too. She gives Animal Rights a bad name and it is troubling that more people don’t know that! Otherwise this was a beautiful episode.

  • karrie says:

    george! thank you for participating in an adventure like this. i found you to be more openminded than some on the animals side. this whole issue is filled with emotion. no one is going to respond to someone telling them they ‘take back their handshake’ because you are a hunter. get real. grow up. i have been living vegetarian for 2 years now. but i too am moved to give up dairy and eggs. i am not a hunter but i have to say i have way more respect for hunters than a factory farm owner. deer are free. they live outside run play mate live. FF animals are nothing but dollar signs. it’s about how the owners of those farms can make more money but cramming more animals in to smaller spaces. force an animal who is vegetarian to eat the ground flesh of downed animals. pump them full of antibiotics and hormones so they grow so fast their legs cannot support them so they are forced to lay in their own feces. and then they sell this to the consumer. yum yum. i think animal rights activists should spend far more energy getting laws passed to protect animals forced to live in these conditions and back off the hunters. big game hunters…totaly different story! i pulled the following off of the humane society HSUS factory farming report. Each year in the United States 10 billion land animals are raised and killed for meat eggs and milk.12 Statistically farm animals comprise 98 percent of all animals in the country with whom we interact directly3 and that staggering percentage does not even include the estimated 10 billion aquatic animals killed for human consumption. Indeed the numbers of animals killed by trappers and hunters in classrooms research laboratories and animal shelters and on fur farms and those animals raised as companions or used for entertainment by circuses and zoos collectively make up only 2 percent of the animals in some established relationship with humans.4 again george thank you for playing and i too would love to have a followup on you.

  • Chrissy says:

    Tamara way to be a bitch about a freakin sanctuary.

  • Jessica says:

    I learned alot from this episode of 30 days. I have changed my views as well. I will still keep on eating meat i don’t eat red meat i haven’t eat that in about 10 years. but i do not think it is right to test on animals or treat them so bad. I vow to boycott kfc iams proctor and gamble. i’m still doing research on others. George had guts not many people could do that. I cried watching this episode. And I’m spreading the word about the ways animals are treated. Animals should be treated so much better. My cats are rescues and it breaks my heart thinking about what could of happened to them if i didn’t save them. George did a great job and has helped me change my ways as well. Thanks George PETA and all the people at 30 days.

  • Elena says:

    I loved this show! I am a vegan and an animal rights supporter and the show brought tears to my eyes when I observed the animal suffering and when George had his epiphany rescuing and nursing the baby calf back to health. I also learned more valuable information about factory farming that I was not aware of. It was very educational and strengthens my belief in veganism. It was fantastic!

  • marie says:

    Jim I’m not at all sure what your comment is referring to??? “It’s closed minded thinking like that whic keeps people from understanding others.” I only had a positive comment about George his journey and how it affected those who watched it… Please explain…Thanks.

  • Molly Maher says:

    I just watched “30 Days” this weekend…what lovely people the Karpels and I was moved watching George soften as he was able to see touch and bond with the animals. I hope they will be friends forever George the Karpels and the animals. I would love to see a followup to see if George’s daily life has changed since this experience. Does he share what he has learned with others in North Carolina? I bet he thinks twice now about everything that has to do with animals.

  • Layla says:

    I joined PETA after seeing 30 Days. Thank you PETA for doing something on a grand level that I can only address with money and my lifestyle.

  • Ben Folker says:

    Just wondering why my comment did not get posted. I am a voice of your opposition but my opinion is valid.

  • craig from Nevada says:

    I missed the first 35 minutes…does anyone know when this broadcast will be shown on TV again? Is PETA going to make available a DVD of this show??

  • Julie Kirkpatrick says:

    I just watched the episode and shed some tears. I’m not sure why exactly… I think there was a very good representation of the journey one goes on to become more informed and I could relate to it and it can be painful! So maybe that’s where the tears came from. One thing though I don’t know if at this juncture in our history as a species and at this juncture in history if we have the time to take one person at a time spend 30 days with himher to illuminate himher to the current crisis that is happening on the planet in terms of our treatment of animals. Somehow we need to speed things up or else we all face extinction!

  • Jim says:

    Wow Marie did you put all your thought into that comment. It’s closed minded thinking like that whic keeps people from understanding others. What if George had gone on this amazing journey with a closed mind like that? We as people need to stop being so closed minded in our lives and open up to understand and RESPECT others in this world. Blanket statements like that are not going to help anything in this world improve.

  • Babs says:

    After watching the episode I went out and bought soy milk! I am definitely cutting down on the dairy after seeing the horrors that happen to cows for their milk.

  • anoumous says:

    hunters suck!

  • marie says:

    I am a previous volunteer and supporter of Animal Acres and want to clarify a few things that have been posted… Animal Acres is run solely by volunteers and donors. They are usually shorthanded and always in need of money to fund the care of the animals that are rescued like Sugar. They do not have a person sitting at a desk ready to respond to all of the emails that a tv show might produce. That being said…Lorri HAS devoted all of her life to helping animals and should be acknowledged for that but she lacks the skills of dealing with people. That is the reason why they are usually shorthanded. They have lost a lot of great volunteers due to her lack of respect for the very people who support her. It’s very sad because Animal Acres could be so much more than it is if someone else was running it. BTW I love the show 30 Days and watch all of the episodes. I thought this show was done just as well as all the others. I applaud George for being openminded enough to get out of his comfort zone and make real difference in his life as well as all those who watched his experience.

  • patty says:

    What a great show! I have been a big fan of 30 days and this was the BEST show ever except the Nazi rant. I think Animal Acres renamed Sugar to something else. I guess it has something to do with donations. Big donors get to name animals.