Paul Dano Talks ‘Okja’ and Factory Farming With PETA

Published by PETA.

Actor Paul Dano stars in the new film Okja and had great things to say about the way the movie changed his perspective.

The fictional “super-pig” and her human, Mija, are changing lives. Like many people, Dano was affected by the story of Okja: “I love looking at Okja,” he says. “I think she’s so beautiful and so fully realized and feels very real to me and very emotionally real, too.”

Paul isn’t alone. People saw—in a computer-generated fictitious creature—what they too often ignore in the animals they eat every day.

Okja exhibits behavior similar to that displayed by pigs in their natural surroundings. They’re social, playful, and protective animals who bond with each other and with humans. They make nests, relax in the sun, and cool off in the mud. Pigs are known to dream, recognize their own names, learn “tricks” (such as sitting for a treat), and lead social lives of a complexity previously observed only in primates. Pigs have been observed showing empathy for other pigs who are happy or distressed. Some love to cuddle, and others prefer personal space.

In an interview, Dano said, “[Writer-Director Bong Joon-ho] told me that he was writing a movie about a girl and her giant pig. That made my heart leap. Just the image that it puts in your head.”

And Okja isn’t the first film that Dano has worked on that’s raised questions about factory farming. He starred in Richard Linklater’s Fast Food Nation and had a chat with PETA about the issues it addresses—like where your dollars are going.

Anyone who’s inspired by Okja and horrified by the suffering that real pigs endure in the meat industry can help animals in their own lives by simply not eating them. With many delicious recipes to choose from and helpful dining-out tips, our vegan starter kit makes it easier than ever to make the switch.

Have you read Free the Animals? It’s the amazing true story of the animal liberation front! It reads like a suspense novel, with riveting accounts of daring animal rescues from vivisectors, fur farms, and food factories. It’s a book you won’t be able to put down—or forget.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind