Evolution Of Compassion -
Farmers Tell Their Stories
Boston Vegetarian Society Hosts
Screening Of 'Peaceable Kingdom'

MetroWest Daily News
The price of admission is a vegan dish. But the food for thought you'll take away might last a lifetime.
The Boston Vegetarian Society on Sunday will host the Boston-area premiere of "Peaceable Kingdom," a film sketching the evolution of several farmers' beliefs about the treatment of animals. On hand to discuss the film will be director Jenny Stein and producer James LaVeck, filmmakers who have devoted their careers to documenting stories of human kindness.
"Their company, Tribe of Heart, was formed with a vision of producing a series of at least four documentaries that show how ordinary people can do extraordinary things," said Evelyn Kimber, president of the Boston Vegetarian Society. "These are people who are doing things to make it a better world."
An attraction for the filmmakers is the Boston Vegetarian Society's choice of venue: The Peace Abbey in Sherborn, home of the Pacifist Memorial, Ghandi statue, Life Experience School and, of course, the home of the late Emily the Cow, who gained worldwide celebrity with her escape from a Hopkinton slaughterhouse. Emily died in April 2003 after being diagnosed with uterine cancer.
The vegan potluck begins at 1 p.m. and will be followed by the film at the nearby Unitarian Universalist Church. The filmmakers will lead a discussion of the film, which is their follow up to the multi-award winning documentary, "The Witness."
In "Peaceable Kingdom," viewers are introduced to such people as Gene and Lorri Bauston, who rescued a sick sheep from a stockyard's dead pile and were inspired to create the nation's largest farm animal sanctuary. There's Howard Lyman, a fourth-generation farmer, rancher and feedlot operator from Montana who turned away from meat to lobby for the vegan lifestyle -- and is now known as "The Mad Cowboy."
In the case of Harold Brown, he was raised on a beef farm and grew up knowing that animals became food. But when a special cow named Snickers came into his life, he questioned whether his friend should be turned into steak.
"I'd have friends who took livestock to county fairs," Brown said in the documentary. "And I realized I wasn't alone, because even these kids, too -- they cried when they auctioned off their prize cow at the end of the fair...but you could never get anybody to talk about it...I mean, the last thing you ever wanna be is weak. Weak farmers don't survive."
"Peaceable Kingdom" has been showing at sell-out crowds around the country. Kimber said it was a natural "dessert" to what will be a "peaceable meal."
"It's storytelling," Kimber said. "It's very moving and effective storytelling with an incredible story and a great vision of hope."
- The Boston Vegetarian Society will hold its annual outing, Sunday, June 27, at 1 p.m., at the Peace Abbey, 2 North Main St., Sherborn.
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