Review on Speciesism: The Movie & New Meatless Monday Recipe

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first put Speciesism: The Movie in the DVD player. Was I going to see gruesome scenes from factory farms to which I’ve already been overexposed? Or was it going to be another movie that left me depressed and hopeless about the world we live in?

I was pleasantly surprised when it was none of the above. It was really quite different than anything I’ve ever seen before. It made me think in a new way and helped change my perspective on some issues. I was shocked that one guy’s journey in seeking more about the outer world and inner truth had such a great impact on me.

Still in college with a small film crew and a low budget, director Mark Devries went out to find answers to many of his questions that centered around modern day farming – the food, the environment and everything in between. Here, just take a look for yourself (side note: to hear a great review of this movie, check out the fabulous Our Hen House’s podcast):

As Bruce Friedrich, Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives at Farm Sanctuary, wrote in the Huffington Post:

“Not only does Speciesism: The Movie ask…life-changing questions, but it does so while taking viewers on an adventure that is tremendously entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny.”

Bruce Friedrich goes on to say:

“Along the way, [Mark Devries] meets and questions a remarkably broad range of people, including Peter Singer (whom the New Yorker has named ‘one of the most influential philosophers alive’), Richard Dawkins (the most influential evolutionary biologist of the past century), and Temple Grandin (designer of the animal handling systems used by over half of the slaughterhouses in the United States).

He also speaks with anti-factory farming activists, a man who is dying next to a huge hog farm, a current member of the American Nazi Party, a disability rights activist, a vivisector, quite a few people on the street, and more–all in his quest to thoroughly consider the philosophy that says that bias on the basis of species is unjustifiable.”

The director holds an adventurous attitude throughout the film, eager to learn as much as possible, and was willing to go to great lengths to find answers. He jumped in a plane when someone told him to go check out the manure lagoons because they can really only be seen from overhead. He also pushed the limits with farmers who didn’t want to be interviewed by him.

His film was genuine, sincere and relatable. It made me think about Dr. Melanie Joy who says to share the truth of your experience because no one can disagree with your story. That’s what Mark did with this film – he guided the viewer through his awakening moments, which in turn, broadened my consciousness.

Be sure to check out this documentary and take advantage of the half-off discount during the month of January – just a few days left! Go to the DVD page and type veganuary into the discount code box during checkout.

Speaking of opening up your consciousness, I recently made a new dish with a leafy green I have feared using because I simply didn’t know how to cook it. I stepped out of my comfort zone last week and made a meal with collard greens. I can’t believe I had never used this delicious, nutrient-dense veggie! I mainly followed the directions on the bag, adding my own flavor; nonetheless, it turned out great. Don’t repeat my mistake by fearing the greens! Here’s the recipe for Meatless Monday…enjoy!

Tempeh & Collard Greens

Southern-Style Tempeh & Collards


  • 1 cup whole grain brown rice
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag of frozen black-eyed peas


Collard Green Mixture

  • 16 oz. bag of Glory collard greens
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 cups sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp organic sugar (optional)
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s liquid amino acids (or low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp Bragg’s organic sprinkle (or Italian seasoning)


  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 1 cup rice and 2 cups water to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). In a 3-quart saucepan, bring black-eyed peas and 2 cups water to a boil. Cover and simmer 25 minutes or until desired tenderness; drain the peas.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, sauté the onion, garlic and pepper in the vegetable broth for 5-10 minutes or until just soft. Add the collard greens, mushrooms, sugar, pepper, organic sprinkle and amino acids. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until desired consistency.
  3. In a medium frying pan over medium-low heat, combine tempeh, vegetable broth and amino acids. Stirring frequently, cook until the water is absorbed (about 5-7 minutes).
  4. Combine the collard greens mixture, beans and tempeh, and serve warm over rice.

4 thoughts on “Review on Speciesism: The Movie & New Meatless Monday Recipe

  1. Thanks for the review on Speciesm. Like you, I don’t look forward to seeing disheartening images that I’ve already been exposed to many times before, but I continue to do it as a reminder of the importance of activism and to support the filmmakers bringing the truth to light. I definitely plan to see this film and look forward to the different slant it offers.


  2. Off the top of my head, I highly recommend any of Tribe of Heart’s films. The Witness (the first film to truly open my eyes and raise my consciousness) and more recently: Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home I also thought The Ghosts in Our Machine was brilliantly done. Blackfish is a must-see. And if you have a chance, pick up Jo-Anne McArthur’s stunning photo journal We Animals. So many great resources out there, and its so nice to see these documentaries becoming more mainstream.


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