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Planet of the Apes: Speciesism Exposed

September 11, 2017
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Free From Harm

Source Free From Harm
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The third installment of the epic prequel to the original Planet of the Apes movies came out recently and I was captivated along with everyone else in the theatre. Cheering for the mass extinction of your own species is an peculiar feeling — a little unnerving when you pause to think about it — but so easy to get on board when the human species’ litany of destructive, vicious, and callous actions are on full display as they so expertly were in this trilogy.

These three films are a startling illustration of speciesism, the assumption of human superiority resulting in the exploitation of animals. Many doomsday scenario films fill us with dread of asteroids and trepidation of severe weather events, but this apocalypse — or ape-ocalypse as graffiti on a wall suggests in the third film — is more subtle, emerging from our arrogance, greed, and disregard for other species. I am not the only one to perceive the speciesist themes of the movie that this writer also points out in her article where she explains that “War for the Planet of the Apes” inspired her to go vegetarian.

Starting with the first installment of the trilogy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011, we meet young Caser, who was born in a laboratory experimenting on apes for a potential Alzheimer’s drug. The death of his mother is one of the most tragic scenes in all three films. Laboratory workers are trying to forcefully take her out of her cage, not knowing that she has just given birth. She was hiding her infant from them and gets violent when she feels she had no other way of protecting him from the humans. After escaping through the building, she is dramatically shot dead on a board room table where the drug company executives were plotting to make billions on the drug that had been tested on her. The symbolism was not subtle.

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if we choose to see
with “blinded” eyes
who will hear
the wounded’s cries
who will reach out
who will go that
one step, far
so we can be better
than
we
are.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    September 11, 2017 7:25 am

    if we choose to see
    with “blinded” eyes
    who will hear
    the wounded’s cries
    who will reach out
    who will go that
    one step, far
    so we can be better
    than
    we
    are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 11, 2017 11:43 am

      That’s so perfect, I just love it, thank you so much, sweetie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • karenlyonskalmenson permalink
        September 11, 2017 11:45 am

        thank you so very Stacey and you are welcome…still did not receive this post in my email…found it on twiiter

        Like

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