The Herd—regarded as the first feminist, vegan horror film—is now available for viewing online. The British movie, which for the past year has been shown at festivals around the world and has won a number of awards, revolves around Paula, a woman abducted and imprisoned alongside a number of other captive women who are subjected to brutal abuses by an ominous corporation harvesting breast milk from humans. In an interview with Horrorthon.com, the film’s screenwriter Ed Pope discussed the origins of The Herd. “Thematically, The Herd was entirely conceived as a vegan allegory,” Pope said. “However, veganism and feminism are intrinsically linked. For the production of dairy and eggs, it is the female reproductive system that is exploited for commercial gain, so you can’t separate the two without admitting speciesism.” The 16-minute short depicts the intensely cruel practices dairy cows are subjected to—including confinement, artificial insemination, separation of child and mother, and the use of electric prods and bolt guns—before being juxtaposed by footage from dairy farms that rolls throughout the credits. “We were aware that when making a violent film with a political narrative that isn’t immediately obvious, it runs the risk of offending those who see it as just another torture porn flick,” said director Melanie Light. “Or even worse, those who share our values but worry that the only thing that will register with people is the violent abuse of women. This is why we added the end credit sequence, so that no one is left in the dark about our message.”
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