New documentary We Are Their Voice | The Regan Russell Story—which follows the story of vegan animal-rights activist Regan Russell’s death in Burlington, ON—attracted 2.1 million views on Facebook, 1.2 million views on Instagram, and more than 100,000 views on YouTube in the first 24 hours of being released on social media. The documentary features eyewitness testimony, legal experts, and close family who talk about the incident that led to the death of 65-year-old Russell, who was struck and killed by a pig transport truck entering Fearmans Pork slaughterhouse on June 19. That day, she was attending a vigil at the slaughterhouse to protest Ontario’s passage of Bill 156, new ag-gag legislation that bans activists from “interacting” with farmed animals to document their abuse.
“This incident transcends a story solely about a tragic death or the horrific treatment of animals,” the film’s director Jordan Ehrlich said. “My goal was to tell Regan’s story with the urgency, heart, and context that it deserves.”
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Celebrities speak out
Celebrities were quick to react to the documentary on Instagram, including Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel and actress Amanda Seales. Golden Globe and Emmy nominated actress Debra Messing described Regan’s death as “devastating,” questioning why the truck driver was not criminally charged, and Carmit from the Pussycat Dolls said, “This makes me so angry at animal agriculture. Regan was a martyr and her passion and legacy will bring awareness.”
The documentary release comes just weeks after vegan actor and activist Joaquin Phoenix attended a similar pig vigil at Fearmans Pork to honor Russell and bear witness to pigs arriving at the slaughterhouse.