'Keep fighting against the system but be careful', campaigner says
Envoy: Shark Cull is emotionally and mentally challenging to watch. The film exposes the Australian Government's desperate attempt to hide the truth about the Shark Control Program. In so doing, viewers are exposed to animal cruelty.
Just before the film's release in 2021, Andre Borell, Director/Producer, shared how the film-making process had affected him...read more
Samuel Rostøl, is an experienced animal rights activist based in Norway. He is also a Sea Shepherd volunteer who has spent time documenting dolphin slaughter on the Faroe Islands. We have great respect for Samuel, as he shares with us his personal strategies for coping with the devastating animal cruelty he is regularly exposed to:
“Witnessing animals experiencing horrific cruelty can be life-altering, at least it has been to me. My reaction, a reaction of pain, sorrow and complete disgust, made me understand how important it is to keep fighting against the systems that allow these horrors to exist.
One very important thing to remember about being exposed to such cruelty is that we all must be careful. It leaves marks. If it hurts you more than it inspires you to keep fighting, avoid it when you can. When you can't, remind yourself that you are fighting for the generations to come. Ending animal cruelty and oppression is, after all, a long haul. It will not end tomorrow.
If we forget to take care of ourselves, we won't be able to fight for the animals. So please try to take care of yourself and others. Talk to friends. Talk to family. Find friends among other activists. Cry together, if you can. Scream together, if you want. Play games, rest, sleep, and do other things than activism. But most of all, share love, laughter and smiles, and create a community that will build you all up - together.
My favourite way to shift my mind from the painful cruelty I've seen? I put my phone away, and spend a few hours feeding birds, reminding myself that all animals are individuals who deserve love and compassion - humans and non-humans alike. I hope you'll find your favourite way to do the same too.
The culling of sharks around the Australian coast, and all the other species caught by the shark-nets used there, is nothing less than animal abuse on an enormous scale. That is why the #NetsOutNow Campaign is such an important campaign, trying not just to end animal abuse, but also to end an ineffective practice while simultaneously preserving the ocean’s biodiversity.”
If you're feeling anxious, frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, or even depressed, please reach out for help. It’s important to acknowledge and talk about your feelings, it can help lessen the impact and intensity of strong emotions (Very Well Mind, 2021). If you're not sure where to get help, you might find it helpful to access the resources on our Wellbeing page.
References and further information
Embrace Brisbane (EB), online magazine, transcript of full 2021 interview with Andre Borell, Director/Producer Envoy: Shark Cull, https://embracebrisbane.com.au/shark-cull/
Samuel Rostøl, Animal Rights Activist, http://www.facebook.com/samrostolpage
Very Well Mind, https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-emotional-validation-425336
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