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Envoy: Shark Cull has an important message about the harsh realities of what happens off the
east coast of Australia. In relaying this message, viewers are confronted by animal cruelty scenes.
When asked if the film-making process had been emotional, Andre Borell, Producer/Director of the film said there was one scene in particular with a baby dolphin, it’s mother and the haunting sounds that was ''very rough to watch over and over again…this stuff just sticks with you" (Embrace Brisbane, 2021).
We also spoke with an experienced animal rights campaigner, for his advice on dealing with the challenges presented by this work.
Samuel is an animal rights activist based in Norway. He writes below about how he tries to cope with the extreme animal cruelty he is regularly exposed to; and what he thinks about shark culling practices in Australia.
Samuel is also a Sea Shepherd volunteer who has spent time documenting dolphin slaughter on the Faroe Islands. You can find out more about Samuel's work on his Facebook page
"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"
"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.
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."
We are extremely grateful to Samuel for supporting our campaign and for sharing his personal story with us and with you. Because sharing stories unites us and helps us support each other.
If you are 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). On the list below are some suggested contacts and resources that might be of help to you - phone numbers are Australian:
Kids Helpline Australia 1800 55 1800 (for 5-25 year olds)
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
Emergency, also if you or someone are at risk of harm: 000
Confidential Helpline: 1800 737 732
Mensline: 1300 78 99 78
Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
Contact your General Practitioner (GP)
Contact your Mental Health Care Provider or other health care provider
Embrace Brisbane, 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