By Barefoot Vegan's Honey Morris
"Called to Rescue" is a documentary providing an inside look into life on a sanctuary, the dedication of the staff and volunteers in maintaining a safe haven for the animals, the importance of donations and, of course, the incredible stories of the animals.
"Called to Rescue" is an inspiring and thought provoking documentary.
We caught up with Co-Director and Executive Producer, Naomi Call, to tell us more …
Naomi, firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself and the team involved in this inspiring documentary?
The team is myself and my two sons, Auston Call and Loghan Call. My sons, who at the time we shot the film were both based in Los Angeles, have extensive experience with film and broadcast journalism.
My background is in the healing arts. For over 35 years I have worked as a nutritionist, plant based chef, life coach, yoga, cooking and meditation teacher. I became vegetarian in college in the late 70’s. I raised my sons in rural upstate New York with an evolving plant based lifestyle. Everything was organic and we grew a lot of our own food.
So, what and/or who was the inspiration behind the documentary?
For years, I had been striving to make an ever greater difference in raising awareness about factory farming, and inspire more sustainable and compassionate choices. Five years ago I started AMeatFreeMonth.org. We offer a month of free vegan recipes that are also soy and gluten free. We’ve reached many people …though it was still not enough.
I knew we needed to use the power of film to tell a positive message and my sons and I happen to have a uniquely perfect set of skills. Most people cannot watch undercover footage of factory farms, and they also don’t want to be confronted with challenging, and deeply personal truths about their daily food choices.
I felt we needed to create a film that would touch people’s hearts and not include any graphic imagery. I strongly believe that we can herald in change when we engage our heart, and the power of love. I had visited a few sanctuaries and had a vision that if we filmed the happy stories, showing the fortunate few beings that make it to a sanctuary that those animals could illuminate, and inspire the viewers.
Please, tell us about some of the special characters you met along the way and was there a particular story that impacted you?
Many people have asked if we had a favorite animal along our journey. I think what impacted me is the deepening love that I, and I think my sons, acquired for all farm animals. We had not really spent time with goats to see how incredibly playful they are, or chickens to get how beautiful and intelligent they are, and then there was the deep, soulful gentleness of cows and burro’s that did especially touch my sons.
We were also greatly impacted by the reality of what the human animals accomplish every single day, twenty four hours a day, 365 days of the year - regardless of the weather. The founders, staff, and volunteers are some of the most compassionate people we have ever met. I want to inspire as many people as possible to get a glimpse into the lifesaving work they are doing at sanctuaries.
I simply feel really happy for every animal that is blessed to make it to a sanctuary.
It must have been heart-warming to work alongside your sons Auston and Loghan. What do you feel you, as a family, gained from the experience?
It’s a beautiful question and the answer is beyond my words. I feel so deeply blessed that my sons and I were able to share the time together that we did, and that they were willing to believe in my vision and the importance of this story to volunteer countless hours of their time.
We were going to simply drive up north and capture a few sanctuaries for a short film. Two years later, and fifteen sanctuary visits …my son Loghan managed to edit over one hundred hours of footage into a feature length film. Given that neither of my sons like the task of editing this lives for Loghan as one of his greatest accomplishments!
I believe we all deepened our compassion and love for farm animals. And, I also feel that we strengthened our steadfast belief that we can all make a difference.
This film stretched us beyond our comfort levels many times over. When I watch the film I am aware of those moments, of that striving, woven in. The almost insurmountable times of being covered in flies while trying to hand hold a camera steady, or trudging through less than ideal circumstances and weather with equipment, sleeping in primitive cabins, getting up well before dawn for that magic light, retakes and more retakes and … well the list could go on.
I think no matter what my sons go on to film everything will be seem easier! Animals are not easy to film. Between them wanting to lick the lens, or nibble on our clothes, or bite the tripod or peck us, or nuzzle their horns in our back … it was an experience we’ll not forget!
Importantly, how can people watch the documentary?
Our film is currently available for sale in DVD format on our website, calledtorescuefilm.com or on Amazon for rent or purchase in the US, UK, Japan and Germany. We are not yet in France! We plan to have our film on Netflix and iTunes. Information about that will be forthcoming on our website.
There is a screening link on our site to share community screening location information. Please contact us if you’d like to organize a screening in your community.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I’d like to strongly encourage readers to visit a sanctuary if they haven’t yet. And, to consider supporting sanctuary efforts however they can. Donations of time and money are always needed. We can all do more. We all know people who still support factory farms with their daily cuisine or lifestyle choices. Simply being around animals may impact you, or your friends, the way it did us and you’ll find yourself doing more for them every day!
My dream is to see the end of factory farming … in the near future. I would invite others to join me in visualizing this reality. Please consider meditating every day on a vision, possibly of us celebrating as we close the last factory farm door. Visualize working with architects and environmentalists as we herald in new jobs, and food sources and repurposing land.
I believe very deeply in the power of our thoughts. Everything must first be a thought. I know we will bring forth this shift. Our collective dollars do add up, and speak volumes.
I want to say thank you to your readers for all of the compassionate and sustainable choices they make. And I want to thank Barefoot Vegan for all that you are doing and the opportunity to share about our journey. Thank you all for your support! Please share our film widely and help us get it out into the world!
If you’d like to find out more about "Called to Rescue" please visit the Facebook page and/or website.
About the author ...
In addition to being the Assistant Online Editor of Barefoot Vegan, Honey Morris is also the creator of Veggie Yum Yums, a friendly vegan Facebook page.
Honey lives with her husband Stu and Ruby the rescue cat, in picturesque Western Australia. They recently built on 2.5 acres in a beautiful semi-rural location and are passionate about transforming their land into a safe haven for WA wildlife and also, rescuing farmed animals, especially chickens. Visit her website for recipes, reviews and hot topics.
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