Empathy can be triggered easily in many people, myself included. We can manipulate this emotion in others using images, video, and audio. Media allows us to see far outside of ourselves and our immediate surroundings.
I won’t be showing you any media from or relating to factory farms, as a heads up, but this is the reason these corporations hate undercover footage and fight very hard in favor of things such as ag-gag laws. It tends to shine a negative light on them(and many people have been charged with animal-abuse as a result). Many people feel empathetic seeing the plight of non-human animals in these situations, now able to see beyond the cut of meat in saran wrap with a price sticker.
These corporations don’t want to give us these images because the farming videos have a way of indirectly producing as much as it initially recorded because of the discourse that’s had afterwards. Changes in laws may take place, charges are filed and added to the archive along with said laws, not to mention people make changes, write books about agricultural animal abuse, vegetarian cooking shows are created, local restaurant guides are written for various towns, podcasts are started, and even more media is created. As a result, these companies lose money because people begin to see that they don’t need the business’ products.
An example of the created media is my personal favorite cooking show in one of the “social archive[s]” that is Youtube.
If there weren’t these graphic images out there, odds are we would likely still be in the dark about such matters. The fact that this information would be missing would mean that we wouldn’t have such an abundance of great information being created as a result. Lives would remain unchanged.
Manoff states, “The methods for transmitting information shape the knowledge that can be produced.” This means a video of a cow trying to escape from a slaughterhouse with haunting music playing in the background is bound to tug more at our emotions than a picture of a dirty cow with a caption underneath.
I’ll need to keep this all in mind to create content that will bring value to others. I must consider ‘what is something that will make people think long and hard’ about a subject in order to make high-quality media. I also need to finesse my content in order to not make my audience feel as if I’m trying to manipulate them into following any sort of rhetoric I’m trying to push.
What’s something that made you make a change in your life as a result of an image? What changes did you make?