FOR THE BENEFIT OF ANIMALS and US, too

It was a joyful gig on Saturday night in White Rock—an assortment of wonderful talent and heart, gathering to celebrate my dear and multi-talented friend Larry Anschell and the 20th Anniversary of his Turtle Recording Studio. At the same time we had the privilege of raising money for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

The performers were Kirk Maurice, Allison Crowe, Jason Mitchell, Jordan Carrier and a band called Yuca.

I opened up the night with a short little set list and a reading from Understanding Ken—the Big Bums, as usual. What can I say? I’m making a film these days, and I’m swamped in the research.

WISE OLD LADY OF LOVE

WIDE OPEN

BE BRAVE TONIGHT

MR NEANDERTHAL AND THE GHOSTS OF LOVE

BLUE

An excerpt from UNDERSTANDING KEN

Being on stage is certainly a trip: trying to stay connected between my organic sound and the amplified sound; staying with the song and the crowd; with myself; trying to give a part of myself, an idea, a desire; yearning to encourage creativity, joy, solidarity and, finally, knowing I have no control over the results of such desires.

Just imagine having control over the results of your desires. That, my friends, would be a full-time job. It brings to mind God.

Still, performing on stage is a wondrous, uncontrollable energy—even more so with one happily drunk person with questionable rhythm, hootin’ and hollerin’ at the all the wrong moments, which should be interesting given that the set was recorded.

SPCA

And being a benefit for the SPCA (and Mr Kite—Beatles joke), I even got to mention—sweetly!—that the billions of animals raised and killed yearly in factory farms actually feel as much suffering, misery and cruelty as our pets would feel if they were raised and slaughtered under the brutally perverse factory farm cycle of hell.

It all makes one wonder about the understandable yet utterly compartmenalized outrage over animal cruelty found in the news today about, say, Michel Vicks’ dog-fighting ring or the recent cock-fighting ring revealed in Surrey, BC—in between commericals for Big Macs and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Oh, I despise the dog-fighting/cock-fighting cruelty too, to be sure, but it is a feather on the scale of the misery that takes place in factory farms for our eating pleasure in this remarkably contradictory, paradoxical world.

With that, why not finish with a sweet note: the trailer for The Peaceable Kingdom. Check out the ram or lamb or whatever it is, bounding across the field upon being released back to freedom, at 2:08. I know, animals for food don’t feel, that’s just instinct. Heck, I’m mostly instinct!

See a clip here.

Love to you—and may all beings be a little bit happier,

Pete xoxo

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