Discourse, this section, is where discussion—serious discussion—is initiated and welcomed.

Discourse, both this section, and the practice of discourse with many and varied people are crucial to improving the After We Let Animals Live project. ‘Discourse,’ not ‘blog,’ because ‘discourse’ better describes my hopes for this section. My Collins dictionary defines discourse as “spoken or written communication between people, especially serious discussion of a particular subject.”

“Serious discussion” and to that I’d add ‘informed’ discussion, is why I chose carefully the first person, beyond my immediate family, with whom I shared the ideas for After We Let Animals Live. I was looking for candid feedback and a reality check.

For now, I’ll keep them confidential. Suffice to say, they are a highly regarded producer and director. I became aware of them when they included one of the organizations with whom I work in a documentary. They have both a personal and professional affinity for the themes After We Let Animals Live is exploring and have produced films about some of them. You can see why I wanted their views.

I’m grateful for the generosity they showed me with their time, consideration, and thoughtfulness. More so, because their views on After We Let Animals Live were not something I had anticipated. Because of them, I adjusted my approach to encouraging people to share their ideas about what the world would be like—what we would be like—if humankind stopped killing animals.

It would seem, and so I assumed, that predicting the outcomes of not killing animals—letting them live—would require people with specialized expertise and education. While this is somewhat true, it’s not the whole truth, I’ve found.

Many people have agreed to write ‘Discourses’ for this section, and among them is, indeed, a zoologist with specialized expertise and education, but among them, too, is a novelist, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, a wildlife artist, and a naturalist. People, I’ve found, have complex ideas about our relationships with non-human animals and what killing them and, perhaps, not killing them means.

Stephen Best, April 2023

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