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Miss Liberty: A Film Whose Time Has Come

From Victoria Moran,
May 2024

And yes: embarking on something this enormous may well be crazy. But you know what’s really insane? Raising animals as commodities, tearing apart their families, and taking their young lives.

Visit Miss Liberty The Movie website.

Miss Liberty

When I met my husband, William, in 1996, I figured that I’d date him, even if he wasn’t a spiritual vegetarian. “You’re 46,” I told myself. “It’s not as if you’re going to get married.” But we did. By then, he’d been vegetarian for just over a year. Vegan took some time, but once he made the change, he was deeply committed.

His veganism led to his taking a series of actions. He took the Main Street Vegan Academy program. He attended the OneSpirit Interfaith Seminary to learn why the world’s religions have largely abandoned most of God’s creatures. After graduation and ordination, he started the Compassion Consortium, an Interfaith community for animal advocates, and he’s gone on to be ordained as an animal chaplain by the Compassion Consortium’s educational division, the Animal Chaplaincy Training Program.

And William also went half-time with his job for a month and traveled to the Finger Lakes district of Upstate New York near Farm Sanctuary. He wanted to write a screenplay about a cow, and he needed to get to know some. Those friendships were forged, as well as one with Farm Sanctuary president and cofounder, Gene Baur.

William Melton
William with a bovine buddy at Farm Sanctuary; Mike Stura of Skylands Sanctuary is at the wheel

So, Miss Liberty was written—73 versions to date. It’s a process. And perhaps it’s crazy. Unlike a documentary that can be made for a relatively small amount of capital, a feature film is a major undertaking. But I married a guy who is not afraid of major undertakings.

Here’s the story: A dairy cow escapes from an abatoir’s holding pen and takes refuge in the yard of a computer tech owed money by the slaughterhouse––leading to legal intrigue, fascinating subplots, and a dazzling surprise ending. It’s William’s story, but I’m a cowriter (and I named the cow and the movie, Miss Liberty). Gene Baur is an associate producer, and Jay Karandikar (VegGood Films) is an executive producer. Three actors with very recognizable names are interested in parts in the film: we just can’t name them yet, because we need to raise enough money to get them “attached.” This is part of the development phase that will also bring in our director and move things to production, to be led by Scott Carlson, CEO of Scott Carlson Entertainment. (Scott grew up in the entertainment business: his father did the set design for all the classic Norman Lear sit-coms of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.)

The audience for Miss Liberty is families: kids will love it, but the story is sophisticated and will enthrall adults. But here’s the most important part: our target audience is not people who are interested in cows or animal rights or changing their diet. We’re going for folks who want a good movie to watch as a family. In this way, we get the vegan message out without ever saying “You ought to do this.” It’s packaged in an intriguing story, and everybody loves a good story.

The time has come for a feature film focused on a single dairy cow, mooing for the other 270 million of them––and for a film that draws attention to other problems in animal agriculture, such as worker treatment and safety. The world is ready for a you-get-the-popcorn kind of movie that doesn’t alienate omnivores, but rather awakens every viewer to a wrong they just might want to see set right.

If you’d like to be part of this, we’d love to have you. Here are some actions you might wish to take:

  • Visit the website, When you’re there, please sign up for the mailing list to be informed of progress as we make it, and if you feel moved to make a tax-deductible donation (our non-profit partner, the Compassion Consortium, makes this possible). We have matching funds promised for $100,000 of development money, so every dollar you donate will mean $2 for the film. And we intend to get into the credits the name of everyone who donates.
  • If you’re in New York City, let us know if you’d like to be part of fundraising efforts here, including live events. (Right now we’re looking for an affordable space that can accommodate 150 people for a fundraising party.) And if you’d care to volunteer to help us out in any way, we’ll love you forever.
  • If you have any products or services with a value of $500 or more that could be donated for a silent auction, we’d be thrilled to pieces.
  • If you’d like to host your own fundraiser for Miss Liberty, that would be amazing.
  • Our only social media to date is X (Twitter). If you’re there, please give us a follow @MissLibertyFilm.
  • We also accept good wishes and bright ideas. Send those to [email protected].

And yes: embarking on something this enormous may well be crazy. But you know what’s really insane? Raising animals as commodities, tearing apart their families, and taking their young lives. We as pro-animal people respond to this by changing our lifestyles, signing petitions, carrying signs, working for humane legislations, and speaking our truth. Miss Liberty speaks the truth, too, in a way that people can hear. ‘See you at the movies.

Victoria Moran
Victoria Moran, shown here in 2017 with Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary, is the author of 13 books with a 14th, Age Like a Yogi, coming in January 2025. She is the cowriter with her husband, William Melton, of Miss Liberty, and she was lead producer for Thomas Jackson’s 2019 documentary, A Prayer for Compassion.

Posted on May 11, 2024
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