Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an advocate for the animals and for the vegan movement?
Have you given thought to the feeling you’d get by entering a factory farm, walking into the slaughter area to film what happens to the animals?
What about the need to put your emotions aside so that you can accurately document the truth of the horrendous and cruel treatment of pigs, cows, sheep and chickens?
Such is the case for vegan and animal activist, Bobby Sud.
With credentials that would impress even the most skeptical among us, Bobby Sud happened upon his work as an animal advocate and activist through a simple invitation from a friend to document the slaughter of animals at a local factory farm.
Yet, his activism started due to health. What began as a transition to a whole food, plant-based diet to minimize health risks, has turned into a life of activism and advocacy.
In a very mild-mannered fashion, Bobby is the first to say that his activism is about love rather than hate.
Tipping the Scales at 280
In 2015, Bobby tipped the scales at 280 pounds. He had Type II diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, kidney and heart disease. For years he had tried diet after diet to get his weight to a healthy level, but with every failed diet, he despised himself for not being able to get his weight (and health) under control.
His brother, Adam, convinced him to move to Los Angeles and adopt a plant-based lifestyle to “reverse disease and find my happiness and health again.”
No Excuses Left
Although Bobby was working in the film industry before moving to Los Angeles, he was not enjoying it. He was left unfulfilled without a clear life direction.
His dog had recently passed away, he was frustrated, unhealthy and out of excuses. Packing up his earthly belongings, he resigned himself and moved in with his brother.
It was apparent from the start his life was about to turn upside down… in a very positive way. He had put himself in an environment that left very little room for failure. Everything he was eating was plant-based and vegan. Within six weeks he reversed his diabetes.
Within a year, he lost 100 pounds. Over that time, he reversed many of his other health conditions and committed 100% to plant-based eating.
A Chance Meeting at Veg Fest Enhances the Change
About a year after he started on the plant-based lifestyle, he was a featured speaker at Veg Fest. It was there, plant-based/vegan nutritionist and lifestyle coach and trainer, Jean Pierre talked to him about a pig vigil that Shaun Monson was starting.
Monson, wrote, directed and produced Unity is a 2015 documentary film that was the sequel to the 2005 film Earthlings.
Eager to meet some of the celebrities who would be in attendance at the vigil, like Joaquin Phoenix, Bobby jumped at the chance.
“I went for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to meet these people, but what I experienced when the trucks came around the corner brought with it the weight of reality and the pain and suffering the pigs go through as they are being carted off to slaughter.”
“When the truck pulls up and the truth is presented, it’s undeniable. It’s a full, visceral experience. You can smell them; you can hear them; you can feel the heat coming off their bodies. The air tastes different.
“I remember when that first truck pulled away with 200 six-month-old pigs and drove into the slaughterhouse. I had the most profound experience and realization.
“We get one chance to be here on this planet as the individuals that we are now. We all get one chance to experience and create as much connection and compassion and love and kindness as we can on this planet before our one chance is over.
“As those pigs were pulling into the slaughterhouse, I realized that this was their one chance. The pigs are never coming back. That was when it all switched for me. It became about animals after that.”
Since then, he has documented untold horrors of what goes on in slaughterhouses. His resume reads like the who’s who within the world of vegan activism. No one will dispute his keen ability to capture the truth of what goes on.
As a result of his first experience and the notice his work received, he went on to be a cinematographer with Nation Earth Films and has been filming inside slaughterhouses and factory farms for over three years.
He is the director and cinematographer for Million Dollar Vegan. He has appeared on an impressive lineup of podcast shows including the Rich Roll Podcast. In addition, he is the creator, producer, and director of The Road Less Eaten, a vegan travel show.
Watching is NOT Experiencing
Watching documentaries is one thing. Being at an actual vigil is something completely different and psychologically disturbing. It changes you forever.
A documentary can be turned off. With a vigil, activists are in the middle of the pain and suffering and there’s no turning off the emotions that flood in.
For Bobby, it was at a beef slaughterhouse. The experience was etched in his mind, body and soul forever. The hard part for Bobby was putting his emotions aside while filming from an objective perspective. Shaun made it very clear he had to maintain a poker fact the entire time.
What he remembers most are the sounds, smells and anguish. It was catastrophic. He hit an emotional bottom and could barely function as images flooded his mind for weeks after the experience. He did the opposite of what would have helped. He shut down and refused to talk about the experience.
Yet, this was a turning point for Bobby Sud. Since that time, he has worked with Shaun documenting the atrocities of slaughterhouses and factory farms.
Bobby’s life is committed to raising awareness about what the animals go through in factory farms. He believes raising awareness through his imagery, films and kindness will do more than to hate those who consume animal and dairy.
Love Over Hate for Carnivores
Bobby encourages people to choose words that do not condemn or judge those who are not yet vegan. Most people have been taught, from childhood, that consuming animal and dairy is the right thing to do.
They’ve been told by their parents, their doctors, and other “experts” eating meat and drinking milk is healthy.
Becoming a vegan is not a one-time experience. We may think we make the decision and that’s it, but the transformation happens over time.
One project that is outside the realm of factory farming was the Million Dollar Vegan series. The series Bobby worked on was 60 videos of plant-based athletes and doctors all sharing how going plant based changed their life and health.
His next project with Moby will be released in the next few weeks. Bobby is also working on a book with his incredible photos.
To see much of his advocacy work, both with film and stills, go to Bobby’s Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/bobbysud/
You can also see his work on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/user/robsud20
One thing is for sure. When you experience Bobby convey his own experience, you can’t help but want to do more for the animals.