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October 24, 2012

Meet the Artists Behind "A Pig's Tail"

Voice artists James Arnold Taylor and Catherine Taber and musician Steven Delopoulos tell us why they lent their talents to our new kids' film

Video game enthusiasts, sci-fi fans, and children of all ages know James Arnold Taylor and Catherine Taber as the voices of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series and related video games.

Recently, the actors known for their intergalactic peacekeeping tackled some earthly concerns, joining forces with The HSUS and Aardman Animations to make "A Pig’s Tail."

Featuring a farmer voiced by Taylor, a pig voiced by Taber, and original music by Steven Delopoulos, the animated short film educates children about factory farming and more humane alternatives. In this edited interview, the artists discuss what inspired them to donate their talents to the project.

Why was it important for you to make A Pig’s Tail?

TAYLOR: I feel very much, as someone who is a daily reader of the Bible, that God is very clear that you take care of the animals and you take care of the planet and it will be there for you. We have a responsibility to do things the right way—humanely and not just grabbing every little bit that we can and harming things and not caring about them.

TABER: As an animal lover and rescuer, I wanted to help an animal organization that was really doing good work, and of course top of the list is The HSUS.

DELOPOULOS: To serve these animals with no voice. When you see how some animals are raised and how badly their short existence is just to be a product on the shelf, well, I felt called to be of service. The importance is in the awareness. Hopefully, the next couple generations will be more active in fixing the mistakes we've made.

Watch "A Pig's Tail" now »

What message would you like kids to take away from the film?

TAYLOR: The pigs in "A Pig’s Tail" talk, and we’re hearing and seeing their emotions. It helps kids see that the animals have feelings. Most people don’t want to look at factory farming because they don’t want to get emotional about it. But we should get worked up about some of the things that we are doing. We’re not thinking about how these animals are treated. Kids will take a look at this film and say, “Well, that makes sense. That’s how it should be.” And if it’s not that way, they have a right to ask, “Why isn’t it?”

TABER: A Pig’s Tail is a wonderful introduction into a subject that would otherwise be difficult to talk about with children. The film shows kids that there are great ways to farm and there are not such great ways to farm. There are great ways to get your food and not such great ways to get your food. Kids might come away asking, “Are we thinking about where we’re getting the food that comes into the house?” It could be a conversation starter for the entire family to have an honest talk about it and to understand that our choices matter.

DELOPOULOS: I would like for kids to take away the facts. Kids are smart and have a clearer, less dulled sense of morality. The message is simple: to treat all God's creatures with dignity and respect. Animals can feel, taste, see, and hear as we humans do. The fact that they have no voice should be an even better reason to look after them.

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