In Reviews

July 12th, 2018




I don’t know how to convince people. I have watched a countless number of documentaries about the meat and dairy industry. I have seen the horrific videos revealing what happens behind the scenes at a pig or cow factory farm. I know the health tolls that eating meat has on the human body. It is an unbeatable juggernaut to change the way humans have been eating for centuries. Eating Animals is a documentary, inspired from the book by Jonathan Safran Foer, that takes a fantastic approach to a subject that most humans won’t listen to: the process of how we get our food, how eating meat is hurting the animals, the farmers, and humanity. This is not propaganda, unless you have already made up your mind and think it is. It does not demand you stop eating the greasy burger on your plate. It just asks you to see the facts. One of the major reasons why the planet is polluted and being affected by greenhouse gasses is the meat industry. One of the major causes of cancer is because people eat meat. Changing our way of life is hard, but Eating Animals is an eye opening documentary, capturing alternative methods for farmers, and revealing to the audience a different perspective on our food.

The documentary is narrated by Natalie Portman, a vegan herself, who brings a calming voice to discuss a topic she is passionate about. Throughout the film, director Christopher Dillon Quinn takes a subtle approach, on a subject that already has a negative connotation with it. The focus is not solely on the animals being treated inhumanely, although we do see plenty of that, but the farmers who struggle to do things the right way. Typical farmers do mass factory farming, where they stuff, and breed as many chickens, pigs, or cows that they can, because the more meat you produce, the more money you make. The results lead to animals that live in overcrowded cages, filtered through inhumane mass killing machines, and the waste from these animals pollute and destroy the earth. Why do we keep eating this way?

The background information done by Dillon Quinn is how we got to this state of farming. One of the biggest entrepreneurs and trend setters of mass farming was Colonel Sanders, who brought the idea of pumping our chickens with hormones, making them fat and juicy. There is also a look at a farmer who becomes victim to competitive work with Perdue chicken, a farmer that treats all of his turkey’s in a humane fashion till he must turn a profit, and a representative from the Waterkeeper Alliance. One of the most shocking scenes I have ever witnessed in a documentary of this topic, was when Dillon Quinn ventured out to North Carolina, where a pig farm had so much excess blood and feces from their “product”, it resulted in multiple surrounding pools, filled to the brim, with a bright pink blood concoction. Can we continue to be okay that this is going into our soils? That our air is polluted with the smell of death, all for the sake of our greed for satiating our hunger.

The most bitter pill to swallow watching Eating Animals is that there is no end in sight to these brutal practices. At one point, Portman explains how the USDA was a department of the American government meant to protect the population, and is now in bed with the meat industries, pushing their financial agenda instead of looking out for those who don’t know better. Round and round we go. All of this is more reason why Eating Animals is an essential documentary. We are not hammered over the head with the message. In order to make any strides in convincing the masses to choose a healthier, more humane process of where we get our food, we must take a path of least resistance. Gandhi said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Watch Eating Animals and think about how we can treat our animals better. You’d save our planet, an animal, and yourself.


Written by: Leo Brady
[email protected]

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