Eating Animals is an eye-opener, despite giving audiences the urge to turn away at times.
In this scathing look at the importance of animal agriculture based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book, filmmaker Christopher Dillon Quinn turns the camera over to rural farmers to give them a chance to explain the depletion of traditional values and why it’s so detrimental to them, their animals, and their marketplace. Quinn, staying true to the film’s activism without being manipulative, balances these testimonials with footage of manufactured farming, along with interviews with select workers who offer their honest takes on their industry.
Eating Animals does a good job tracing a problem to its roots. A segment in which Quinn offers a retelling of the life and legacy of KFC’s Colonel Harland Sanders is particularly interesting. The director educates viewers with this biographical information, but he also juxtaposes this content in a way that points out how high demands led the industry down an unconventional path to meet mass consumption. KFC itself isn’t under fire though – the regimented procedures that promise consistency are. Despite state-of-the-art equipment, Christopher Dillon Quinn shows us that a lot of essential moral values – involving health risk – are being overlooked to meet a deadline.
However, even though this movie is useful, Eating Animals insists it shows audiences graphic evidence. I appreciate the film’s integrity, but some nauseating clips impose themselves too much on the faint of heart – no matter how Natalie Portman’s soothing narration tries to comfort us.
Eating Animals doesn’t persuade movie goers to change their meat-eating appetite (although some dietary plant-based alternatives are briefly acknowledged), but it makes us reconsider how our food found its way to our plate.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie