02 July 2009

"Food, Inc."

This is a documentary I'd really like to see.  Amanda Marcotte has seen it, so here's a snippet of her review.  Click over to read the whole thing:

Even if you’ve read the two books it’s basically based on---Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore’s Dilemma---you should see this movie, and more importantly, you should bring someone who has not read those books. As they demonstrate in short part in the movie, people educating themselves and making different choices about their food does make a difference. And let’s face it, even if you’ve read about our fucked up food industry and intellectually understand the ramifications, there’s an emotional impact to seeing the various ways real human beings are hurt by the system.

And I mean human beings. Taking off the political pragmatism of the two books that Food, Inc. is based off, the focus is mostly on the human costs, even though the temptation is often to focus strongly on how animals suffer tremendously from CAFOs and breeding techniques that make their short lives even more miserable. Animal suffering isn’t completely ignored, but it’s not dwelt upon at the expense of looking at human suffering. You don’t need extensive shots of chickens falling over because they’re breasts are too big for their bodies or the horror of live animals being tossed around brutally by machinery (including bulldozers) to get the picture---the brief use of these images is plenty, and unforgettable.

But what was so effective in this movie is that the cruelty to animals is put in the larger context of how the system fucks everyone, animal or human, for the almighty dollar. When you see cows being pushed around by bulldozers or chicks being marked and flung into a chute as if these were apples being sorted, you have to wonder what kind of toll it takes on the people who have to dispense that kind of cruelty to keep their jobs.
This three-minute clip sets the scene:


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