Most people don't think too much about food and how it's produced, or where it comes from -- but five important documentaries reveal just how important it is to pay attention to these crucial issues. Common themes surface throughout the films; taken together, they all corroborate the message that our current food production system is unhealthy, unethical, cruel to animals, and harmful to the environment. This group of films is particularly concerned with the practices of factory farming. We invite you to check out the entire list, and to ponder the shocking truths these documentaries expose.
Indigestible: The Film (2014)
This documentary focuses on issues of animal abuse. The film exposes the suffering and plight of farm animals raised for food by farmers in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The film also exposes the truly high costs of the supposedly cheap meat that the current food production system makes available for public consumption, and the resulting adverse effects on public health.
Food, Inc. (2008)
This documentary is the one that started it all, think of it as the Super Size Me of food production: a disturbing look at the reality of the situation. The film alerts viewers that a few powerful global corporations control the majority of the food industry, and it exposes the dark side of the current global food production system. It reveals how the drive for corporate profits is undermining workers' safety, animal welfare, human health, and crucial environmental resources.
Cock Fight (2015)
Cock Fight is a film that focuses on a dirty secret: many chicken farmers feel trapped in a system which is comparable to indentured servitude, and they're too scared to speak out because doing so would threaten their precarious livelihoods. The film, which was created by the Fusion network on DirecTV also exposes injustices the commercial meat industry would rather keep hidden, thanks to Craig Watts, a chicken farmer turned whistle blower. Like the disturbing fact that CAFO chicken farmers are contractually obligated to kill significant numbers of "imperfect" chickens. It’s a jaw dropping look insight from a man who knows the industry best.
In this documentary, three omnivorous urbanites agree to go vegan for a month and a half, and are surprised to discover the downsides to their former lifestyles. It’s less of a shocking expose and more educational and enlightening as it focuses on the health benefits of veganism, and the difficulties involved with making positive dietary changes due to societal pressures to resist challenging the status quo.
Farm to Fridge (2011)
This 12 minute documentary short that focuses on revealing the results of undercover investigations into commercial hatcheries and concentrated animal feeding operations. These investigations, made by the people at Mercy For Animals, reveal real instances of animal cruelty through use of hidden cameras. This film exposes the atrocities that chickens, pigs and cows are subjected to in the process of being raised, confined, slaughtered and then transformed into food products.
Animal cruelty is a serious issue that demands public attention. These important films could play a part in increasing public awareness. They could also help people influence their networks to better understand the issues of animal cruelty, and could alert people to the problems inherent in the current global farming and food distribution systems. There are too many people who do not understand these critical issues. For anyone who wants to take action and learn more about CFOs, factory farming and animal cruelty issues, these documentaries are fantastic starting points for further research.
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