Based on Jonathan Safran Foer's eponymous pet order, Eating Animals casts a relentless eye on the development of the food industry over the past 40 years, when traditional farming has had to give way to cruel mass animal farming. Produced and originally voiced by Oscar winner Natalie Portman, the documentary captures a depressing image of suffering – for the animals, the environment and not least our health. In addition, farmers, whistleblowers and visionaries who speak out against the system and, despite all adversities, want to pave the way back to more humane animal breeding.
Where does our meat, our milk or our eggs come from? A simple question raised by the documentary "Eating Animals" right at the beginning. The sad answer to that is: 99% of factory livestock in the US today. What this means in reality, the pointed documentation of the audience impressively in mind. These include a former chicken producer, a specialist in poultry farming and a veterinarian and whistleblower who reveal what's really happening behind the closed doors of large farms. An education that anyone who opposes the industry has to pay with a high price. Shock, unemployment and laws prohibiting undercover filming are just some of the consequences.
The consumption of animal products today is much more than just a matter of taste. As the documentation shows, industrialized agriculture is a system that not only destroys our environment, but even poses a health hazard to humans – not to mention the suffering it causes. The result of ever greater productivity means more and more misery for the animals and the use of antibiotics and growth hormones is commonplace. Also, what massive strain the factory farming for air, soil and water with it draws on the film.
But "Eating Animals" is much more than an admonition with a raised index finger. Thus, the filmmakers also show how to approach organic animal farms with animal welfare. And despite terrifying images, the viewer is finally left optimistic: the trend towards plant-based alternatives and the success of small organic farmers show that traditional agriculture and animal welfare are not a fading reminder of the past, but the only way forward for our future.
Jonathan Safran Foer published his first nonfiction book in 2009 with "Eating Animals" – a bestseller. Almost ten years later, he participated in film adaptation in a producing capacity. Likewise Oscar winner Natalie Portman, who is responsible for the documentation not only as a producer, but also as a spokeswoman. She herself campaigned for the film adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's work and has been living vegan since she read it. "Eating Animals" will be broadcasted on January 6, 2020 at 8:15 pm on RTL.