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Sunday, July 29, 2007

fast food nation

Tonight I watched Fast Food Nation, a fictional movie based on the meticulously researched Eric Schlosser book by the same name. If I weren't already a vegetarian, I would be now.

The movie itself is a bit slow at times. It's like a documentary, but yet, it's a character film...which is kind of a strange way to make a movie. As the movie progressed and I stepped back and looked at the picture as a whole, I realized how much better of a film it is than I initially thought. It looks at the fast food industry, as the title suggests, but it also tackles, illegal immigration, poverty, slaughter houses, sexual harassment, corporate corruption, as well as all that animal rights/environment stuff that I enjoy. The way it includes all of these topics, and more, is by showing lives that intersect to create this society that we are living in...and it doesn't paint a very positive picture. From the illegals working in the slaughterhouses that are just trying to have a better life to the guys sitting in the corporate offices marketing this unhealthy, and really just gross, meat. It shows a high school senior working at a fast food place...taking money home to help her single mother pay the bills. It shows college aged idealists trying to decide the best way to protest the fast food and corporate farm industries.

In May of last year I read an article by Nathanael Johnson in Harpers Magazine called Swine of the Times: The making of the modern pig. This movie reminded me very much of that article. The article is an inside look at the pork industry, specifically the genetic engineering that goes into it. This movie is a bit of an inside look at the beef industry, however a bit more focussed on the processing aspects of meat, rather than the raising of the animals.

I was practically a vegetarian before I read the article last year. I became an actual vegetarian after reading the article. And although I already knew that I didn't want to know about the beef industry...this movie confirmed and expanded upon my suspicions about corporate beef "farms".

If nothing else, it makes me think more about a vegan lifestyle, or at the very least, purchasing only certified organic products. But damn, that's expensive! (However, I am already purchasing mostly dunno)

If you watch the movie, make sure you check out the special features on the DVD. In case you don't watch it, here are a couple of creative cartoons about the subject that are included on the DVD.

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Blogger Adam Kochanowicz said...

It's not that hard to go vegan. I've been veg for 6 years and vegan for 5 months and it's something you get used to and very comfortable with. Check out this website and you can learn more

9:04 PM  
Anonymous patrick said...

just watched Fast Food Nation, it's impactful to say the least... earlier today i passed up a sausage mcmuffin because of it. Evidently it is worth passing up fast food for more than health reasons.

5:34 PM  

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