I just watched the documentary eating animals

Lou

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I wanted to see this in the theatres but I couldn't. I think it just had too limited a showing. As soon as it came out on DVD (which was like the next day) I put a "hold" on it at the public library. Still, I had to wait months before getting it. It got just over 7 stars at IMDB. And that is about where I'd rate it too.

I started reading the book, Eating Animals, a couple of months ago and got distracted. But I still have it (at my library you can keep a book for 15 weeks if no one else puts a hold on it). Just judging by the couple of chapters I read the book is way better than the movie. I think the movie kept the message the same. And some of the narration is really poetic. Foer was credited as a writer. but I don't know if that means he helped with the writing of the narration. And some of the cinematography is really beautiful too.

The book seems to just involve Foer. The movie follows a bunch of guys around. Maybe 3. The reason I'm not sure is that the movie is unfocused. Not sure why. It took me half the movie to realize there was an internal logic. It takes one idea and looks at it thru chickens or pigs or turkeys. And then it takes another idea and looks at it thru a factory farm or a traditional farm. and then another idea thru neighbors or whistleblowers.

The documentary is very comprehensive. but what I didn't like is that it didn't do much but scratch the surface. It would spend two minutes on one subject and then go off to the next. It also didn't seem to want to go into details. There were a couple of stories that contained gaps.

As a vegan, there is little or no new information. I think even most average Americans know the outline of this stuff. But maybe what it could do is get more people to think about their food choices.

It does spend more time on alternatives to factory farms. The more "traditional farm". but it doesn't seem to try to promote that as a viable alternative. Again, it leaves quite a few gaps.

It doesn't promote veganism. Not sure, but I don't think the word vegan is ever used. And maybe just one time the word vegetarian.

It does promote meat substitutes a little bit. One minute with Just, and one minute with Beyond.

If anything it promotes change. We have a problem and we need to fix it. Or it will fix us.

In IMDB, it said that Natalie Portman became a vegan after working on this film. I'm pretty sure she was already vegan.

I'm not even sure If I would recommend this movie to others. Maybe the best thing about it is that I don't think anyone can call this movie PETA propaganda. So perhaps a teacher could show this to a class to provoke discussion. If i was recommending a movie to someone who was thinking about being vegan but wasn't quite ready - maybe then this would be a good film.
 

Meyersaurus

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So you wouldn't necessarily recommend watching the movie but would you recommend reading the book?
 
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Lou

Lou

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So you wouldn't necessarily recommend watching the movie but would you recommend reading the book?

In retrospect, maybe I was too critical of the movie. Did I mention it got a 7.1 on IMDB and a 90% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes?

But still, I can't give this movie two thumbs up. Maybe one thumb up and one thumb sideways. And there are at least 6 other vegan docs I would recommend over this. but there is no way you'll regret watching this.

Sorry. I just can't give this movie a stronger recommendation.

I only read the first two chapters of the book before I got distracted. There are seven. But I really really liked what I had read. I hope to finish the book and write a review for it here. I'll be able to say for sure when I finish the book but so far the movie is not that much like the book except in message and theme. But it could also be that the movie is based on one of the later chapters. The first two chapters are all just "thinking about stuff". And that doesn't lend itself well to movies.

I have a thing about supporting the commercial side of veganism. Maybe because I usually don't and feel a little guilty. Like when Taco Bell put the word Vegan next to a burrito in their menu. I had to go get one. (and I never go to Taco Bell). I've had the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger. And I have been trying to read every vegan themed book and vegan documentary. And not doing a great job with the books. But it takes a lot longer to read a book than to eat a taco or watch a movie.

Right now I'm reading The Omnivore's Dilemma. And I'm embarrassed that it is taking so long. Fiction books keep coming along a distracting me.
 
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TofuRobot

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A friend of mine gave me a copy of that book probably 5 yrs ago. I, too, read the first chapter or so and really never finished it. I pretty much felt like I understood it already or something and just didn't finish it. I still have it though, and I may pick it up again (once I'm done with all other books I have to read for school and my job ;) ).
 
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Really interesting read, thanks! I absolutely loved the book, found it very beautifully-written and emotive - but have never seen the documentary (and from this, sounds like it probably does suffer from a lack of focus/direction). Would love to hear recommendations for other (better) vegan docs though
 
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Lou

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I still have the book, Eating Animals. Sitting on my nightstand. I made a new year's resolution to read more nonfiction. Not doing so good. but still trying.

My two favorite vegan docs are the two by Kip Anderson. Cowspiracy and What the Health?

IMHO they are the two best to recommend to non-vegans, too.

Forks Over Knives is sort of the classic documentary.

If you are looking for a conversation starter with a non-vegan buddy - nothing is better than Okja.
 

Sax

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Shut this off 1/3rd of the way through. Seemed determined not to lead the viewer out of their comfort zone. Lots of images of small scale, free range farms and harkening back to pre-factory farm agriculture. I imagine a lot of viewers will resolve to buy "humane meat" then quickly forget all about it. These small scale family farms provide the illusion of morality and wholesomeness that carnism relies on.

Watching "Eating You Alive" now...not a lot of new info for me but I think it would make a really good recommendation for non-vegans.
 

Emma JC

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I finally received the book from the library "Eating Animals" and I am not sure that I am going to keep going after reading the first 2 or 3 chapters.

Like @TofuRobot I feel that it is about 15 years old and we have progressed a long ways since then. It was published in 2009 so it likely took a few years to write.

Mostly about vegetarianism, at this point in the book, and kinda scattered.

Emma JC