Viewers of burrito chain Chipotle’s new (and much-discussed) animation, “The Scarecrow” — ostensibly, a brave and innovative critique of factory farming — will immediately recall another factory: the magical candy land paradise of the film, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. The association comes from Chipotle’s selection of the song “Pure Imagination,” which famously accompanies Wonka’s unveiling of his edible wonderland.
We found this video comedy sketch very clever and telling about the extent to which we seek to now know where our food comes from. The scene is a restaurant where two lovebird diners contemplate ordering chicken but have many questions about how the chicken was raised for the waitress. The waitress actually brings out a “bio” on the rooster and the local farm who raised him. In the end, the couple doesn’t take the waitress’ word for it and they decide to leave the restaurant to go investigate where the rooster they have now given a name actually comes from.
Chipotle’s new animated ad denounces factory farming and depicts renegade farmers going back to a traditional way of farming reminiscent of Old McDonald’s Farm, giving false hope to millions. But there is no turning back to where we started with a population now at 7 billion and expected to shoot up to 9 billion by 2030. To meet the current standards of demand for meat, dairy and eggs, the number of animals killed for food is expected to double by 2050, from the current 60 billion to 120 billion a year. There is no viable solution to factory farming and animal exploitation other than shifting our consumption from animas to plants.
At least once per week I come across a story in the Huffington Post Food section about how to raise or hunt and kill your own animals for food. One week it was a story about how to salvage road kill and turn it into a tasty meal. Another week it was an amateur urban chicken “farmer” intent on having her first chicken slaughter experience but didn’t have the heart to kill her own hens so she went out and found a wandering hen who had escaped from a live market which she brought home and slaughtered for a meal. The stories of these so called “conscious” people who are taking the journey to trace where their food comes from seems to have an endless stream of variations on the same theme. Yet the underlying premise of all of them are predictably consistent: these animals are here for our use, for us to raise, kill and eat as we see fit, because they have no other value or meaning in life other than to be our food.
Video can be one of the most powerful and moving means for enlightening us and motivating us to take action. Each year there are dozens of films worth seeing for those of us passionate about working toward a just, compassionate, healthy world for all. We’ve narrowed the list down to 12 suggested must-see movies of 2011.
Officials at both companies expressed their shock and dismay over the footage recorded from its supplier, but are we really to believe that they don’t know how the factory egg farm industry operates? Critics say they know exactly how the industry operates since there are no laws protecting egg laying hens (the result of years of intensive lobbying), weak and ineffective food safety laws and, as this investigation reveals, and little or no enforcement by a paralyzed public health authority called the FDA. And they claim that their reaction was simply a knee jerk PR move that they hope will alleviate customer concerns.
The new MFA investigation, McDonald’s Cruelty: The Rotten Truth About Egg McMuffins, contains hidden-camera footage, taken at Sparboe Egg Farm facilities in Iowa, Minnesota and Colorado, revealing shocking unsanitary and abusive conditions over a long period of time and at several facilities, demonstrating the tragic failure of FDA regulators to manage the broken egg industry and its flagrant violation of food safety and animal welfare standards.
Food writers and foodies evaluate food and culture today in a mythical void in which only people’s palates matter and the consequences of their food choices simply don’t exist. It’s a denial so deeply embedded in our psyche it rarely gets confronted unless there is a vegetarian present. The truth is that even the fanciest restaurants and the biggest primadonna celebrity chefs still get their product from the 99%, that is, the percentage of animals trapped inside of the factories that are not only inhumane but also the most significant source of most global environmental problems and chronic human health epidemics we face today.
On Thursday November 17th at 9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST on their Facebook or Livestream page the Forkes Over Knives team brings you their live cooking demonstration with Julieanna Hever, R.D. Julieanna will demonstrate a plant-based Thanksgiving meal that will be delicious and healthy. While making the meal, Julieanna will answer questions from the audience. Questions can be sent in advance to Info@ForksOverKnives.com and also be asked live during the broadcast.
While most are horrified to learn about this genetic manipulation and the profound negative impact it has had on billions of birds raised for meat as well as the looming concerns over human health and the environment, Ridley’s clinical tone seems disturbingly fascist at times, reminding us of the Nazi pursuit of an Aryan race that employs the principle of power and exploitation to achieve a superior race, in this case, a superior bird.
Just one more example of humane-washing by corporate America, this time by a major grocery store, Jewel / Supervalu, depicting a nostalgic, “old-world” Italian butcher that makes us think of the era of our grandparents. Of course, behind this facade is the real butcher, the modern slaughterhouse kill floor where millions of animals are passed through each day so quickly some end up being butchered while still conscious.
Los Angeles, CA – Compassionate celebrities, leading health, environmental and animal protection advocates, and other high-profile, socially conscious individuals will gather in the Hollywood Hills on June 4 to celebrate Bob Barker’s more than 30 years of groundbreaking activism on behalf of animals.
Teen superstar Justin Bieber recently visited Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show and brought with him a gift — a lock of his hair. Ellen had joked on Twitter that she wanted a lock of Justin’s hair for her birthday, and Justin delivered. Ellen immediately set up an eBay auction with the item to benefit one of her favorite animal charities, The Gentle Barn. The auction ended yesterday, with a winning bid of over $40,000.
The 29-year-old Portman got attention last night for more than her Oscar win for Best Actress in Black Swan. She also made a fashion statement that went far beyond appearances. Portman demonstrates how beauty and fashion can also advocate compassion rather than exploitation of animals for fur, feathers and skins. She’s even developed her own line of vegan shoes.
“We are thrilled to have Ellen’s support as this year’s Adopt-A-Turkey spokesperson,” says Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary. “Through her trademark blend of humor and warmth, she is reaching millions of people with a critical message of compassion for all animals that is as contagious as her laughter and her dancing. Ellen’s positive energy and zest for life make her the perfect ambassador for these charismatic birds, who also possess a strong desire to enjoy life. The important thing to realize about the Adopt-A-Turkey Project is that it’s not about giving anything up — it’s about embracing your deepest values and celebrating in a way that is consistent with those values.