The Top 5 Documentaries about Factory Farms
Submitted by Maria Ramos
Everywhere you go, you can easily buy a cheap burger or an order of chicken nuggets. In this world full of delicious food and dollar menus, we are completely disconnected from the source of our food, with no concept of how it was produced or how much suffering went into our meal.
Factory farms are responsible for almost all of the meat we see in restaurants and on supermarket shelves, and the consequences of this type of animal agriculture are dire, not only for the animals who are abused through this system, but also for our health, the economy, and the environment. Many people are completely unaware of the seriousness of this issue. For those wanting to get a deeper understanding of the problems with factory farms, here are the top five documentaries that expose the harsh reality behind this practice.
Indigestible: The Film (2014)
This 90 minute film’s goal is to help the youth of today understand the connection between their food and the suffering of animals. Many people imagine farms as wonderful places where animals roam free and get plenty of fresh air and sunlight, but this could not be further from the truth. This documentary shows the cruelty that animals suffer as they are forced to live in extreme confinement. Many are mutilated for the convenience of the companies that breed them, and almost all of them are bred to be so large that their bodies cannot support their growth. This dark and painful existence is all done in the name of lower prices and bigger profits, and this film shows it all.
Farm to Fridge (2011)
Although this documentary short runs for only 12 minutes, the impact it leaves on viewers lingers for much longer. Farm to Fridge doesn’t just report on the facts of factory farms; it shows exactly what happens behind closed doors, when the companies think no one is watching. The footage is caught on hidden camera, giving a glimpse into the true lives of these abused pigs, chickens and cows.
Cock Fight (2015)
Cock Fight approaches the cruelties of the modern animal agriculture industry from a different angle. While it certainly touches on the abuse that these animals face, this film mostly focuses on the impact of these businesses on the farmers. In this Fusion network documentary. Craig Watts, a whistle-blower who shares his story, explains that American farmers have no control over the way that the animals they raise are treated. They are forced to perform inhumane executions on the animals and are paid very unfair wages, often leaving them on the edge of losing everything they own.
Food, Inc. (2008)
This ground-breaking film is easily one of the most well-known documentaries on this list. It’s often compared to Super Size Me as another film that served as a major wake up call to the American public. It focuses on the industrialization of the food industry and how it impacts human health and the economy. It empowers viewers to improve the situation by choosing to only buy from companies who ethically produce their food, ultimately forcing companies to either produce higher quality products, or go out of business.
In stark contrast from the shock and terrify approach some other anti-meat documentaries take, Vegucated follows the personal journeys of three meat lovers from New York who vow to follow a vegan diet for six weeks. The film tackles the issues many people face when making this big lifestyle change, showing how these former carnivores overcome their obstacles and reap the benefits of improved health and weight loss. It also touches on the environmental benefits of a vegan lifestyle, as factory farms lead to pollution from huge amounts of animal waste.
A change needs to happen in the animal agriculture industry. The damage these practices cause to our bodies, our planet and the very animals we consume will only continue if nothing is done about it. These documentaries are a great start in the efforts to educate the public about the dangers of factory farms; after all, everyone should know what their food really costs, not only to them, but to the animals and people that produced it.