Vegan film 'Eating Animals' by Natalie Portman arriving in UK cinemas this week

Eating Animals soon to air in the UK


The plant-based celeb, Natalie Portman, has long been a champion of animal rights and in raising awareness, and now, she’s bringing her documentary Eating Animals to the UK, to continue helping creatures in need.


The film, which was produced and narrated by Portman, and was based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same title, will be premiering on June 6th at Screen on the Green in Angel, London, prior to being shown at other theaters.


For ninety minutes, the eye-opening documentary looks at how animals are abused within the factory farming system. It seeks to portray an argument against factory farming, including footage from a number of farming facilities, both intensive farms and smaller, family-run businesses.


Foer worked alongside Portman as co-producer, and has described their approach to the film as being ‘open’ to different viewpoints. The author told Vanity Fair that he and Portman: “Would talk about, what is the tone that will make this very difficult subject approachable?”


He adds: “Because people are so disinclined to approach it, to willingly say, ‘I’m going to upset myself for 90 minutes. You’re gonna tell me this thing I love, it’s probably not good for me or anybody else. It’s counterproductive to be holier than thou.”


Mixed reviews


A review by Variety, states that this tactic translates into portraying smaller scale livestock farmers as ‘the most compelling figures in the film, who have sidestepped the industrial-farming system to raise their own meticulously cared-for chickens, turkeys, and hogs’.


It continues: “Eating Animals understands the boutique economics of what it’s showing us. It knows that heritage farms like these represent just one percent of the farmers in America, an elite group who have subverted the system and are keeping an old idea of farming alive.”


“The other 99 percent have been sucked into the exhausting competitive juggernaut of factory farming, in which farms raise animals on a scale of mass production, which requires conditions that are called, euphemistically, ‘confinement agriculture’ but might more accurately be described as an animal holocaust.”


Following the welfare take, and the attempt to show all both sides, one vegan who saw a preview of the screening when it launched in the US last year explained that they were disappointed by the movie. They said to online resource, Plant Based News: “It feels like a missed opportunity. There is only one way to end the horror of animal exploitation – and that is to go vegan,” they said.


The viewer continued: “The way I interpreted it, this film was suggesting that eating animals from higher welfare farms was a really positive step forwards – but as we know even animals from more ‘humane’ farms are slaughtered to satisfy human appetites.”


“It would be impossible to feed the planet on animals reared in the better conditions on some of the farms shown. A stronger message would have been to avoid animal exploitation entirely.”


It begs to be seen what UK viewers will make of the documentary, but let’s hope that it opens the eyes of any non-vegans who watch it, and helps people to realise the everyday horrors of factory farming.