DOXA 2012: LoveMEATender weighs in on a meaty topic
With books and films like Food Inc., Fast Food Nation, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma gaining popularity over the past few years, it’s surprising that more people have not turned to vegetarianism or veganism. There’s no question that the industrialization of the global meat industry is having a negative impact on our health and the environment, and filmmaker Manu Coeman’s cleverly named documentary, LoveMEATender, presents this argument by looking at what has changed in Belgium and France over the last few decades.
After the film opens with a shot of a blood-drenched conveyor belt at a meat factory (setting the tone for the many squirm-inducing scenes that come later), Coeman’s camera lens focuses on André Pochon, a retired French farmer whose gentle view of the world is countered by his excitable, animated speech. Pochon explains that not too long ago, many people consumed meat only on special occasions, but now, Europe can’t even produce enough protein to meet the demand of its population. This complicated balance, or lack thereof, is called into question as audiences see the effect of overconsumption and industrializing the meat industry in countries around the world, including Brazil, India, and Senegal.
Coeman is careful to never come off as preachy— interspersing industry interviews with scientific data—but all those shots of stoic breeders caring for happy chickens and pigs, and healthy cows quietly grazing in lush green fields aren’t just in the film to paint a pretty picture.
DOXA presents LoveMEATender on May 9 at 1 p.m. at Pacific Cinémathèque.
Watch the trailer for LoveMEATender.