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What the Critics Are Saying About Factory Farming Documentary ‘Eating Animals’

The Natalie Portman-narrated film about where meat comes from is garnering praise

Eating Animals, a new documentary about the state of industrial farming in America, aims to take a hard look at where the meat in our country comes from and suggest an approach to rectifying the “factory-farm-to-table” agricultural shift Americans have experienced in the past few decades. The film, which lands in theaters across the country today, is based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s acclaimed 2009 book of the same name. He’s a producer on this film, along with actress Natalie Portman, who also narrates Eating Animals.

So what are critics saying about this new documentary from the acclaimed novelist and Hollywood movie star? Here’s a look at the early word:

Most of the critics agree that Eating Animals succeeds in differentiating itself from other exposes with the same topic, and so far the reviews have been generally positive — the film currently has a Metacritic score of 71.

Village Voice critic Alan Scherstuhl explains that the film instils a sense of fury through the disturbing images it shows. “Eating Animals isn’t bringing us news; it’s urging us to face what we already suspect,” the critic writes. Meanwhile, David Ehrlich of IndieWire gives the film props for making the “meat is murder” argument as convincingly as possible. He writes that it “makes it very clear that meat-eaters are driving a modern holocaust against their dinner.”

But New York Times critic Ben Kenigsberg is skeptical that the solutions the film suggests will actually take hold if they’re put into practice. “Plant-based meat substitutes may be our future, but the broader public isn’t clamoring for them to replace burgers,” Kenigsberg writes. And Boston Globe critic Peter Keough also notes: “As for solutions, except for a general call for change, ‘Eating Animals’ comes up short.”

Head over to the IFC Films homepage for more information about the film’s release.

Eating Animals [Official]
“Eating Animals” Demands We Face the Truth About Factory Farming [VV]
The hidden costs of humans being carnivores [BG]
‘Eating Animals’ Review [IW]
Review: ‘Eating Animals’ Skewers Factory Farming [NYT]