Pete's back. The now-famed undercover animal rights advocate infiltrated a commercial hog farm in Ohio this time, and bets are on that the new Death on a Factory Farm documentary, airing one week from tonight on HBO, will go a long way to further alienate viewers from the idea of eating meat, although its intent is to expose the legal loopholes that often doom animals in institutionalized production to abuse and cruelty.
Even Pork magazine recommends to its meat-industry readers that they watch this documentary. The abuses are extreme and, in the minds of many viewers who have never been to a farm, the implication that all livestock is abused or warehoused inhumanely isn't a far leap. Pork agrees that the farm workers caught on film were out of line.
And, from the other point of view, the ways that business and legal entities view the animal rights movement spills over to virtually any cause or concern for animal welfare and safety as well as "rights".
Just as not all farmers throw piglets across the barn, not all animal advocates want to shut down all farms.
Expose films like this one are great for ratings; word has it that Oprah's well-done expose of puppy mills was her most-watched program in history.
Death on a Factory Farm will not be easy to watch, but try to do it with a critical mind. If you consider yourself an advocate for horses, understand that you are likely to be lumped with advocates for uncrating sows and liberating lab mice. Drawing lines between species isn't easy, and lawmakers, attorneys, and judges often don't see much difference between a horse and a rat and a sow. One law may cover them all, although the point of this film is that there is not much of any law at all to help these sows and piglets.
Put it on your calendar: Death on a Factory Farm, HBO, Monday, March 16. Check local times and listings.
To learn more about this film, click here.
To read the article in Pork, click here.