“…it leans, implicitly, toward the pro-meat argument, since the most compelling figures in the film are a handful of heritage farmers who have sidestepped the industrial-farming system to raise their own meticulously cared-for chickens, turkeys, and hogs.
One of them, Frank Reese of Kansas, raises hallowed breeds of poultry that he regards as reverently as an old Italian winemaker does his grapevines. The animals are nurtured and respected, treated as part of the life cycle. Frank’s birds roam free, of course, and eat feed that’s good for them, and Frank talks about the aesthetics of farming, how there’s a “holy” aspect to it. He also says something stark: “There’s no way you can love an animal that’s been genetically engineered to die in six weeks.”
“In the last 40 or so years, traditional farming—that storied American ideal of the individual farmer who cares for his crop and lives off his land—has quickly lost the battle to industrial farming complexes and factories that produce seemingly endless supplies of meat, eggs, and dairy, harvested from animals who often live in horrific conditions. To call those conditions cruel would be kind—and the film knows as much, highlighting not only what goes on behind closed doors but the stories of the whistleblowers who pay the price for speaking out about it. It is a love letter, too, to the remaining farmers who continue to care for their animals as living, breathing creatures with whom we share the earth.”