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Do Anti-Meat Movies Actually Change Minds?

The turn to vegetarianism or veganism following an extreme film appears to come either from a mental line of reasoning or a visceral, gut rejection.

CHARLES BRAMESCO:Eating Animals and its brethren in the fight against factory farming — Super Size Me, Food Inc., Cowspiracy, the whole stomach-turning lot — are action-oriented cinema, expressly made with the intention of swaying a viewer to their way of thinking. Still, nobody (including this meat-eating writer) likes feeling pitched-to, least of all via images of concentration-camp-style poultry prisons and farmers fisting their cows. It’s a hell of a thing, cognitive dissonance…

What is the thought process when a person sees a movie and decides to make a radical life change as a result? Do they think of their diet as a political or ethical choice? Does suffering only become real once we’ve seen it?… Canvassing friends, friends of friends, casual acquaintances, and cooperative strangers from the internet, answers to these questions started to take fuzzy shape. The interviews form a portrait of a highly personal process that’s often a far cry from the immediate road-to-Damascus moment one might imagine.

Following the release of Bong Joon-ho’s agitprop E.T. riff Okja, Google results for “veganism” spiked by 65 percent, and in the wake of Super Size Me, McDonald’s enacted changes to their menu and branding to compete with rising rates of vegetarianism… Respondents saw the light with the help of a wide array of films… Forks Over Knives was a common response, as was Earthlings and A Place at the Table… Okja was a popular mention, along with Babe and Charlotte’s Web… The turn to vegetarianism or veganism following an extreme film appears to come either from a mental line of reasoning or a visceral, gut rejection’. SOURCE…

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