Pro-Burger American Meat Is Not Entirely Propaganda


There’s something blissful about sitting down for lunch and eating a deliciously juicy burger without thinking for even a second about where that beef came from and how it got there. Call it denial, but the harsh realities of the meat industry aren’t something omnivores usually wish to know about. Pro-farmer doc American Meat attempts to serve as a counterpoint to Super Size Me, Fast Food Nation, and the stigma lefties place on the meat industry. Chipotle Mexican Grill is even sponsoring a “Young Farmer Screening Series” that shows American Meat at various schools. We know what you’re thinking: Is Chipotle trying to make me feel good about eating meat? Well, yes and no. American Meat plays on the heartstrings of meat-eaters (and fair-weather vegetarians) by exemplifying the history of meat production in the U.S., especially its innovations, and by arguing that the industry is essential to the sustainability of our civilization. And it does so in a cute Sesame Street style, with animated chickens, pigs, and cows, and interviews with nice-mannered farmers, like Sam Talley, as piano music tinkles in the background. “If it weren’t for people like me, you and everyone else would go hungry,” Talley says. He does have a point. But is all of this propaganda? American Meat doesn’t completely pander: One non-organic-producing farmer flat out says that organic meat tastes better, and that he would produce it if he had a contract with corporations like Whole Foods. American Meat won’t fully counter the negative sentiment that the meat industry has, but it’s not entirely propaganda, either.