A new documentary from the UK points to the vertical integration of the pork industry as the cause of numerous economic, environmental and health woes worldwide. Taxpayers, it says, contribute to this process whether they realize it or not.
The film, Pig Business, chronicles the consolidation of pig production from small farms into a handful of large agribusinesses.
“During the 90s, large scale meat processors bought up livestock farms. This…allowed them to control the whole process, from raising to packaging,” Tracy Worcester, the film’s director, explains. In her job as an ecologist, the more Worcester learned about the impact of this consolidation, the more it interested her. She decided to make a documentary chronicling the origins of the process and its effect on the world today.
The Film’s Intended Impact
Worcester says the most important thing the average person can do to curb the negative impact of large-scale meat production is be an active consumer. She suggests buying meat raised on a small or local farm that treats its animals humanely. She also recommends asking where meat came from before buying it at supermarkets or ordering it at restaurants.
Pig Business was developed as a tool that Non-Governmental Organizations can use to illustrate the problems associated with industrial farming, says Worcester. The film was created with an eye towards raising awareness among consumers of the role they play in contributing to agribusiness, and what they can do to promote environmentally friendly, humane pig-raising processes. She hopes the film will reach a wider audience than the materials an NGO is usually able to disseminate. The film is available on YouTube.
Many celebrities, including Robert Kennedy Jr. (who appears in the film) and Paul McCartney, have endorsed the film and its message. A screening will be held in Washington, D.C. in early March. The film will later be shown to the EU Parliament, which has requested a screening in order to raise awareness among parliamentarians about the effects of agribusiness.