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REDUCTION DEDUCTIONS: New documentary argues carnivores and vegans can find middle ground


The film brings watchers to a farm where a farmer explains the complex relationship he has with the chickens, pigs, cows and turkeys that he raises and kills 'humanely', and sells to customers who can afford sustainably reared meat.

CHRISTINE BURNS RUDALEVIGE: “Meat Me Half Way” is an 80-minute investigative documentary scheduled for release on Tuesday. The film explores the tiny islands of common ground that could exist in the gulf between vigilant vegans and overcommitted carnivores if the two groups took a moment to listen to each other… With “Meat Me Half Way,” I really have no idea how this story will play out as the issues surrounding meat-eating are both national in scale – industrial meat production emits huge amounts of greenhouse gases – and as highly personal as what you choose to eat for dinner. Given that the film establishes reasonable arguments for both eating and avoiding meat, the outcome could go either way. The point is to listen carefully to the other side…

The Reducetarian Foundation, … a nonprofit organization, believes that getting committed carnivores to eat less meat a couple of times a week would have a bigger impact on stemming global climate change than converting vegetarians to veganism. The foundation’s founder and the film’s director, Brian Kateman, explains in the film (as he did at the conference) that the average American eats about 200 pounds of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products annually. The average American lacto-ovo-vegetarian eats about 10 pounds of eggs and dairy per year. Getting meat eaters to cut 10% of their meat consumption (a reduction of 20 pounds) would make a bigger impact, pound for pound, than getting a vegetarian to go vegan (a reduction of 10 pounds).

Those numbers seem pretty black and white to me. The film, though, explores the grayer areas of the meat/no meat conversation. It uses Kateman’s endearing relationship with his parents to illustrate just how far some meat eaters are from accepting that their daily habits affect climate change. It uses Kateman’s sometimes volatile relationship with the vegan community to bring viewers to a vigil where animal rights advocates are giving water to thirsty hogs being trucked into a California slaughterhouse.

The film brings watchers to a farm in Georgia where a farmer explains the complex relationship he has with the chickens, pigs, cows and turkeys he raises on pasture, kills humanely, and sells for a pretty penny to customers who can afford sustainably reared meat. And it walks viewers through the complicated scientific processes it takes to make plant-based meat products and to cultivate cellular meat in laboratories in California. The amount of information in this film, while it is both fascinating and multi-faceted. SOURCE…


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