Heya! After some well-needed rest and recovery in the Swedish countryside, I’m back in full strength and with a gem in terms of outreach on animal welfare: welcome to the MEATRIX.
This is a funny, yet relevant way of succinctly outlining the problems with factory farming and to point out solutions consumers can pursue to promote change in the industry. After watching the introductory movie, the ‘Learn’ section offers a plethora of information on issues from Additives to Workers’ welfare. Clicking through brings you to the relevant sections of the very well referenced website of the Sustainable Table initiative.
Then, you can go to the ‘What you can do’ section for some tips and tricks related to making a difference – there is nothing inherently new on here (eating less meat, get more information through a variety of media, and support sustainable agriculture are all mentioned), but there are helpful links and advice on where to start in these goals. I particularly like the “Questions to Ask” ideas provided by Sustainable Table – you know, sometimes you feel you need more information from your farmer/store manager/food supplier but you don’t know where to start? Start here!
Finally, there is an interactive part of the website where you can explore issues surrounding factory farming in context, though the information is similar to the Learning section. Still, sometimes a picture says more than 1000 words, right?
Overall, there is a lot of great information here. While it follows some of the current rhetoric in painting the ‘mean agri-business’ as the culprit that willingly destroyed the ‘poor family farm’ (the truth is a bit more complicated in my opinion), there is still a huge bonus there: it’s FUN to watch and spoofing the Matrix is actually a pretty great metaphor for the way food is currently being sold with the ‘healthy small farm’ image no matter where it came from.
If you too can’t get enough and want to know whether Leo is ‘the one’, there are the MEATRIX II and II 1/2 for your viewing pleasure below. Let me know what you think!