Director of the new documentary The End of Meat is sharing below the story behind his drive to make the film. I haven’t seen it yet but am looking forward to checking it out! Let me know if you saw it in the comments below! Thanks for sharing Marc.
The End of Meat is Coming
By Marc Pierschel
In the summer of 2013 I visited a factory farm for the first time, accompanying a group of activists during the production of my film Live and Let Live. I knew what to expect based on what I’d seen on TV and YouTube, but entering the premises literally took my breath away. Although this was a so-called “humane” farm, where the animals could move about freely, the smell of ammonia was so strong that my eyes teared up. Smelling, hearing and seeing three thousand suffering birds — some of them injured or ill or even dead — cramped together in a windowless shed was a grueling experience.
Just a few hours later I was in the back of a car with six rescued hens in cardboard boxes. Our next stop was an animal sanctuary, where the half-dozen lucky ones would be able to live out their lives in peace, free from harm alongside other innocent individuals rescued from the animal agriculture industry. It felt good to know we had saved six sentient beings, but I felt such despair for the thousands we left behind. Their existence was sheer misery and they would be killed after their egg-laying cycle ended, when their production dropped off and they became unprofitable and burdensome to the bottom line.
At that moment, late at night somewhere along a German highway, I asked myself if there could ever be a world where factory farms and slaughterhouses would be known only as the ruins of humanity’s dark past. This question never left my head, and four years later I finished my film The End of Meat, which explores this theory of what the world might look like if we stopped exploiting animals for meat and other animal products.
Making this movie took me to seven different countries where I spoke with philosophers, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs and activists all working towards this idyllic vision. I met Esther the Wonder Pig; talked to pioneers leading the vegan movement in Germany; visited the first fully vegetarian city in India; witnessed rescued farm animals enjoying their newfound freedom; and observed future food innovators making meat and cheese without the animals. The result is a documentary that proves a more compassionate world is not only possible, but also imperative — to save the animals, the environment and, ultimately, ourselves.
Marc Pierschel is an award-winning filmmaker and author focused on the human-animal relationship. His films include 184, Live and Let Live and The End of Meat.
Top Photo by Sophie Dale