Farmageddon (2011)

If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.

Thomas Jefferson

Run time: 1h 26mins

Director: Kristin Canty

Narrator: Kristin Canty

Language: English

IMDb rating: 7.1/10

In One Sentence What Is Farmageddon About?

Small farms and cooperatives that trade in organic foodstuffs are being targeted by government organisations and law enforcement, often with no resulting charges.

Brief Synopsis

Farmageddon looks at the influence industrial farming and its financial clout has on a governmental level with the small, local farms and their owners enduring raids, confiscation of equipment and produce and lengthy legal battles.

When it comes to the production and selling of food, the law seems to favour larger businesses as they have the financial resources to lobby government and sway policy to protect their own interests. Farmaggedon uses the example of raw milk, which according to the documentary and the anecdotal evidence from those in it, has health benefits. Farmers involved in producing and selling raw milk (and other organics) describe how they and their businesses have suffered financially and emotionally through heavy handedness, threats and intimidation.  However, the real fear is we are gradually losing the freedom to choose what we eat.

The Trailer

Why Is Farmageddon A Vegan Documentary?

In short, it isn’t. Well it shouldn’t be really. It’s hard to justify adding a film to this site that essentially promotes the consumption of animal foodstuffs, albeit organic, whole foods. The film claims health benefits of raw milk, which used to be widely available, includes the relief of certain allergy symptoms. However, other documentaries repeatedly state that optimal health is achieved through a plant-based diet which is then somewhat contradictory to what is proclaimed here.

Even from an animal welfare perspective, some of the practices demonstrated, which the farmers in question actually seem quite proud of, still appear cruel. For example, one farmer gushes with enthusiasm about his system of keeping chickens-  which is little more than a cramped wooden/mesh pen with a roof on, that he moves to a new patch of grass every couple of days. Although they are outside eating organic food, they’re hardly what could be called ‘free range’ or living how they would choose to. And ultimately of course, they’ll still be killed for food. 

So why have I included Farmageddon on a website for vegan documentaries? For two reasons. Firstly, no matter the claim, even from farmers who believe they are doing their best, their animals are still subjected to environments and treatment that is not natural. Admittedly, suffering is limited, and there is genuine care shown by farmers, but fundamentally, they are still commodities with a financial value attached to them, not free-beings with individual lives. Secondly, it’s hard, despite the fact their livelihoods depend on animals, to not have some empathy for people who are doing something differently, that they believe is better for their health and better for their animals whilst simultaneously having to fight against unjust policies that favour big business.

There are parallels here with veganism as both take a similar stance although act on them very differently. Anything that is in the minority and offers something new that challenges accepted practices will spend much of its time fighting its corner.

Where And How To Watch Farmageddon

Buy and Rent from Amazon Prime USA here and UK here

*Buy and Rent from itunes here

*denotes an affiliate link from which I’ll receive a small percentage if you purchase. And I do mean small. Tiny in fact.

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