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Thread: Fast Food Nation

  1. #1
    gertvegan's Avatar
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    Arrow Fast Food Nation

    Fast-food critic says he feels threatened

    By Seth Slabaugh, November 20, 2004, www.thestarpress.com


    MUNCIE - Three years after publication of his book Fast Food Nation, freelance journalist Eric Schlosser remains fearful that McDonald's is going to sue him any day.

    And that's not all he's afraid of.

    On Thursday afternoon, Schlosser was escorted by linebacker-sized Ball State University police Cpl. Alvin Tank, armed with a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun, into a classroom at Pittenger Student Center for a question-answer session with six students. An officer accompanied the author everywhere he went on campus.

    "It's kind of embarrassing that I have to have security," Schlosser told The Star Press. "To me, it's a symptom of what's wrong with this country at the moment. My book has inspired some people to call me a socialist or communist or un-American. We had a Civil War in this country, and when you look at how other countries fly apart, it's because people start being called traitors, un-American, and demonizing one another. That's very, very dangerous."

    Despite being a best seller, the book had no impact on the fast food industry, according to Schlosser. In fact, the conditions he wrote about - the childhood obesity epidemic, food safety, and the exploitation of slaughterhouse and fast-food workers - have worsened, he said.

    Amanda Carpenter and several other conservative student protesters handed out free McDonald's burgers and fries at the front doors of Emens Auditorium on Thursday night before Schlosser's speech to hundreds of students, faculty and townspeople. The protesters also distributed pamphlets, one of which depicted Uncle Sam in his "I Want You" pose. "Eric Schlosser told me you were too fat!" the pamphlet read. "Put down that chicken tender, fatty!"

    Carpenter has criticized Ball State for paying Schlosser a speaking fee of $15,000 in addition to spending $20,262 to buy copies of Fast Food Nation for all freshmen. (Schlosser says he will give the $15,000 to the Institute for Transplant Awareness). Carpenter has called the book an attack on agriculture, corporate America, and capitalism by an extremely radical leftist.

    Four BSU patrolmen plus Schlosser's police escort were assigned to provide security during his speech at Emens. That's three more officers than are normally assigned to speakers at Emens.

    The audience applauded when Schlosser said: "If you think you know all the answers at age 19 or 20, you are either a genius or a fool. What we all need on each side of the political spectrum is a sense of humility, even a slight admission that maybe we're wrong."

    The author received perhaps his loudest applause of the evening when he accused the fast-food industry of using advertising and toys to encourage young children to eat large quantities of unhealthy food - such as salty, fatty, Teletubby-shaped Chicken McNuggets - that will permanently impact their lives.

    "And that's where I think the government does have a role," he said. "We don't let the alcohol companies sell beer to children, we don't let the tobacco companies sell tobacco to children "

    Carpenter and other critics of the "food police" say citizens don't need the government to dictate what is good for their children because they can simply turn off the television or choose not to buy unhealthy foods.

    "We are talking about the children of America being targeted by these companies and developing habits that may lead to lifelong poor health," Schlosser said. "Last year, the Centers for Disease Control released a study suggesting that of kids born in the year 2000, one out of three will develop diabetes. This population of unhealthy people is going to cost us a fortune. This is a public health disaster."

    Jason Kirton, a freshman from Kokomo, said he didn't realize until reading the book that fast-food restaurants like McDonald's relied on high employee turnover to remain profitable.

    "I never thought a company would want short-term employees but they do," Kirton said. "If they're short-term employees in their teens and twenties they can't form unions and gain benefits."

    Kirton also said he didn't know that fast food came from what Schlosser described as "bloody, disgusting," meat-packing plants employing illegal immigrants who live in basements. In Texas, immigrant workers injured in slaughterhouses are not eligible for workmen's compensation, and they can be - and are - fired for being injured, Schlosser said.

    The meat-packing industry essentially controls the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the author said.

    "The minimum wage right now, adjusted for inflation, is the lowest it has been since 1950," he told the Emens crowd. "The fast-food industry is the single-largest employer of minimum-wage labor in the United States."

    Why is Schlosser fearful of being sued by the fast-food industry?

    Because he remembers television talk show host Oprah Winfrey having to spend millions to successfully defend herself against Texas cattlemen who sued her after a show on mad cow disease.

    Why is he fearful of being attacked during public appearances?

    Partly because of an incident he declined to discuss on the record. "I haven't even told my children about it," he said.

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    I can't believe someone was handing out McDonald's burgers. How sophisticated...

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    I eve's Avatar
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    The situation that Schlosser is in, is ghastly, and I can understand that he is living in fear of beng sued. We all remember the McDonalds case against those two young people in England, and the Canadian organic farmer being sued by Mosanto. I certainly hope it all goes away for him, and that his book speaks for itself. I read it and it is excellent.
    Eve

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    I've just put a long extract of that article in the Updates page of Vegan Voice.
    Eve

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    ConsciousCuisine
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    "an attack on agriculture, corporate America, and capitalism by an extremely radical leftist"


    Where do I sign up? We need more of this!

    I love his book. People need to wake up and smell the fat a fryin', then run the other way...

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    Schlosser said that his book has had no effect on the eating habits of the nation. He needs to know that it HAS made a difference-Reading his book is one of the reasons I became a vegan!

  7. #7

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    Corporations are scary. I'm reading "Soap Opera" which is about Proctor and Gamble. The book came out in 1993. The author says they use animals for testing. I wonder if they still do?

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    I eve's Avatar
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    Yes they do.
    Eve

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    Quote Northern Lights
    Schlosser said that his book has had no effect on the eating habits of the nation. He needs to know that it HAS made a difference-Reading his book is one of the reasons I became a vegan!
    Same with my husband, I read him excerpts from the book and that's why he became vegan. He was absolutely sickened.

    We should try to contact Schlosser and let him know!

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    This is the group that protested. I've heard from a couple people that went to see him speak that shot down everything the protesters said without batting an eye.

    http://bsyou.net/

    edit: ok, thats not the group that he shot down, but they have information on it. the young republicans is the group i was thinking of.

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    Default fast food nation

    http://www.comingsoon.net/news.php?id=9405

    So I guess they're making some sort of Fictional Thriller movie based off of and Called Fast Food Nation. I thought it was a great book, but I'm curious as to how they'll make a decent fictional thriller out of it.

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    Default Re: fast food nation

    Oh, I`d love a movie like that! I devoured the book and gave it to everyone I could convince to read it (some people just refused when I told them what it`s about and they were the ones who could benefit most from it...)

    littleTigercub

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    Default Re: fast food nation

    This is great news! I hope they do the book justice.

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    Default Re: Fast-food critic says he feels threatened

    Avril Lavigne tucks into Fast Food Nation

    Thursday December 22, 2005, http://film.guardian.co.uk

    Canadian pop princess Avril Lavigne is to make her acting debut in a new film about the evils of the fast food industry.
    Lavigne will join the ensemble cast of Fast Food Nation, already featuring the likes of Patricia Arquette, Bobby Cannavale, Luis Guzman, Ethan Hawke, Greg Kinnear, Kris Kristofferson, Esai Morales and Catalina Sandino Moreno. The film will be directed by indie darling Richard Linklater, who recently completed work on A Scanner Darky, adapted from the novel by Philip K Dick.

    Fast Food Nation will be a feature-length drama based on Eric Schlosser's non-fiction bestseller of the same title.
    Linklater, of Befores Sunset and Sunrise fame, told the Hollywood Reporter that the movie would not be a documentary in the Morgan Spurlock Super Size Me mould, but a character study of the lives behind the facts and figures. "I'm more interested in fiction than nonfiction. You get to the point through human storytelling."

    Fast Food Nation is due for release next year.

    Not to be confused with Supersize Me which has it's own thread here.

  15. #15
    Kevster
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    Default Re: Fast-food critic says he feels threatened

    Hmmm, be interesting to see what they do with it.

  16. #16
    VeganJohn
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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    I bought Fast Food Nation the week I became vegan and read it over a few days. Fascinating, powerful and truly shocking dtuff. I meant to pick up a copy of his next book and marijuana, but never got round to it.

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    Default Fast Food Nation

    Compassion over killing isn't enough to make more vegans. I am glad fine alternative such as this exist.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=X99n9BveKns for the video,

    http://www.digg.com/search?search=Fa...&submit=Submit

    for the discussion.

    This movie comes from the book and shows the many problems eating meat offers to humanity.

  18. #18
    FR
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    That movie looks so good. I hope millions of disgusting animal eaters go and see that.

  19. #19
    veggiewoman
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    I want to do some more stalls in teh near future against fast food places ie kfc , mcdonalds etc, and although I will be saying about the animal cruelty side of it , I want to concentrate more on telling people about how by going to places like that they are contributing to destroying the rainforest and what it does to people in the 3rd world . I think less people know about how those places destroy the rainforests than know about the cruelty to animals.If that all makes sense.

    I guess anythings worth a go to get people to stop eating in those awful evil places!!!

  20. #20
    mrknifey87
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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    Aye, if only Schlosser could know how many people he turned to veg*nism with his great and insightful book. It's a shame about those radical counterprotesters, but they'll get their just desserts in a couple decades while we fly on the wings of good health. The whole idea of handing out McDonald's is a very poorly thought out conservative approach. If they were just going to say "hey, we believe government should be hands-off with the food industry, we support cheap, short-term, nonunionized labor" it'd be one thing. Too bad nutrition science doesn't have a political affiliation.

    Course, now the real question here is, what exactly happened to Schlosser that he won't talk about?

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    I saw him again on TV today.

    It's still a shame that's he continues to eat meat.

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    Eat this: McDonalds faces its greatest critic.

    Steve Easterbrook, the boss of McDonalds in the UK debated the issues with leading critic Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation on Thursdays Newsnight. It seems to be playing up, I just saw half the programme, see if it works for you here.

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    Thanks for the link. I really enjoyed the video. It seems that Eric has more knowledge of McDs than the CEO.

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    Very interesting. Thanks for posting that gert!

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    yeah I enjoyed the Newsnight link, too. I was quite surprised to find that Eric Schlosser is not even vegetarian, but then I guess that is fortunate in that he can't be dismissed as a crank with a grudge or something (though he still gets stuff like 'radical leftist' etc, as I think someone posted here).
    "I've been very hungry, but not enough to kill" - The Clash

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    Fascinating link Gert!

    I find it *surprising* that he still eats meat - but it's interesting that people might take him more seriously if they see him more as one of their own - instead of a person who has already taken the welfare idea to the logical conclusion and gone vegan.
    "if compassion is extreme, then call me an extremist"

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    It's been a few years since i read it but does Eric not say in the book that he isn't vegetarian?

    I watched the newsnight thingy and hafta say I was impressed by the McD guy's speaking skills, conversely I don't think Eric is particularly good at this - he comes over much more as an amateur than a professional. Slightly unfairly McD got to show a propaganda video first, which despite Eric mentioning chickens will come across to many meat eaters as being a green light. The argument about mince coming from more than one cow I doubt will win any support - as was pointed out the same is said of meat in supermarkets and other restaurants.
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    Yep. Mr McD did much better. His speaking skills were pretty good.

    It also didn't help that Eric was using mainly old and mainly US data. Mr McD had prepared all his counter arguments, so it made it seem as though McDonalds in the UK had made such advancements that it's now actually ethical! He seemed to flounder slightly when pigs and chickens were mentioned. Eric should have done a bit more UK research so that he could have attacked the weak points.

    I mean, the 'healthy' foods in McDonald's still aren't healthy are they? Don't the salads have loads of sugar in them? He also said that children can have carrot sticks instead of fries - yeh right. I'd be interested to see the statistics and see what proportion of parents/children request carrot sticks. I doubt if most parents who take their kids there to eat regularly would break from the norm, and if children aren't used to eating veg then they're hardly going to request them.

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    The McDs guy must have done some homework then. He was outclassed by Schlosser on the Channel 4 news just a few days earlier. He barely answered one question.

  30. #30
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    Default Fast Food Nation - The Movie!

    I'm new here. I did a search and don't think this has been posted anywhere, sorry if it's a repeat.

    Anyway, the book 'Fast Food Nation' has been made into a movie and is due to be released Fall 2006. The book was great and I'm hoping the movie will serve the book justice. It should reach a lot more people than the book did!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X99n9BveKns
    Last edited by flutterby; Jun 5th, 2006 at 03:26 PM. Reason: This was the first post in a similar new thread.

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation - The Movie!

    I hope it comes to the UK soon, it's about time the fast food industry was blown wide open. Morgan Spurlocks film was great too. We never realised fast food such as McDonalds had such a terrible effect on the human body.
    Silent but deadly :p

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation - The Movie!

    Morgan Spurlocks film was great too
    Super Size Me had definate good points regarding human health which is important yet it wasn't concerned enough with animal rights/welfare. I loved the fact that his gf was vegan. I went to theater to see it and was grossed out by watching him shove animals down his throat. I think Fast Food Nation will be more concerned with animal rights/welfare, I can't wait for it.

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation - The Movie!

    I haven't read Fast Food Nation but I'm glad it's being made into a film. I'd love to see it but if there are any graphic slaughterhouse scenes I wouldn't be able to. I think the thread on the book mentioned something like that.


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    Exclamation Fast Food Nation

    Listed to an interesting discussion between Phillip Adams and the author of Fast Food Nation (Schlosser). Schlosser made a feature film, called 'Fast Food Nation', which is being released in Australia today. He spoke about the film (which is fictionalised), the way the fast food industry in the US has developed, the extent of its social impact, and what changes have taken place in the five years since he last spoke with Phillip.

    But what struck me most, apart from the food industry that he spoke about, was when he spoke so sympathetically about the way non-human animals are imprisoned for all of their lives, and he correlated this to the way humans are locked up in the US. He said that since the 1970s, when factory farming really took on big time, so did prison building. Apparently per capita the US has more prisoners, male and female, than any other country on the planet. He mentioned California where there is huge prison building going on at a time when the money could be better spent building hospitals.
    Last edited by flutterby; Nov 11th, 2006 at 12:27 PM. Reason: this was the 1st post in a similar thread
    Eve

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    I've read the book 'Fast Food Nation' and I'm going to see the movie on the release date which is Nov 17, 2006, here in the states. I was discouraged to learn that the author of the book Eric Schlosser is actually not a vegetarian, much less a vegan. Here's an interview with him where he says he's not a vegetarian.
    Regardless, I'm glad there is a movie going to theater with potential to reach millions that at least delves into animal, environmental and human rights issues. I wonder how many people will go veg as a result of the movie? Too bad they don't have a poll at the movies to ask who may go veg as a result. I'm sure to hand out leaflets after the movie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dclZxxaB6XE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIWmv...elated&search=
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkCg0...elated&search=
    (The third part of the interview is where Schlosser says he's not a vegetarian)
    The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    I'm so excited for it! I'm definitely going next Friday - I'm going to see Saw III tonight w. my semi boy so I think I'm just going to make him go next Friday to my movie choice - even though it will be right before my sorority final. oh welll I'm not all that big into dressing up anyways and it doesn't take me that long to get ready so we should be able to make it! and my flight leaves at 9 am the next morning so maybe we'll skip it anyways... we'lll see. figure my priorities lie w. fast food nation over formal
    "An outside enemy exists only if there is anger inside."
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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    Fast Food Nation make me go veggie. I found it hard to believe after researching that book that Eric still eats meat. Oh well.

  38. #38
    lauren rae
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    I actually have a number of meat eating friends who'd love to see factory farming disappear but are unwilling to boycott it by going veg. My mom falls into that catagory too. One of my meat-eater buddies told me he actually agreed with "animal terrorism" or whatever the gov't is calling it these days.

  39. #39
    Yogini
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    I thought the book was really interesting and I'm glad I'm read it. I didn't, though, think of it as a vegan book. Didn't very little of it actually have to do with animal cruelty? (It's been a few years since I read it.) I saw it as more a critique of how the fast food industry has entrenched itself so firmly and insidiously in American society. And I remember being most affected by his account of the plight of slaughterhouse workers rather than slaughterhouse victims. Although you could say the workers are victims, as well.

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    How could any intelligent person protest by handing out McDonald's hamburgers and protesting the fact that Americans are overweight?

    I can understand people wanting to protest but by protesting this topic and in this way makes them look like they aren't even up on the news of the "American obesity epidemic" and that there is nothing wrong with McDonald's food.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    I was also disappointed to learn that Schlosser still eats meat. To him the point is the exploitation of other humans in both the fast food & slaughterhouse industry. Richard Linklater, who directed the movie, is a vegetarian however and tried to throw some animal rights messages into the film. However, in every interview I've seen with Schlosser where he promotes the movie, he makes sure to say that it's not an anti meat film. I really want to see it but there is real slaughterhouse footage in the movie and I don't know if I can handle watching it. I've never even seen Meet your Meat or Earthlings because I'm so sensitive. Just reading about the horrors of the meat industry is enough to give me nightmares for weeks. I'll probably just wait for video so I can fast forward through that part without watching.

  42. #42

    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    The book is a decent human-centred view of why the fastfood industry is a force of negativity. The film is very dull.

    A documentary setting would have worked best, as a piece of fiction the scripting is dire, characters totally uninvolving and the acting is average at best. Avril Lavigne as a semi-animal rights activist is embarassing, arguably the worst moment to the point of parody. Their shenanigans go on to make the point "oh well cows are dumb anyway aren't they?"

    It ends with some slightly sanitised slaughterhouse scenes but by now the audience will have switched off and be determined to reject everything in this poor film.

    I assume this inclusion is the reason they decided the film should be adult only, they compound this by adding sex scenes and swearing. Okay in itself but essentially superfluous and key in preventing younger people from seeing it.

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    I just watched the Fast Food Nation movie last night. I've never read the book, so it was a bit of an insight into the fast food industry for me.

    I enjoyed and appreciated the movie, but there were a lot of slaugherhouse scenes and in particular some very gruesome "kill floor" scenes that were heart-wrenching and sickening.

    I wish every person in North America who ate fast food would watch this. There are a lot of apathetic people out there, so I don't doubt for a minute that tens of thousands of them would still continue to eat fast food.

    However, there's a chance that by watching this, many people may give up fast food and maybe even become vegetarian.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    I agree with you completely Roxy! I watched the movie Fast Food Nation and I read the book. I found them both equally upsetting. I suspect that if more people 'met their meat' there would be a lot more vegans in the world. The sad part is people prefer to be ignorant.
    The good man is the friend of all living things. -- Mohandas Gandhi

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    I just saw the movie tonight at the Prince Charles Cinema in London, I queued for about 1hr, the theater was packed, as entry was free.

    The film was directed by Linklater, I know some people are put off by his style, but that's not really the point. The abattoir scene had me cringe, I found it heart-wrenching, the lyricism of the scenes soul destroying ...

    After the movie there was a short Q&A about healthy eating with chef Aldo Zilli, though as soon as the credits rolled at least half of the audience left the theater.
    He mentioned at one point that he could never eat red meat again after watching this movie, to which someone in the audience incredulously asked why ... Honestly, I think some people will always be meat-eaters, it's depressing to think some people couldn't even question not eating beef after seeing this movie ...
    Die Schnecken sind meine Freunden!

  46. #46
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    That's great that they're showing this movie for free!

    Disappointing though that a lot people got up and left during the credits.

    I hope seeing the film touched something inside many of the people who saw it though.

    I agree with you about the slaughter scenes. They were heart-wrenching and very difficult to watch.

  47. #47
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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    I cant wait to see this film. The book really had an impact on me.
    If i keep a green bough in my heart my singing bird will come.

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    Default Re: Fast Food Nation

    Defo recommend the book, saw the film, but wouldn't recommend you go see it if veggie or vegan, just no comparison at all. A few harrowing scenes at the end to show any non veg*ns though.

  49. #49
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    Default Fast Food Nation

    This book made me vegitarian. I'm vegan now, but vegetarianism was my first step.

    It convinced me that the meatpacking industry is PURE EVIL. Not only is it breaking almost every single law about animal abuse, but it is evil to its employees. People fall into meatgrinders and get turned into hamburgers.

    I feel worse for the animals, though, because they have no choice.The meatpacking industry is corrupt and murdurous, and intolrable. I hate it so much.

    I wish I could set all the animals free, or make a ranch where they could live happy lives. But that would be impossible, because they slaughter 10 billion animals every year. I bet not all of them get eaten, either.

    Fast Food Nation also revealed the fast food industry for what it really was: an industry full of liars, manipulative presidents, and murdurers.

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    By veggiewoman in forum Projects, companies & links
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: Sep 4th, 2006, 12:49 PM

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