Eating Animals: Honolulu Premier

In partnership with HoMA’s Doris Duke Theater and Animal Liberation Oahu, the Good Food Movement took part in Honolulu’s premier of the documentary Eating Animals. The event was held on the evening of November 10, 2018 at the Doris Duke Theater. Local dessert companies such as 7VegansHi and Shortcakes Hawaii sampled out and sold plant-based sweets, while attendees sipped on Hawaii-grown, herbal Shaka Tea. Around 180 community members showed up to watch the film and some stayed to engage in discussion during the Q&A that followed.

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Eating Animals is a documentary based on the bestselling book by Jonathon Safran Foer, narrated and co-produced by Natalie Portman. It is an eye opening, thought provoking film that explores the environmental, ethical, and economic costs of factory farming. It weaves history, science, and story to give viewers an intersectional perspective of how factory farms have grown to dominate our food system and supply approximately 99% of animal products sold in the US today.

The rise of intensive livestock production since the 1950s, and the exponential growth of factory farms within the last few decades, have implications that ripple out to some of today’s most relevant issues. These include concerns about public health & safety, environmental sustainability, corrupt corporate power in politics, and social justice (human rights & animal welfare) issues.  Factory farms are governed by mega-corporations, whose concern is to maximize production while minimizing costs. Their promise to deliver “cheap” food does not take into account the pollution damage to our land, water and air. It is also often poor, rural communities of those who work in and live near these CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) that pay the hidden price in the form of increased risk of disease, contamination of soil and water sources, as well as decreased property value and overall quality of life. All of this to fill the demand of the country’s appetite for affordable meat, dairy, and eggs.

The film, being on the milder spectrum of the animal agriculture niche, challenges viewers to become aware of the malpractices typical of an industry that breeds, raises, slaughters, and sells animals to eat. It urges those who are aware of the issue to keep questioning the paradigm of food production that we’ve inherited, and invites us to do what we can in making sustainable food choices. Click here for more resources on where and how you can start.

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 At the end of the film, we opened the floor up for a Q&A with our panel (Left to Right) Anna Camacho, moderator and co-founder of Good Food Movement; Nick Pecoraro, animal rights activist, co-founder of Animal Liberation Oahu and Aloha Animal Sanctuary; Doorae Shin, environmental activist/eco-warrior, manager of the Plastic Free Hawaii program and co-founder of the Good Food Movement; Cathy Goeggel, founder and president of Animal Rights Hawaii, which is an organization that has campaigned for animals on a wide variety of animal issues since 1977.

At the end of the film, we opened the floor up for a Q&A with our panel (Left to Right) Anna Camacho, moderator and co-founder of Good Food Movement; Nick Pecoraro, animal rights activist, co-founder of Animal Liberation Oahu and Aloha Animal Sanctuary; Doorae Shin, environmental activist/eco-warrior, manager of the Plastic Free Hawaii program and co-founder of the Good Food Movement; Cathy Goeggel, founder and president of Animal Rights Hawaii, which is an organization that has campaigned for animals on a wide variety of animal issues since 1977.

We hope the takeaways for the night would be that no matter what your diet is, we can all agree on the fact that eating animals at the rate we’ve been consuming does more harm then good. That small individual changes can and do add up to collective shifts— to stay curious to local initiatives and get involved in a movement around you. And that the food industry has been listening and will continue to adapt to the growing demand of plant-based options as the trend toward more sustainable and ethical lifestyles expand.

This is definitely going on the “Good Food List of Must-Watch Films”. The up-to-date information is presented in a digestible way and not reliant on gruesome, shock-factor footage— perfect for the holidays to watch with family ; )

We are so grateful for the community that showed up to share this enlightening experience, and of course those in the movement that are making moves outside the theater, too.

Doorae Shin