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Extra Credit Critique

2012 December 8
by spriggem

This past Wednesday I went to go see the screening of the documentary American Meat which filmed the daily life of farmers in order to encourage that small-scale farming should be kept around. The man that introduced the documentary was very engaging and spoke enthusiastically about the world of farming. He was very adamant about the fact that young people should be reinforced to join the farming industry so that Americans can continue to rely on small farms instead of turning to the conventional meat industry. The speaker really caught my attention when he began to explain that the average farmers age was 62. I found it surprising to hear that at an age where most people retire, another occupation had its common workforce. I believe that the speakers goal of telling this statistic was to make the whole crowd put into perspective how the industry was dying and needed help. I could see how this information could encourage small-scale farming as it emphasized that people put their whole lives into the job and that new farmers are needed; however, it also seemed to me that the speaker opened a gateway for a counterargument. I was positive that he was encouraging the survival of small-scales farmers, but at the same time he made it easy to argue that possibly the industry was dying for a reason. It personally confused me a little and distracted me in a sense where I was trying to figure out what exactly stood for.

The documentary excelled at its goal to show the day-to-day work of farmers and the importance of their occupation. In one case it explained how one of the small farms was the main provider of chicken and that its buyers were consecutively increasing. Showing the audience the graph that depicted the amount of costumers the farm had gained really emphasized the argument by proving they were indeed equip suppliers. It also emphasized that although these big time markets could purchase chicken from anywhere else, they all decided to stick with this small farm. The documentary also depicted the hard labor that is necessary in order to maintain the farm. They use of real farmers allowed for the film to also highlight the dedication of all these farmers. The most effective example of such labor and dedication,was the farmer that was teaching his son how to successfully carry on the business. He explained that this son was the only one of his children that wanted to carry the business and become a farmer. The amount of work that this boy was performing and the amount of work his father did everyday, allowed us viewers to realize how hardworking these people are. It appealed to pathos as it showed that a young boy at 12 years old already knew what he what he wanted to do with his life and was already working towards accomplishing it. It appealed to pathos as it made the audience feel happy and excited that this boy and his father were so dedicated to their work. This portion was definitely influential as it allows the audience to feel as if they have to fight for the cause so that this father and son can do what they love and know best.

The documentary immediately got a lot of attention the minute that it had incorporated the well-known and thriving restaurant, Chipotle. I know that personally it instantaneously got my attention because it is my favorite place to eat. When we were informed that Chipotle is supplied by a small-scale farm it really made a huge impact. This fact definitely secured my support to small-scale farming as I was amazed that such a nationally successful food place was initiated and supplied by the small-scale farming industry.

American Meat gave me a lot of insight on the farming lifestyle. It gave me perspective and allowed me to believe that the U.S can be supported by small-scale farming and that it needs to attract young farmers to sustain in the meat industry.

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