Despite mounting evidence that industrial animal agriculture is a formidable force of climate change and mass extinction, many humans remain impervious to this knowledge. Eating Our Way to Extinction is a timely documentary that takes this issue head on. This film review is guided by Alexandra Juhasz’s explanation of media praxis as ‘an enduring, mutual, and building tradition that theorizes and creates the necessary conditions for media to play an integral role in cultural and individual transformation’ (299). Eating Our Way to Extinction attends to some of the most popular strawman arguments against veganism and is widely accessible. That being said, it falls short of its sociopolitical potential because it is beholden to the capitalist-colonial norms of self-interested individualism, promotion of consumerism over movement-building, and using Indigenous peoples as a means to an end. Eating Our Way to Extinction contrasts a worldview based on extraction and domination with one that could actually shift the tide of climate change. It then follows the logic of the extractive worldview by promoting self-interested solutions to a problem that is only exacerbated by capitalism. The fact that Eating Our Way to Extinction acknowledges that Indigenous peoples are more adept at living in an ecologically harmonious way, then silos its viewers into the very mindset that is driving the problem is where the documentary falls flat. At its heart, Eating Our Way to Extinction relies on the Western colonial logics of individualism and capitalism that undercut the social justice demands of veganism.
Recommended CitationPlisic, Melissa, Not Another Plant-Based Documentary: A Critical Review of Eating Our Way to Extinction, Animal Studies Journal, 12(2), 2023, 276-285.
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