Moorpheus Explains Why We Need To Eat Sustainable Food
Does the term “factory farming” mean anything to you? It worries many people: the mass production of animals as a food crop is not only seen by many as inhumane treatment of the animals, but it leads to serious pollution of the environment for all humans, whether or not you eat meat. See Stephanie Zonis’s article, “Where’s The [Organic] Beef?,” to learn more about how most of the meat in the supply chain is produced.
When a company practices sustainable manufacturing or agriculture, it chooses environmentally- and socially-responsible production. Companies that don’t produce sustainable food don’t treat their animals well, waste natural resources, pollute the environment and generally work in a fashion that generates more profits in the short term at the expense of what promoters of sustainable agriculture feel is a better future for us all.
In February 2003, Free Range Graphics, a not-for-profit graphic design company, invited hundreds of not-for-profit organizations to apply for a grant to produce a short film to publicize the problem. The winner was GRACE’s (Global Resource Action Center for the Environment) Sustainable Table program, which works to educate consumers about the problems with factory farming and to promote sustainable food. They produced “The Meatrix,” a parody animation of the popular film, “The Matrix.” Instead of Morpheus awakening Neo to the reality of the Matrix, the trenchcoat-clad steer Moorpheus takes the pig Leo on an eye-opening tour of the problems of factory farming. Leo lives on a pleasant family farm...or so he thinks. Moorpheus shows him the ugly truth about agribusiness, and that he really lives in...the Meatrix. In the mode of life imitates art, it’s easy to see the similarities between “The Matrix” (the film) and today’s Big Agribusiness.
At the end of the short film, consumers can find the Eat Well Guide, Sustainable Table’s online directory of farms, stores and restaurants in the U.S. and Canada that sell meat, poultry, dairy and eggs from small, sustainable family farmers.
An Award-Winning Hit & The Sequel
No matter where you fall on the topic of sustainable agriculture, to see “The Meatrix” is to love it. In a mere 3 minutes and 47 seconds, Director/Animator/Co-Writer Louis Fox and Co-Writer Jonah Sachs have created something that informs and educates in a way so entertaining that it becomes instantly viral—which is the best way to spread the message. You see it, and you want everyone else to as well. The creators of “The Matrix” (the film) liked it so much, they even tried to find a way to include it in one of the sequels.
After piling up seven industry awards, appearing in ore than 30 film festivals and getting out the message to many millions of people who clicked through to see the film online, grant money was provided for a sequel. There’s no more effective educational resource these days than entertainment—especially if your message is about factory farming, not a headline that makes most people turn their heads. Sustainable Table decided to make a sequel, and “The Matrix II: Revolting” debuted (online) in March.
Equally spot-on as the original, the film focuses on how the dairy industry has been moving more and more towards an industrialized system of production to the detriment of the animals, the environment and the people. After consumers watch the film, the website offers sustainable solutions to these challenges.
The Metrix II 1/2
The Meatrix II 1/2, released in December 2006, focuses on meat processing plants: dangerous working conditions and manure in the meat (yes, that’s where the e.coli comes from). Moorpheus has been captured by Mr. Smith and taken to “Happy Farms,” an agribusiness plant that processes 5,000 cattle a day to meet the demands of Fast Food Nation. While assembly line workers are forced to hack meat so fast they hack off an occasional thumb in the process, profit is the name of the game for agribusiness. Speed has its cost, and workers are no more meaningful than the cattle. As overhead belts carry carry steer carcasses across the plant floor, fecal matter from their intestines drips down onto the butchered cuts below. “What’s a little e.coli between friends?” asks Mr. Smith. As Morpheeous, long black leather coat and all, gets put on a meat hook for and is heading toward the grinding machinery, Neo and Henity shut down the line and race in to the rescue. The trio escapes as stunned workers look on.
The Meatrix films are highly worthwhile for vegans and carnivores, sustainable champions and big business nabobs alike. Of course, if you didn’t care for “The Matrix” films, you may have other issues.
Will life continue to imitate art? If so, we’re due yet another Meatrix sequel—the end piece in the trilogy.
The Ultimate Matrix Collection. The definitive ten-disc DVD set features all three films in the trilogy, the companion piece The Matrix Revisited and the best-selling The Animatrix; plus five entirely new DVDs packed solid with brand-new supplemental materials that encompass every aspect of the Matrix universe, including two new audio commentaries on each film, Enter the Matrix video game footage, 106 deep-delving featurettes/documentaries and more. It also includes a limited-edition Neo mini-bust figurine and a 80-page Collector's Book. Click here for more information.
The Matrix and The Matrix Revisited, starring
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss, directed by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski. The original great film on DVD is accompanied by The Matrix Revisited, a jam-packed supplement DVD that provides a wealth of Matrix arcana, delivered by the 1999 blockbuster's principal cast and crew. The main course in this 163-minute feast is a two-hour documentary covering virtually every aspect of production, with teasing glimpses of fight training on the not-yet-released Matrix sequels. Set of 2. Click here for more information.
The Matrix Reloaded. In the second chapter of the Matrix trilogy (2003), Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) continue to lead the revolt against the Machine Army. In their quest to save the human race from extinction, they gain greater insight into the construct of The Matrix and Neo’s pivotal role in the fate of mankind. One of the better sequels in filmdom. Click here for more information.
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