Eating Animals

The illuminating and disturbing documentary “Eating Animals” will screen at Lincoln’s Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center this weekend, and it will bring in a few special guests.

The film, a doc based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book about where our food comes from, will screen at 7:30 p.m. Friday and will be followed by a Q&A with Simone Friedman, head of philanthropy and impact investment for EJF Philanthropies and producer for “Eating Animals,” and James Keen, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate professor who is one of the subjects in the film.

Keen is a veterinarian and infectious disease ecologist-epidemiologist with 27 years of teaching, research and field experience in livestock health, food safety, veterinary public health and emerging and zoonotic infections.

The Ross will host an additional event the following day: a 1 p.m. Saturday screening of “Eating Animals,” followed by a reception sponsored by the Friends of The Ross and held in the Van Brunt Visitors Center from 3 to 5 p.m.

The film, narrated by Natalie Portman, focuses on animal rights and ethical farming.

The film's official synopsis: 

"Tracing the history of food production in the United States, the film charts how farming has gone from local and sustainable to a corporate Frankenstein monster that offers cheap eggs, meat and dairy at a steep cost: the exploitation of animals; the risky use of antibiotics and hormones; and the pollution of our air, soil and water." 

"Eating Animals" spotlights farmers who have pushed backed against industrial agriculture with more humane practices.

The movie will screen at The Ross through Sept. 27. Showtimes are available at or by calling the Ross film information line at 402-472-5353.

The program is being presented with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

A bit more about Keen:

After enabling and supporting big ag livestock production for decades, Keen had a 2007 epiphany and converted to become a strong supporter of livestock protection. This culminated in his whistleblowing of abuse of research livestock at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska, in 2015. Keen strongly advocates improved welfare of both research and industrialized factory farm livestock.