From husband-wife team John and Lisa Papola, At The Fork is an educational documentary about the exploitation of farm animals and the disconnect between these “living, thinking beings” and the meat on our plates. The film’s strengths lie in information provided by its featured farmers and less in its saccharine attempts to evoke sympathy in its viewers. (GEP: 4/5)
Review by FF2 Social Media Manager Georgiana E. Presecky
The Papolas’ approach to documentary is refreshingly different: rather than having the viewer guess at the family’s dynamic and approach to food, John tells you point blank: he is a meat-lover, while Lisa is a vegetarian with great respect and appreciation for animal life.
The Papolas visit a variety of farms and confinement buildings, caring for countless animals along the way. They simultaneously learn about the sometimes-painful process of farming animals that will ultimately end up in grocery stores and on tables nationwide.
Featured farmers provide the most interesting insights into the moral dilemmas of farming – most of them struggle with animal welfare as much as knowledgeable consumers do. With these fascinating profiles of empathetic farmers who ultimately need to make a profit, an animal story quickly becomes a human story.
Some of the farmers’ justifications for the poor conditions in which these animals live are laughable (one farmer, in particular, pokes his pigs with a prod and yells “come on, chubby,” which is so unnecessary and bizarre that it’s almost amusing). Mistreatment of the animals is cringe-worthy, until you remember that you condone it by purchasing and eating them.
To their credit, the Papolas also feature farmers who are working to provide better living conditions for these creatures. One of the most endearing agriculturalists explains that he is happy to provide comfortable open plots for his sows, but that consumers must understand this will come at a cost. In addition, the filmmakers admirably tackle both sides of the conversation by portraying the difficulties of being a modern-day farmer. They concisely explain the role agriculture plays in the economy and how important it is for small farmers to stay afloat, an education animal-lovers and meat-eaters alike might not get elsewhere. The farmers’ perspective becomes just as important as the animals’.
Information like this is what makes At The Fork work. Logos arguments that appeal to the viewer’s sense of logic and scientific information provoke much more sympathy for farm animals than the emotional, slow-motion attempts to make us feel sorry for them. (I.e., one animal advocate’s statement: “Most people don’t have the opportunity to get to know a cow!”)
At one point, the filmmaker looks a pig in the eye and says, “wow…very human-looking eyes.” The camera slowly pans into John’s frowning face as he climbs into a pig gestation crate in which pigs are housed. Moments like this are edited in such a way that they become unintentionally amusing because of how overly dramatic they are – images of the pigs confined in these crates would suffice. John and Lisa even have uncomfortable arguments over meat-eaters’ lack of compassion on camera, making obvious statements that could have easily gone unsaid.
There are no extreme “meat is murder!” moments, which makes the arguments more credible and compelling. While some of the Papolas’ interactions with the animals are drawn out and overly emotional, the fact-based narrative provided by the farmers in At The Fork will inform viewers about the American farm system and the unfortunate conflict between animal welfare and the consumer market.
© Georgiana E. Presecky FF2 Media (7/9/16)
Photo Credit: Photos courtesy of Emergent Odor Productions
Middle photo: John and Lisa have different perspectives on the treatment of farm animals – he is a self-proclaimed “omnivore” while she is an adamant vegetarian.
Bottom photo: The Papolas on one of many farm visits.
Q: Does At The Fork pass the Bechdel-Wallace test?
No. The farmers are predominantly male, but well-known animal scientist Temple Grandin is one of the most knowledgable and eloquent talking heads in the documentary.
When I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments
are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is
added I get 4 emails with the same comment.
Perhaps there is a way you are able to remove me from that service?
hello!,I like your writing very much! proportion we keep up a correspondence more about
your article on AOL? I need an expert in this space to resolve my problem.
Maybe that’s you! Taking a look forward to see you.
It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most
certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for
bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
I look forward to new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group.
Hello, I desire to subscribe for this weblog to get
most up-to-date updates, thus where can i do it please assist.
Does your website have a contact page? I’m having problems
locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you
might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look
forward to seeing it develop over time.
I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate your content.
This great article has truly peaked my interest.
I’m going to book mark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week.
I subscribed to your Feed too.
I every time used to study piece of writing in news papers but now as I am a user of
net so from now I am using net for content, thanks to web.
Aw, this was a very nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to
create a superb article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole
lot and never seem to get anything done.
Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading
through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it
and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!
It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button!
I’d certainly donate to this superb blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle
for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
I look forward to fresh updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group.
You need to take part in a contest for one of the greatest websites on the net.
I’m going to highly recommend this website!
For newest information you have to go to see world wide web and
on world-wide-web I found this web page as a most excellent website for latest updates.
My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find
nearly all of your post’s to be exactly I’m
looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you
personally? I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write concerning here.
Again, awesome blog!
I know this website offers quality dependent articles or reviews and additional data, is there any other website which presents these stuff in quality?
This post is genuinely a good one it helps new internet people,
who are wishing in favor of blogging.
Incredible points. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the amazing work.
certainly like your web-site however you need to take
a look at the spelling on several of your posts.
Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome
to inform the truth then again I’ll definitely come back again.
Thanks on your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will come back later on. I want to
encourage you to definitely continue your great writing,
have a nice day!
Appreciation to my father who told me regarding this weblog, this webpage is in fact remarkable.
I am sure this post has touched all the internet viewers,
its really really nice article on building up new weblog.
I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!
I visited many web pages however the audio quality for audio songs
existing at this web site is genuinely superb.
Hi there, everything is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s actually excellent,
keep up writing.
Whats up this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if
you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting
a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to
get guidance from someone with experience. Any help
would be enormously appreciated!
Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger,
and I was wondering your situation; many of us have developed some
nice methods and we are looking to swap strategies with others, why not shoot me an email if interested.
I got this web page from my pal who shared with me
regarding this web site and now this time I am visiting this site and reading
very informative posts here.
I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website.
I’m hoping to see the same high-grade content from you later on as well.
In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my
very own site now 😉
These are genuinely great ideas in about blogging.
You have touched some nice things here. Any way keep up wrinting.
If you are going for best contents like myself, just visit this website
every day since it offers feature contents, thanks
Terrific article! That is the type of info that are meant to
be shared around the net. Disgrace on the seek engines for
not positioning this submit upper! Come on over and consult with my website .
Thank you =)
If some one wishes expert view on the topic of blogging then i propose him/her to go to see this blog, Keep up the pleasant job.
Hello Dear, are you actually visiting this web site regularly, if so afterward you
will definitely take fastidious knowledge.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about website. Regards
Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found
this board and I to find It really useful & it helped me out much.
I’m hoping to provide something back and help others such as you helped
I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my
own weblog and was wondering what all is required to get setup?
I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly
I love what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and coverage!
Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated you guys
Amazing blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or
go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused ..
Any recommendations? Thanks a lot!
I’d like to find out more? I’d like to find out more details.
Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a
lot of spam feedback? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you
can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any support
is very much appreciated.
Can I simply say what a relief to discover somebody who really understands what they’re talking about
on the web. You actually understand how to bring a problem to light
and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story.
I can’t believe you are not more popular because you definitely have
A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.
I do think that you should write more on this issue, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people do not speak about such
subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!
I am curious to find out what blog system you are utilizing?
I’m experiencing some small security issues with my latest website and I would
like to find something more secure. Do you have any suggestions?
I have been exploring for a little bit for any
high quality articles or blog posts in this sort of space .
Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site.
Studying this information So i’m glad to exhibit that I’ve a
very good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed.
I such a lot surely will make certain to do not omit this web site and provides it a look on a continuing basis.
It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d
definitely donate to this excellent blog! I guess for now
i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
I look forward to new updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group.
I have read so many articles or reviews regarding the blogger lovers except this article is actually a fastidious post,
keep it up.
Hey there I am so thrilled I found your website, I really found
you by error, while I was searching on Yahoo for something else, Regardless I am here now
and would just like to say thank you for a fantastic post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love
the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the moment
but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so
when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please
do keep up the superb jo.
I was excited to uncover this page. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!!
I definitely liked every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to
see new information on your website.
Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment
(it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it
up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything.
Do you have any suggestions for rookie blog writers? I’d
genuinely appreciate it.
Excellent article. Keep posting such kind of info on your page.
Im really impressed by your site.
Hello there, You have done a great job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends.
I am confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.
I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing
this blog. I’m hoping to see the same high-grade content
from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired
me to get my very own blog now 😉
This design is steller! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained.
Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job.
I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different web address and thought
I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you.
Look forward to looking at your web page yet again.
I read this paragraph completely regarding the comparison of most up-to-date and earlier technologies, it’s remarkable article.
Hey there! Quick question that’s completely off topic.
Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
My weblog looks weird when viewing from my iphone.
I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this issue.
If you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks!
Having read this I thought it was very enlightening.
I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this
information together. I once again find myself spending way too
much time both reading and leaving comments.
But so what, it was still worth it!
I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure
of your website? Its very well written; I love
what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for
only having one or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out
It’s actually very difficult in this active life to listen news on Television, therefore I only use web for that reason, and
get the hottest information.
There’s certainly a great deal to learn about this topic.
I really like all of the points you’ve made.
Unquestionably imagine that which you said.
Your favourite justification seemed to be at the internet the simplest
thing to take note of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while other people think about worries that they
plainly don’t recognise about. You managed to
hit the nail upon the highest as smartly as defined
out the entire thing with no need side effect , other folks can take a signal.
Will probably be back to get more. Thanks
First of all I would like to say superb blog!
I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t
mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior
to writing. I have had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.
I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first
10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying
to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?
Hiya! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know
how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when viewing
from my iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that
might be able to resolve this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share.