The film, “At The Fork”, is a documentary that follows John Papola, a filmmaker who indulges in meat eating and his vegetarian wife as they explore the practices of animal agriculture.
The couple fails to see eye to eye when it comes to dietary ethics, so they set out on a journey to become educated about the processes that take place in order for Papola to have meat on his plate. They start their trip by visiting an animal activist who locks Papola up in farrowing crates with the intention of allowing him to empathize with animals that are produced for consumption.
As the film continues, Papola films large-scale operations owned by corporations, organic operations and even operations that they were not given permission to film.
“At The Fork,” in terms of filming techniques, is of great quality. However, the content of the documentary is unnerving and extremely misinforming. While the documentary claims to be free of bias, the producers clearly have an agenda to demonize animal agriculture and paint the American farmer in a negative light. Anyone who is knowledgeable about animal agriculture would be able to see through the producer’s attempt to deface the industry.
However, the sad truth is that the American population is at least three generations removed from the farm. Therefore, the target audience of millennials who watch this documentary will not likely realize that what they are seeing is far from true.
While Papola visits real farms, only footage that could be misconstrued as unfair treatment of animals is shown. For instance, the segment on swine production only shows animals in farrowing crates and piglets getting their teeth clipped. Likewise, the segment on the poultry industry mainly focuses on the farmer going through the chicken houses to weed out the dead birds.
With no explanations provided to show how these steps are taken to benefit the animals, the practices could potentially be deemed as cruel. In addition to capturing all of the wrong angles of animal agriculture, the film further attacks the agriculture industry by falsely accusing farmers of hiding mistreatment of animals behind the ag-gag law.
However, the ag-gag law was put in place to protect the hard-working farmer from those with the agenda to skew information about animal agriculture.
Overall, “At The Fork” is an extremely biased documentary that fails to share the positive side to animal agriculture in their attempt to persuade viewers to become animal activists.