The documentary “Peaceable Kingdom” investigates a side of mass meat production and consumption that Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me” (a solid documentary in its own right) doesn’t really confront; the treatment that animals are forced to endure before they end up on the dinner table. The film mainly focuses on several former farmers and animal rescue workers and the experiences that led them to question the American farming industry. Included is a former Montana cattleman and a Michigan beef farmer, both of whom completely changed their profession and personal relationships, as well as their relationship to their community, in order to confront the ethical issues that they were haunted by.
“Peaceable Kingdom” was produced by the nonprofit foundation Tribe of Heart, whose purpose is to create films that communicate information about injustices in the world. The organization also produced “The Witness”, a documentary that additionally focuses on issues relating to animal cruelty. “Peaceable Kingdom” does seem to have a certain promotional feel to it, one that almost comes off like borderline propaganda. However, the documentary makes a strong case against the practices of the American meat industry and should be eye opening for most people. The main warning regarding the film is that due to the horribly graphic and upsetting footage gathered by the filmmakers, a large percentage of the film is virtually unwatchable; that is unless you are completely heartless. It is a difficult documentary, but one that exposes a side of the meat industry that most people don’t care to know about but should.