The demand for pork - especially in China - has significantly altered farming and environmental realities across the globe. The need for greater populations of pigs has called for an increase in the production of cheap soy to feed them, which in turn has placed a tremendous burden on the environment and the small farmers who are being pushed out by the titans of agricultural industry. The informative documentary Soyalism provides an in-depth examination of the issues at play.
In North Carolina, one hog farm has been taken over by a Chinese corporation. Once family owned and run, the operation is now a massive producer of swine waste, which is consistently being dumped on the coastal plain and creating an ecological imbalance. It's impacted the purity of the water, and the quality of the air that residents are forced to breathe in every day.
In Brazil, the insatiable need for soy has furthered the deforestation of the Amazon. Plush rain forests are now soy fields that stretch beyond the horizon. A handful of corporations have incorporated soy into the feed of animals throughout the planet. In the process, they've made it an inescapable part of every human's diet as well. "The world is one big pig sty," says one environmental and health advocate.
Soybean farming has also made an aggressive move into Africa, an expansion made possible by cheap land leases. A venture that promised widespread development that would benefit every citizen in the region is merely a scam designed to exploit natural resources and cheat hard-working independent farmers of their livelihoods.
The climate implications of these practices are profound. From corrosive greenhouse gas emissions to the destruction of precious resources, opponents look upon the massive agricultural industries as nothing short of criminal enterprises.
What is the solution? Ultimately, Soyalism advocates for eating less meat. This would result in less harm to the environment, an enhanced quality of life for consumers and a welcome reprieve from the practice of animal cruelty.
The film travels to globe to uncover the root of the problem, how it has impacted ordinary citizens, and compromised the world we all inhabit.
Directed by: Enrico Parenti, Stefano Liberti