Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken
Since Spurlock is cancelled, I was dubious of this project, but I saw it was on Kanopy (even though it was also playing in the theatre I was at last night) so it seemed worth checking out. And it reminded me why, aside from the personal qualms that arose, I do feel he has an incredibly good documentary style. His manner of experiential hooks, from his MacDonalds binge to using getting sponsorships to fund a documentary about sponsorship to now opening a vertically integrated fast food restaurant to take us inside the chicken business, it is an approach that is so much better structured than your standard documentary.
There is a curious aspect about the fast food restaurant (impending chain?) is how the nature of its radical honesty is. Because he shoots the film, we largely see the pros and cons, as it relates to environmental and animal rights aspects, in addition to nutritional ones. Hearing how the food is actually very caloric and that the nice-sounding buzzwords are basically meaningless did nothing to stop me thinking I'd definitely try out one of the spicy chicken sandwiches. I'm honest enough with myself to know I'm not healthily eating
fried crispy chicken. I'm not even sure how serious this concept is but it feels like other restaurants could stand to embrace more transparency. I don't really need to see the whole slaughter process, but if you push legislatures to pass laws so we can't even see how the animals we eat live their life, it does make me a bit wary.
I should note, Spurlock's main focus is regarding nutrition, being critical of the turn by the fast food industry into "healthy" options and optimistic claims. This fits with aspects of Super Size Me and The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. It is somewhat less concerned about the animal rights aspect. It is honest about certain bad aspects of the process but it is a relatively civil version of it, and never is it really contemplated that eating meat is bad.
One addendum I'd like to see, though the trend is too new to even have been featured here, is the rise of meatless meat. The prior iteration of veggieburgers flopped but Impossible and Beyond seem likely to only grow. Even though the main argument for them is to not be killing animals, it comes with the natural assumption of health. I don't know enough about their process to know how much healthier it is then a burger patty. Certainly the bun and healthy portion of mayo on the typical Impossible Whopper are not the healthiest.