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2009 TV Shows Reviews

Death on a Factory Farm

TV reviews + Death on a factory farm
Photo courtesy of HBO

I'm not sure, technically, that I watched this film in its entirely. The first half is so horrifying, so completely devastating, that I want to forget it as soon as I can. I was forced to avert my eyes through most of it.

Digital muckraker "Pete" (he keeps changing his name to avoid reprisal) goes undercover to document animal cruelty at a large hog farm. What he captured on video is nothing less than an atrocity. Being one of those people that prefers not to know where my food comes from, this is a very unsettling documentary.

Believe it or not, pigs are actually smarter than dogs, falling just after primates and dolphins on the intelligence scale. I had a friend who had a pot belly pig and it lived in his home as his pet. That sow was very well behaved, he traveled cross country with the damn thing on his way to live on his brother's farm, a brother who told him in no uncertain terms that a pig won't be living indoors at his place.

Undercover footage of a bunch of good old boys hanging a pig with a front loader for laughs was enough to land these farmers in court on animal cruelty charges but that practice doesn't surprise me a bit. Watching newborns tossed in a bin like inanimate objects might be the order of the day for some but that doesn't mean it's easy to witness.

"Pete" is an odd character, one of those attractive but dicey individuals you might meet in a bar who's way too self-involved, but he's a crusader in the grand tradition so you gotta admire the guy. He previously appeared in Dealing Dogs, a documentary that blew the lid off the abhorrent treatment of dogs at one kennel. Presumably he's going to work right now to expose more appalling practices somewhere. He's the Michael Moore of the animal rights movement, I guess.

After exploring the seedy underbelly of the modern farm this program moves into the courtroom for the brutal cross examinations that put the young investigator unexpectedly under the gun. Would a Judge who's also a farmer convict hometown business owners based on an outsider's investigation? What constitutes animal cruelty on the farm anyway? Is it OK to bash a piglet's brains out with a hammer just for the heck of it? Gosh, don't you like to blow off a little steam at work?

I think we as a society decided a long time ago that this type of behavior is acceptable in a farm setting and it's a damn shame. Having it rubbed in my face is exactly what I deserve.

Death on a Factory Farm premieres Monday, March 16 at 10pm on HBO.


2009 TV Shows Reviews
The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi

Which Way Home

Shouting Fire: Stories From the Edge of Free Speech

Jesse James Is A Dead Man

Important Things With Demetri Martin

Lie To Me

24 - Season 7

Taxicab Confessions: New York 3

By The People: The Election of Barack Obama

The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant

Youth Knows No Pain

Nine Lives of Marion Barry

Boy Interrupted

Teddy: In His Own Words

Prom Night in Mississippi

Teddy: In His Own Words

Mental

Reno 911 Seaon 6

Death on a Factory Farm

Dollhouse

Hell's Kitchen Season 5

Cat Dancers

Simpsons Treehouse of Horror

Chocolate City

Sarah Silverman Program

House - Season 5

Bones - Season 4

Real Vice Cops Uncut

Kung Fu Killer

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Reality Bites Back

Ganja Queen

Hard Times at Douglass High

Roman Polanski:
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Carlos Mencia - Performance Enhanced

Unhitched

DEA

A Colbert Christmas

24: Redemption

Sunday Night Animation Domination

Do Not Disturb

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Season 2

Prison Break Season 4

Fringe

Kitchen Nightmares 2008

S.I.S.

Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal

Thank You Mr. President - Helen Thomas At The White House

Big Ideas

Factory

The Academy: LASD Class #368

John Oliver: Terrifying Times


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Death on a Factory Farm
From the makers of HBO's 2006 documentary Dealing Dogs, this film takes a harrowing look at animal cruelty in an Ohio factory hog farm, as chronicled through undercover footage taken by "Pete," the same animal-rights investigator who appeared in the first film. Premieres Monday, March 16 at 10pm. Read more.

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