I find this online Chipotle ad, "The Scarecrow," compelling in several ways. First, there's the utter beauty of the animation from start to finish, and, second, there's Fiona Apple's rendition of "Pure Imagination" from Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. It's a song I often recommend to clients in my psychology work. Like John Lennon's "Imagine," it sees through the cruelty of our culture to the real source of change.
PR material about the Chipotle ad says this:
In a dystopian fantasy world, all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods. Scarecrows have been displaced from their traditional role of protecting food, and are now servants to the crows and their evil plans to dominate the food system. Dreaming of something better, a lone scarecrow sets out to provide an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the factory.
The ad, brilliant as it is, has become pretty controversial. It depicts the heart-wrenching horror of factory farming, but, in its proposed solution - the return to sustainable farming - it doesn't mention that Chipotle sells meat itself. Instead, the ad depicts the harvest and sale of local vegetables. It's a great argument for a vegetarian diet. But, if you oppose slaughter of animals - whether raised humanely or inhumanely - it doesn't work so well.
The point, others argue, is that the issue really is not meat-eating itself. It's also true, that the company took up that concern more specifically in an earlier ad, "Back to the Start." That too was controversial for its rather idealized alternative to factory farming.
That idealization, critics argue, ignores the millions who go hungry even now. And that, inevitably, brings up the question of elitism and sustainable farming.
Love pork belly.
Some food just doesn't photograph well, even if it is tasty.
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