Thom Yorke features in a new, cutting-edge film, Eat This!, produced by Animal Aid. Thom Yorke’s involvement with the project is a major coup for the national campaign group, as the musician – a long-term vegetarian – is known for guarding his privacy and picking his causes carefully. An eloquent and fearless spokesperson for issues such as free trade, human rights and the anti-war movement, this is the first time he has gone on camera to discuss such a personal topic.
This ground-breaking investigation explores the reality behind the livestock industry, and the ethics of eating meat. Inspired by Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine and Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me documentaries, Eat This! is a collage of vox pops, animation, guerilla reportage and interviews with experts and celebrities.
In his interview, Thom outlines the reasons he stopped eating meat: “A list of things I guess… first thing was Meat is Murder, The Smiths. The second thing was getting sick all the time every time I ate meat – just getting sick a lot… and the third thing was I started going out with this girl and I wanted to impress her so I pretended I’d been vegetarian all along… and I immediately felt a lot better, a lot healthier. I was concerned, as many people are, about that ‘you’re not going to get all the things you need in your diet, you’re going to get sick all the time’, but the exact opposite happened to me, so I never looked back, it was never a problem straight off.”
Asked whether teenagers should care about factory farming, Thom retorts, “Yeah, they should care that society deems it necessary to create this level of suffering in order for them to eat food that they don’t need, they should care about that. There is enough suffering in the world and if you choose to physically ingest it, then you should at least be aware of what you’re doing rather than assuming that that’s your right as a human being to do it.”
In the film’s 60-second trailer, he gets the last word: “Why the hell would you still wanna eat meat?”
Eat This! is hosted by MTV music presenter, Tim Kash, who probes deep into the psychology and reactions of the participants and, at the same time, makes the viewer examine their own eating habits and morals. Also featured are vegetarian hip-hop artist Common and British women’s surf champion, Robyn Sunshine Davies, another veggie. Eat This! is being launched to celebrate National Vegetarian Week (23 – 29 May). An extract from Thom Yorke’s interview is available at eatthis.org.uk.