Chinese Filmmaker Speaks Out on the Environmental Impact of Eating Meat

Jian Yi, director of "What's for Dinner?" (Image: BrighterGreenNY)

Jian Yi, director of “What’s for Dinner?” (Image: BrighterGreenNY)

China Dialogue recently published an interview with filmmaker Jian Yi, director of What’s For Dinner?, an investigative documentary on the meat industry in China and its effects on the country’s people and environment. The interview, conducted by Tom Levitt, includes the following highlights:

TL: What factors do you think are increasing meat consumption in China?

JY: I was amazed by the impact the meat industry has on the environment we live in, but what worried me more is that in China, with one fifth of the world’s people, meat production is going to expand and become more intensified in line with economic growth. There’s plenty of research showing that this, coupled with China’s huge population, will be hugely bad news for human health, animal welfare, food security, climate change, and many other fields. And the root cause of this is the changing values of the Chinese people.

TL: How aware do you think the Chinese people are of the issues covered in the film? 

JY: The vast majority aren’t aware of the effect of the meat industry on the environment. It’s important information, easily found online. So why haven’t they seen it? Humans can have a kind of selective blindness sometimes, not just in China but everywhere. And our social values still favour money, enjoyment, quick rewards. Civil society is weak, there’s little space for public debate, and many more obvious environmental issues aren’t being taken seriously either, never mind the more easily ignored impact of the meat industry.

The full interview can be accessed at China Dialogue.

What’s for Dinner? is part of the dGenerate Films collection, and is available for order at Icarus Films. Find out more about the film.