Chicken Run Sequel Praised For Showing Reality of Poultry Farms

4 mins

Animal rights activists have praised Chicken Run 2 for being a ‘vegan morality tale’

Animal activist groups have welcomed the Chicken Run film sequel saying it could spark a rise in veganism, especially among its target audience of young people.

The newly released Chicken Run 2: Dawn of the Nuggets sees thousands of hens being kept in a stupefied state in a chicken-processing factory.

After spending their final days in the Fun Land Farms theme park – promoted as the idyllic place where ‘chickens find their happy endings’ – they are taken away to be slaughtered and turned into nuggets.

Director of the animated comedy, Sam Fell, became vegetarian during the making of the film and animal rights campaigners hope it can have the same impact on cinema-goers.

‘People love eating nuggets it seems, so I don’t think everyone’s going to suddenly stop – and we want the film to be engaging and entertaining and a great ride, mostly,’ he said. 

‘But yes, if you come away and you think a little bit more like a chicken by the end of it, then that’s not a bad thing.’

‘I’m a big fan of the approach,’ said Richard McIlwain, CEO of the UK Vegetarian Society. ‘Whether or not they’ve set out to make a vegan morality tale, the reality is that this is what happens in poultry farms. They’re not making it up.’

The reach of Chicken Run 2 is increased as it is also out on Netflix as well as in cinemas. The first film remains the most successful stop-motion movie ever made, taking $225m at the box office in 2000 – more than £400m when adjusted for inflation.

Jackie Chan & director Sam Fell at photocall at the 66th Festival de Cannes for his new movie "Skiptrace". May 16, 2013 Cannes, France
Sam Fell seen here on the right, turned vegetarian while directing Chicken Run 2

Netflix, according to McIlwain, is becoming an ‘arbiter of change’ in the field of plant-based diets.

‘And just this week you had David Attenborough extolling the virtues of a plant-based diet on Planet Earth 3. So we’re at the cusp of a wave. This messaging is becoming more mainstream.’

Over the past few years, he said, the Vegetarian Society’s membership has been significantly swelled by people affected by two Netflix documentaries – Cowspiracy, about the environmental footprint of the meat industry, and Game Changers, about the health benefits of veganism.

He added: ‘And just this week you had David Attenborough extolling the virtues of a plant-based diet on Planet Earth 3. So we’re at the cusp of a wave. This messaging is becoming more mainstream.’

Chicken Run’s Vegan Voice

In the film Ginger (voiced by committed vegan Thandiwe Newton) and Rocky (Zachary Levi) become parents to Molly (Bella Ramsey) who, inspired by her dad’s stirring tales of his old life as an American circus rooster, increasingly feels the need to spread her wings and seek adventure.

It in the early 1950s, at the birth of fast food. The chicken nugget factory is a vast Bond-villain concrete complex, with the chickens crammed into a fake funfair. Their only escape is a pink and blue escalator, complete with lights and music, which transports them to the nugget-maker.

The cartoon sheds light on the reality of poultry farming

Social media sites such as Facebook, X, and Reddit have many threads on whether the film will influence people to go vegan.

One 21-year-old vegan wrote on X alongside a tweet from Netflix promoting the world premiere of the film:  ‘Reminder that Chicken Run is a pro-vegan film since everyone roots for the chickens to not be caught & eaten If only people thought like that with actual chickens, so millions wouldn’t be killed annually for “food”.’

The Vegetarian Society asked on its Facebook page if people think the new film has a ‘morality tale’.

One mother replied: ‘My daughter has refused to eat chicken ever since watching the first chicken run movie.’

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