US franchise’s epic short film casts a cold shadow over fast food

There has been a long running ad campaign in the US focused on sustainable farming, called “Food with Integrity”. It has had many variations and used many mediums – from print ads, to online media and tv spots, and now it’s trying something new. The campaign has recently moved to the medium of animated film, working with the Academy Award winning animated film studio Moonbot. Moonbot joined the Academy alumni with their animated short film “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” – a wonderful story about a bookish library owner who passes the time with some magical flying books. In complete contrast, this short film released last year for US fast food franchise Chipotle Mexican Grill entitled “The Scarecrow” is a saddening, then uplifting commentary on the fast food business, in particular around increasing awareness of harmful pesticides, growth and hormonal additives, battery farming and the general dysphoria often created by large scale industrial food production.

The film also scribes a dour commentary on the future of our society, showing a barren wasteland of a world where humanity has become a mindless automaton, completely dependent on large corporate entities for its existence. It is interesting to see that the producers have used a scarecrow (a usually mindless man-made object) as the voice of the story, complete with empathy for the animals in battery production and distress at the complete destruction of the environment. The fact that the typically brainless and soul-less scarecrow is more aware than the general human populace is a damning criticism on our society’s lack of understanding or concern about the state of our global environment, flora and fauna.

The film is great as a stand alone sustainability piece as it was also produced separately without the Chipotle Mexican Grill branding. Watch the film above, and we challenge you not to stare into that poor moo-cow’s big brown eyes and not feel something.

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