American Meat is by no means the first movie to make a case for sustainable husbandry. 2006's fictional adaptation of Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and 2009's documentary Food Inc, to name two, covered that same ground to wide acclaim. But some have accused those two movies of being so strident that they end up preaching only to the converted. American Meat, on the other hand, is trying to make its argument for better treatment of animals without resorting to polemics.
This means interviewing people on all sides of the argument without being condescending towards any specific viewpoint. And it also means not dismissing peoples' love of animal products for food altogether. The documentary acknowledges that the best way to proceed will likely involve better practices for raising animals, not a massive societal shift towards veganism.
American Meat is currently being shown in limited engagements in Iowa; it makes its East Coast premier in Hopewell, NJ this Friday, and will be released on DVD in February.
Here's the film's trailer.