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Environment

Natalie Portman’s New Documentary Will Make You Think Twice About Your Diet

Natalie Portman may be known for her acting work in “Black Swan,” “V for Vendetta,” and “Jackie,” but it turns out the actress is an accomplished documentary filmmaker, too. 

Along with novelist Jonathan Safran-Foer, Portman has co-produced a powerful documentary that takes on the factory farming system in the United States. She’s calling it “Eating Animals,” after Safran-Foer’s book of the same name. 

The film’s trailer, released last week and narrated by Portman, shows the dizzying scope of factory farming across the United States. Interviews with experts and farmers address how farming has and hasn’t changed over the past century, and point to a more sustainable path forward. 

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According to DoSomething.org, an estimated 10 million farm animals across the United States are responsible for 37 percent of the country’s methane emissions — inflicting terrible damage on the environment. Many of these animals, as the documentary shows, are kept in deplorable conditions, such as factory farms. 

Worldwide, livestock production uses 70 percent of global freshwater and is responsible for about one-fifth of all man-made CO2 emissions

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Read More: Farms Grow Up: Why Vertical Farming May Be Our Future

Portman’s new film, which premiered at Sundance to rave reviews (Deadline called it “horrifying-but-enlightening”), challenges viewers to take stock of their own role in this environmental scourge. 

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On average, Americans consume more than 200 pounds of meat and poultry per person, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics. But experts cited in the trailer point out that there are sustainable alternatives. 

Read More: This Incredible Skyscraper Is Also a Farm That Can Feed a Village

“I think we’re going to see a massive shift over to the plant-based technologies,” one farmer quoted in the trailer says

The feature-length movie will hit the theaters on June 15