Pets or Meat
Directed byMichael Moore
Produced byLydia Dean Pilcher
Michael Moore
Written byMichael Moore
StarringMichael Moore
Rhonda Britton
Janet K. Rauch
Release date
1992
Running time
23 min.
LanguageEnglish

Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint is a 1992 American short PBS documentary film written, co-produced and directed by Michael Moore, featuring the director returning to his hometown of Flint, Michigan, to catch-up with some of the characters featured in his previous film Roger & Me (1989). The film's title refers to Rhonda Britton, a Flint resident featured in both films, who sells rabbits as either pets or meat.[1]

Reactions

Britton, the so-called Bunny Lady, "grossed out millions by skinning a soft furry creature in the first film, tops her original performance. Her newest venture, designed to supplement her garnished K-mart wages, is raising mice and rabbits as snake food. This time, Moore's critique of modern capitalism features footage of a huge snake devouring another fluffy pet."[2] The Boston Globe notes, "if you're disturbed by the graphic scene of a snake crushing the life out of a rabbit, you should be more upset, the director is saying not too subtly, by the constricted lives of out-of-work, under-served human beings."[3]

In an earlier interview for Roger & Me, Moore explained the meaning of "pets or meat" in his own words: "That's the town. Either you're working or you're meat. That's GM's attitudes toward its serfs. The clubbing and skinning of the rabbit stands for the violence. Why aren't people upset by the violence of a black man getting shot two minutes later in the film? Why are there walkouts during the rabbit section, but not during the shooting? That's the image they're used to, but they eat their meat every night."[4]

The documentary opens with the warning: "The following program contains scenes of explicit corporate behavior which may be offensive to young children, vegetarians and General Motors shareholders. Viewer discretion is advised."[2] It closed with the following disclaimer: "No animals were harmed in the making of this film, though some were well fed."

References

  1. ^ "Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint — Official Unofficial Roger & Me Museum". 1 January 2012. Archived from the original on 1 January 2012.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b Holbert, Ginny (September 29, 1992). "`Return to Flint' Not Easy". The Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 18, 2018. Retrieved January 11, 2017. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  3. ^ Koch, John (September 29, 1992). "`Roger & Me' a biting jolt of good TV". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 11, 2017.[dead link] – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  4. ^ "Michael's Big Adventure: David Ehrenstein and Bill Reed on 'Roger and Me'". International Documentary Association. Retrieved January 11, 2017.