In a way, this is the civil rights movement of our time.
You've both previously made films, including 'Dealing Dogs', which examine animal abuse. How did you come to this subject, and why does it continue to interest you?
Neither Tom nor I are vegetarian, and we aren't particularly animal rights people. But we have a fascination with Pete (the undercover investigator featured in the film, pictured above), who Pete is, what Pete does, and the risks he takes, and the kind of life he leads to do it. And also the fact that, in a way, this is the civil rights movement of our time. A lot of people are dedicated to getting information out about animals and factory farming, and Pete is on the forefront of that.
That's why we find what he does so compelling, because we know that it makes for incredibly engaging television and filmmaking. This film ended up being about his investigation of a factory farm, but over the course of three years, we followed him and shot a number of different investigations from puppy mills to issues of horse slaughter. But when it came down to it, we felt this investigation was the most compelling story.
When you first viewed Pete's undercover footage, what were your feelings?
In terms of first impressions, seeing the piglets for the first time slammed against the post and tossed into that bucket still in their death throes, with Pete going right up so you can hear that piglet twitching and his little feet scraping against the side of the bucket, is an image that will last with me the rest of my life. But when you're working with the footage, you somehow get inured to it a bit because you have to be able to work with it.
Most people go to the supermarket and buy their food, but don't really think about the production process that went into putting that meat on the table. Why is that do you think?
With so much else to be worrying about right now it's easy not to think about it. But I think factory farming has gotten to such a level that it's not only about animal cruelty, it's also unhealthy for us. What we're eating is impacting our children, it's impacting the environment because of the waste, and it's reached such a level that I think there's a growing number of people who are concerned about it.
What can people do if they find themselves outraged by the images in the film?