Film Screening and Panel on Animal Agriculture in China

Wednesday, April 18th, 6:00 p.m.
Location: Meyer Building, 4 Washington Place, Room 122

Screening of:

“What’s for Dinner?”

Discussion with:

Mia MacDonald, Executive Director, Brighter Green; NYU ES Capstone Instructor

Peter Li, Associate Professor of Social Sciences, University of Houston


Through the medium of documentary, we are seeking to shed light on two big questions: can China’s 1.3 billion people eat as much meat and dairy as those in industrialized countries without destroying the planet—or its climate; and do they really want to? “What’s for Dinner?” does this by delving into the stories of Chinese women and men encountering, helping foster, or offering alternatives to large-scale industrial animal agriculture.

“What’s for Dinner?” travels from central Beijing to Jiangxi province in south-central China to the Pearl River Delta in the manufacturing Mecca of Guangdong to meet small farmers, a factory farm owner, a rock band lead singer who’s also an animal rights activist, a vegan entrepreneur, environmentalists, and public health experts, as they discuss how China’s move toward increased consumption of animal products and adoption of U.S.-style factory farm systems affect their daily lives and worldviews—and, by extension, ours. The characters in “What’s for Dinner?” include: Wang Ronghua (Mr. Wang), a buoyant young factory farm entrepreneur; Yu Li, who opened his “Vegan Hut” restaurant in Beijing after learning about the role of livestock in global warming; Zhou Shuzen (Mrs. Zhou), a retired Ten Thousand Pig Farm worker who recalls the lean times before China’s “reform and opening” when meat, which she now enjoys, was rare; Xie Zheng, who writes and sings rock music while advocating vegetarianism; and Xie Hongying, who runs a homegrown fast food restaurant in Ji’an City that caters primarily to young people, including kids.

This film is Directed by Jian Yi. Mia MacDonald is the Co-Executive Producer.