‘I’ve Never Seen A Cartoon Like This’: Could ‘Chicken Run 2’ Turn Viewers Vegan?

Chicken Run 2 might be an animated comedy, but it shows the dark reality of chicken farming


3 Minutes Read

A promotional poster for Chicken Run 2 Will Chicken Run 2 cause a surge in veganism? - Media Credit: Netflix

The long-awaited Chicken Run sequel drops on Netflix this Friday – and animal advocates are wondering if it’ll create a new wave of vegans.

Twenty-three years after the original movie came out, Chicken Run 2: Dawn of the Nuggets will take viewers inside a horrifying intensive chicken farm. When Molly, the daughter of beloved original characters Ginger and Rocky, is captured and taken to a factory farm, our heroes have to take daring action to rescue her and the other chickens before they’re turned into nuggets.

“I’ve never seen a cartoon like this,” Matthew Glover, founder of Veganuary, told the Guardian, amid speculation the film would turn many viewers vegan. Richard McIlwain, CEO of the UK Vegetarian Society pointed out that whatever the film’s intended message, it does depict the reality of chicken factory farming. “They’re not making it up,” he said.

The power of films that center animals

chickens on a factory farm
Stefano Belacchi / Equalia / We Animals Media The reality of chicken farming

Several films have previously been credited causing a subsequent surge in people giving up meat. Babe, released in 1995, reportedly led to the a notable rise in people becoming vegetarian. It also turned its star, James Cromwell, from vegetarian to vegan, and he has become well-known for his vegan advocacy.

The 2017 film Okja, about a girl befriending a genetically-engineered giant pig bound for slaughter, made Jon Ronson, the film’s co-writer, go vegetarian. He said he remembers “loads of people tweeting that they were never eating meat again.”

It’s not just fictional movies that have the power to make people appreciate the individuality and value of animals. The documentary My Octopus Teacher has helped boost public concern over a proposed octopus farm. Another documentary, Seaspiracy, caused a spike in Google searches for “vegan seafood”.

Cast and crew ditch meat

During production of the stop-motion animated film, Chicken Run 2 director Sam Fell stopped eating meat. “The chickens are the heroes, so I put myself in a chicken’s point of view,’ he has said of making the film.

Thandiwe Newton, who replaces voice actor Julia Sawalha as Ginger, has been a vegan for years. Game of Thrones alumnus Bella Ramsey, who voices Molly, is also vegan and has used social media to advocate for veganism.

Jane Horrocks, who starred in the original Chicken Run and returns in the sequel as Babs, voiced Tessa the Turkey in PETA’s new Christmas ad this year. Comedian Romesh Ranganathan, replacing Timothy Spall as the voice of Nick, is another vegan cast member.

Vegan nuggets

Despite ditching meat himself, Fell said the film isn’t trying to convert people and is circumspect about its power to do so. “People love eating nuggets it seems, so I don’t think everyone’s going to suddenly stop,” he told Metro.

But for those who can’t stomach a nugget made from chickens after seeing the film, there are plenty of vegan options. And they’re becoming so realistic that they can make chicken nuggets seem pointless.

Burger King UK sells vegans nuggets, while McDonald’s has launched plant-based McNuggets across its restaurants in Germany.

Brands including Quorn, Fry’s, and Squeaky Bean all make vegan nuggets, available at various supermarkets.

More like this:

Join The Plant Based Newsletter and we will plant a tree! 🌳

We plant a tree for every signup. You’ll receive our weekly news round-up and be the first to hear about, product launches, exclusive offers and more!

© 2024 Plant Based News is a mission-led impact media platform focused on elevating the plant-based diet and its benefit to human health, the planet, and animals. | Plant Based News Ltd, PO Box 71173, London, SE20 9DQ, United Kingdom.