The anti-meat feature film, "Fast Food Nation," hits theaters Oct. 20. Based on Eric Schlosser's 2001 best-selling non-fiction book, "Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal," the fictional film stars some fairly big entertainment names -- Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Greg Kinnear and Kris Kristofferson among them. It tells the story of a "Mickey's" hamburger-chain exec (Kinnear) who visits a Colorado meatpacking town to learn why the chain is receiving contaminated meat.

What he finds: as the film's promo Web site ( puts it, is: "immigrant-staffed slaughterhouses, teeming feedlots and cookie cutter strip malls of Middle America," where he discovers "a 'Fast Food Nation' of consumers who haven't realized it is they who are being consumed by an industry with a seemingly endless appetite for fresh meat."

As the National Meat Association's "Lean Trimmings" newsletter describes it, the film also "features attractive young vegetarian celebrities like Avril Lavigne in roles where they're verbally and sexually abused, mutilated and poisoned by dastardly corporate overlords."

A number of industry groups have allied to set the record straight on the U.S. meat production system. One part of that effort is the Web site,
-- Joe Roybal