This award-winning film chronicles the changing landscape of animal agriculture and one farmer’s ethical crisis: after years of raising pigs for meat, he can no longer bear the ultimate act of betrayal.
SHORT SYNOPSIS ~ 106 WORDS
This award-winning documentary chronicles the life of a farmer in crisis: after a decade of raising pigs, he can no longer bear the ultimate act of betrayal. Set against the stunning backdrop of Upstate New York, THE LAST PIG documents the final year of a small-scale farmer and the pigs under his care. Deeply immersive, the film is a poetic snapshot, a contemplation on compassion, ethics, and the changing landscape of animal agriculture. In intimate detail, it captures the farmer’s personal upheaval as he questions his own morality and the value of life. Through the story’s simple intimacy, the farmer’s moral quandary quietly becomes our own.
LONG SYNOPSIS ~ 134 WORDS
On a bucolic farm in Upstate New York, a farmer is in crisis: after years of raising pigs, he can no longer bear the ultimate act of betrayal. Unable to ignore his ethical impasse, and with 250 pigs on the farm, he sets out to change his life.
Stunning cinematography captures the final year of a small-scale farmer and the pigs under his care. Deeply immersive, THE LAST PIG is a poetic snapshot, a contemplation on compassion, ethics, and the changing landscape of animal agriculture. The farmer’s inner reflections share his struggle to align life with values, and through the story’s simple intimacy, his moral quandary quietly becomes our own.
With bittersweet detail, this award-winning film offers an entirely new view of small-scale livestock farming and raises crucial questions about the ethics of eating.
Bob Comis, the main character of THE LAST PIG, chronicled his day-to-day life as a pig farmer for over 10 years. His work has been published online and can be read at: https://www.huffpost.com/author/bob-comis.
“For the first few decades of my life, I was oblivious to the suffering of non-human (and human) animals. Thanks to the courage and bravery of undercover investigators who secretly capture and share footage of the twin horrors of factory farming and industrial slaughter, I was roused from my ignorance. I became a vegan, but quickly failed. In search of an alternative to factory-farmed meat, I became a humane pig farmer—and quickly succeeded.
I raised pigs for slaughter for ten years, until a powerful sense of empathy and compassion propelled me to change the course of my life. I decided to quit pig farming, start a vegetable farm, and become a vegetarian (vegan, in 2015).
Today, when I pull a beet out of the ground, or unearth a brilliant cluster of potatoes, I am able to be fully present, which is very much the opposite of my experience when I farmed pigs, which I did from a distance, divorced from the moment, disconnected from myself.”
Bob Comis, the main character of THE LAST PIG, chronicled his day-to-day life as a pig farmer for over 10 years.
His work has been published online and can be read at:
Finding the story: A few years ago, I read an essay titled “Happy Pigs Make Happy Meat?”– written by a pig farmer. By the time I’d finished reading, I was in tears. I mustered the courage to contact the farmer, and we talked on the phone for an hour. I asked if he’d consider a documentary, and despite his reservations, he agreed to let me visit his farm with my friend and cinematographer, Joe Brunette. We made the 4 hour trip to his farm in Upstate New York, not knowing whether Bob would consider letting us film. After talking for hours, he said yes! For Bob to allow us to tell his story was a huge leap of faith.
The filming process: We started filming right away, since we’d miss the story if we took time to search for funding. We shot for nine months, through the seasons, for one week each month. In the field, it was just Bob, Joe, me, the pigs, and Monk, Bob’s beloved dog. Our two-person crew gave us an intimacy which I think is reflected in the film.
Although we filmed on-camera interviews, in the edit I decided to almost exclusively use Bob's voice. Seeing him speak on camera seemed to break the intimacy. I wanted the viewer to slip into Bob’s subconscious and become an intimate part of his journey.
I believe Bob's willingness to share his human imperfections makes his story all the more powerful. I hope his transparency will inspire others to consider their own truth and to live that truth more completely—even if it means turning their life upside down.
Why I wanted to make this film: I've been making documentaries on issues about justice, animals, and conservation for the past 30 years. When I read Bob Comis' essay, I knew his incredible story had to be shared. For much of our society, there's a huge disconnect between what we eat and the source of that food. Who better to help explore that disconnect, and inspire compassion for ALL beings, than a farmer experiencing his own evolution of thought? Through its intimacy, this story has the power to reach an audience that might not have contemplated these issues.
Why Bob wasn’t able to create a sanctuary for the last pigs: There were multiple reasons why Bob wasn't able to create a sanctuary for the last of the pigs. The land was not his—it was leased from neighbors—and all of Bob’s money was tied up in the farm.
Bob also knows his limitations. He's gifted at caring for animals, but keeping a sanctuary afloat requires skills he doesn’t possess (such as fundraising and management). He recently shared with me that he misses the pigs terribly and is still haunted by their ghosts.
Q: How did you finance the film?
A: The Last Pig has been a labor of love, financed through crowdfunding, a few small grants and work without pay on the part of the filmmakers. Our effort to raise funds for distribution is ongoing. (If you’d like to contribute, please let us know. Any support we receive goes directly toward reaching more viewers!)
Q: What is the future for the film?
A: We’ve completed our festival run (with 42 festivals and 11 awards) and launched an outreach campaign to make the film available to communities, art house cinemas, and organizations. To date, The Last Pig has had nearly 250 screenings in 34 countries! We've recently edited special versions of the film for younger audiences, and age-specific companion guides have been created for classroom use. You can learn more about THE LAST PIG EDU project here.
We are aiming for a television broadcast in spring of 2021. After that, we plan to make the film available on streaming platforms like Amazon, Apple, Hulu, etc.
Q: Is The Last Pig going to be available outside the US?
A: We've already hosted many screenings outside the US and look forward to many more! Since the story of The Last Pig is universal, its message transcends culture, age, language, and religion. The film has been screened in 28 countries to date - including South Africa, Brazil, Estonia, Japan, Guatemala, Australia, Germany, France, UK, New Zealand and South Korea! Please contact us to host a screening in your country!
Q: What languages will The Last Pig be translated into?
A: The film has been translated into 16 languages so far, thanks so any amazing array of volunteers. If your language isn’t yet available, we can provide you with the script for translation. Contact us for more info!
Q: Is the film appropriate for children?
A: This is likely dependent on the child’s level of maturity. Children of various ages have watched and enjoyed the film - however we have created alternate versions of the film for younger, more sensitive audiences. For more information, visit our EDU page.
Q: How can I see the film?
A: Check our website’s list of upcoming screenings to see whether a screening is scheduled in your area. If there isn’t one scheduled, you can organize one yourself! These screenings are very powerful, since they help bring communities together and spark important dialogue about ethics and compassion. *Due to COVID-19, most screenings have been postponed. Screenings will be posted as soon as they resume!
Q: How can I help promote The Last Pig and its message?
A: There are lots of ways to do this! You can...
Donate to the film to help with distribution costs.
Adopt and promote a sustainable, plant-based lifestyle.
Write environmental organizations and request that they address the true impacts of animal agriculture and provide real solutions to the problems.
Write articles, blogs, posts, tweets, podcasts, or letters to the editor about the serious impact of animal farming.
Write your state and federal representatives and demand that they address the impacts of animal farming.
Search for and request The Last Pig on platforms such as NETFLIX, iTunes, and Hulu. (This increases the likelihood of us streaming on these sites).
Organize or help promote a local screening for your community.
Help spread the word! Share our posts on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to share images from our website.
Additional Common Questions
Q: Is Bob vegan?
A: Yes, Bob became vegan during the making of the film (as did the director).
Q: How are the surviving pigs?
A: Five of the pigs are alive and well at sanctuaries. Sadly, three of the pigs are no longer alive, but their final chapters were peaceful.
Q: What is Bob doing now?
A: Bob is taking a break from vegetable farming and advocating for pigs when he can.
Q: How many pigs are raised for food in the US each year?
A: According to the USDA, 129,989,000 pigs were slaughtered in the U.S. in 2019, a 4% increase over 2018.
Q: Is this what most farms are like?
A: Most animals raised for food in the U.S. live in confined crates, pens, or cages in large warehouses on industrial farms. In almost all cases, the animals are never allowed outside. Because these confined conditions are so unhealthy for the animals, they are fed antibiotics to keep them alive until they are slaughtered.
GBH Highlights | July, 2021
EcoWatch | March 13, 2019
Healthification | January, 2019
Free From Harm | May 18, 2018
Vegan life | March 27, 2018
Medicina a Piccole Dosi | October 25, 2018
WBUR | December 22, 2017
Hampton International Film Festival | October 8, 2017
Hamptons International Film Festival | October 2017
Compassion Over Killing | August 25, 2017
Peace 4 Animals| May 13, 2017
Care 2| By Alicia Graef | December 1, 2015
REAL Responsible Eating and Living | By Caryn Hartglass | November 1, 2015
The Scavenger | By Alison Waters| October 16, 2015
Earthix | October 7, 2015
The Thinking Vegan | By Keiza Jauron | October 6, 2015
Ecorazzi | By Lavanya Sunkara | September 30, 2015
Corriere della Sera | By Beatrice Montini | September 12, 2015
All Vegan Foods | September 2015
Their Turn | By Donny Moss | August 4, 2015
Garden City Beast | April 18, 2019
PETA | January 31, 2019
The V Spot | June 1, 2018
The V Spot | April 27, 2018
Live Kindly| By Nadia Murray-Ragg | March 26, 2018
Gli Informati | November 7, 2017
Nature Traveler | October 2017
Woodstock Film Festival | October, 2017
Hamptons International Film Festival | By Marina Caitlin Watts | September 20, 2017
Wicked Local | June 22, 2017
Responsible Eating and Living | December 3, 2015
The Huffington Post | By Arin Greenwood | November 5, 2015
Driftwood Magazine | By Alison Waters| October 21, 2015
Nature Traveler | By Lavanya Sunkara | October 7, 2015
Global Animal | By Rebecca Hartt | October 7, 2015
Vegucated | October 2, 2015
Ecorazzi | By Brianne Hogan| October 1, 2015
Vegan Magazine | By Christine Gray | September 29, 2015
Italia Che Cambia | By Tamara Mastroiaco | September 8, 2015
One Green Planet | By Aisling Maria Cronin | August 10, 2015
Our Hen House | By Jamin & Mariann | March 28, 2015
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
"Startling, Honest, and Deeply Beautiful"
— MOBY, Animal Activist & Musician
“I want every person in the world to see this film!"
— RICHARD LINKLATER, Film Director
"An extraordinarily insightful and moving film. Profoundly important as well!"
— JAMES CROMWELL, Actor
"One of the most moving films I’ve ever watched. Not at all what I had expected. If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to watch. But I warn you, it will leave a mark on your heart.
— JEFF GARNSEY
“Poignant, thought provoking and a superbly well-crafted film.”
—GIOVANNI SPINELLI, Composer of The Last Pig
“Heartwarming, eye opening film. This movie is a must for all.”
“Profound wisdom and awakenings revealed in this remarkable documentary.”
— MICHAEL MAH
“It’s a great contribution to the animals and humanity.”
—VALERIE LANG WALDIN
“A wonderful movie. Everybody should see it!!”
“Breathtaking, raw, emotional, honest and beautifully filmed.”
“I never thought about what was on my plate before.”
— DEBRA SANDS
“Through the eyes of Bob, his pigs, and masterful storytelling, this stunningly poignant film reminds us that we’re all the same. A must see.”
“Powerfully moving and beautifully filmed. A must-see. This movie is both mesmerizing in its visual artistry and thought-provoking in the way the story is told.”
“Fantastic, brilliant documentary. GO SEE IT!”
Full Frame Film Festival
Maine Int'l Film Festival
Hot Springs Film Festival
Hamptons Int'l Film Festival
Woodstock Film Festival
Sedona Int'l Film Festival
New York Wild Film Festival
Crossroads Film Festival
Japan Wildlife Film Festival
Korea Animal Rights Festival
Matsalu International Film Festival
Gran Paradiso Film Festival
Ekotop Film Festival
Les Films Verts
Planet in Focus Film Festival
Earth Talks Int'l Film Fest
Newburyport Film Festival
Ecoador Film Festival
Auroville Film Festival
Lower East Side Film Festival
DC Environmental Film Festival
Provincetown Int'l Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival
Wild & Scenic Film Festival
NHdocs Film Festival
HSUS Genesis Award
Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam
Cinemabiente Environmental Film Festival
Animal Film Festival Korea
Emerge Film Festival
Mostra Animali Film Festival
Innsbruk Nature Film Festival
Norman Film Festival
Seoul Eco Film Festival
Fort Lauderdale Int’l Film Festival
International Wildlife Film Festival