Willie Nelson just covered Coldplay‘s The Scientist song for the Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant chain that supposedly “buys more naturally raised meat than any other restaurant company in the country” (Fast Company).
Willie sings about going “back to the start” of American farming, before animals were pumped with antibiotics and kept in factories. A farmer, not content with his small family farm, starts to modernize. He turns his farm into a factory, pumping drugs into his pigs and pollutants into the water. But one night, he has a revelation: This is not what his life needs to be. He lets his animals roam free and raises them naturally (though still eats them).
The video, shown below, was charmingly and magnificently animated by Johnny Kelly. When you think about the message, this could have really been a grossed out type of fear mongering non-governmental organization video that could rival any horror flicks this year.
Given all the lies we’ve been told about our foods by corporations, is this too good to be true?
I trust Willie. I definitely want to believe he is right in backing Chipotle. I certainly hope his media people did their homework and background checks on Chipotle. However, I may be a bit tainted from the history food corporations have had in lying to customers about their food… or just not telling everything.
Now, it isn’t fair to put any one company in with the rest of the bunch any more than it is to put any one person in with a group of the same race or creed or otherwise. However, in doing this, both Willie and Chipotle have thrusted more expectations on themselves than they may have wanted. The moment anything is identified as not being local by Chipotle, or perhaps processed to the standards someone wanted, or perhaps found to contain some unnatural chemical, even if rather innocuous, someone is going to cry “hypocrisy!” over it.
As for the cover, well, let’s just say I preferred Coldplay’s audio version below. Johnny Kelly’s video, though, was something else!
Let’s see how this pans out.