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Okja Writer Says The Movie Might Make You Go Vegetarian

If you aren't a vegetarian, the new Netflix movie Okja could change that.

Co-writer Jon Ronson recently told The Hollywood Reporter that although it wasn't the intention of the filmmakers to convert people, the bittersweet film about a genetically modified "super piglet" might have that effect.

"I think the movie will turn people vegetarian," he said. "I think there's a whole load of 16-year-olds who don't realize where their food comes from or don't realize that within five weeks time they're going to be vegetarian. I think that is going to happen."

In the movie, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last month, a young girl named Mija (An Seo Hyun) risks everything to prevent a powerful company from kidnapping her best friend: the huge, pig-like animal named Okja. Tilda Swinton stars Lucy Mirando, head of the corporation that seeks to feed more people with less of an environmental impact. 

Although Swinton is definitely the bad guy of the movie, Ronson said the lines are blurred. "Lucy is trying to feed the planet. The animals keep trying to screw it up," he said. "The heroes aren't entirely heroic and the villains aren't entirely villainous."

However, the film doesn't shy from depicting the brutal realities of slaughterhouses, and Ronson (who eats fish in his personal life) said it will probably cause many viewers to rethink their stances on food production.

"Own your lifestyle choices and own your positions," he said. "If you're going to eat meat, this is what happens in the slaughterhouse. Don't trick yourself. I think that's something you can take into life. If you're going to bully somebody, don't trick yourself into thinking you're not bullying them. Understand your actions."

Okja, which also stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano, arrives on Netflix today (June 28). Check out the trailer.