For the Most Powerful Medicine, Watch What the Health
Some movies are game-changers. Last week we told you to watch the new documentary The Game Changers, about world-class athletes who eat plant-based and win, including Novak Djokovic and the strongest man alive. Next in your viewing lineup, we need to retrace our steps and re-visit a documentary that was first released in 2017, produced by Joaquin Phoenix, but which is as fresh and powerful as ever. You need to watch What the Health!
A lot of people ask me why I went plant-based or why they should try it. Rather than spout statistics of how eating meat and dairy leads to heart disease, diabetes, and a higher risk of certain cancers, or cite study after study on how plant-based eating impacts the climate, I tell them to watch three things: Forks Over Knives (2011), Cowspiracy (2014), and What the Health (2017), not necessarily in that order. If I had to choose just one documentary to tell my friends and family to watch, in order to understand this approach to eating, it would be What the Health.
This documentary, co-directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn—the creators of the award-winning Netflix documentary Cowspiracy, which focuses on factory farming's destructive impact on the environment—and co-produced by lifelong vegan andJoker star Joaquin Phoenix, What the Health gives you an overview into the health reasons for avoiding dairy and animal products, and opens a window into the fact that big food industry and the meat and dairy lobby pushes unhealthy products on an unsuspecting public, while major health organizations do little to fight back. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies that make tens of billions off of selling medicines to a sick public have a vested interest in prevention, disease reversal and helping the public learn about the benefits of giving up meat and dairy.
The filmmakers take you from San Francisco to a farm, to doctor's offices, to big health companies, organizations and throughout the food chain to show you how the food you eat gets manufactured. Yes, what we think of as natural farm-raised food -- even animals-- gets manufactured as much as anything else you buy off the shelf. Andersen and Kuhn show us how lobbyists and big food organizations are trying to silence people into not speaking out about the harms of the processed food we eat.
In the comments about the movie, on the YouTube trailer page, people are blown away. Most of them comment on how they stopped eating meat after watching it. One woman said she went vegan immediately. And while we don't expect everyone to turn on the lights and walk into the kitchen and reach for the hummus or start eating completely plant-based after watching, it will definitely make you think twice about where your food comes from, who is the messenger when you read that a food is "healthy" or part of a heart healthy diet. Whether or not you want to try to eat more plants, lean into plant-based eating daily, weekly or all the time, I would ask you to try it some of the time at least and see if you feel better when you do. And to my friends and loved ones: I will watch this documentary again, anytime, so anyone who wants to view it with me, DM me or text me or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.