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The Game Changers is a documentary film on NETFLIX discussing the benefits of a plant-based diet for health and the environment. This is something for everyone to watch, whether you are interested in going plant-based or not. The film challenges so many of our preconceived ideas surrounding animal products and health, it’s pretty mind-blowing stuff. Here, TAKK highlights some of the most interesting points by tackling common myths surrounding a plant-based diet:

(words by Louise)

What is it?

The Game Changers is a 2018 documentary film about the benefits of plant-based eating for athletes. It covers multiple success stories of plant-based athletes, references scientific studies, and touches on other arguments for plant-based diets that extend to non-athletes.

Produced by: James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic, Chris Paul, Joseph pace, James Wilks

Released: January 19th 2018

Directed by: Louie Psihoyos; James Cameron; Lewis Hamilton

Why did we watch this?

A friend & colleague of ours recently took the summer off work after a shock breast cancer diagnosis and came back saying she had watched this film and was now eating a plant based diet.

We, like some of you reading this, initially had reservations about watching this and were reluctant to give up meat and dairy. So, here are some common questions surrounding plant-based diets that the documentary discusses.

Prepare to have your mind blown:

Don’t we get all our protein from animal products?

False. This is a 19th Century misconception that was later discredited. Animals are in fact the ‘middle men’, getting their protein from plants and passing it on to us. The form the protein comes in also matters and the film will show you how you are significantly better off getting protein from plants than animals.

Arnie has swapped meat and eggs for plant based protein

I’ll lose all my muscle if I don’t eat meat.

False. The Roman Gladiators ate a plant-based diet (known as the ‘bean and barley munchers); horses, gorillas and elephants all eat plants. The film quotes professional strongman Patrik Baboumian as saying: “One person asked me how can you get as strong as an ox without eating meat? And my answer was, have you ever seen an ox eating meat?”

Also, check out Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film and also Nimai Delgado who has been vegan his entire life and is a world-class body builder.

The strongest man in the world eats a plant-based diet

But, ‘Real Men’ eat meat

If you thought Meat was a ‘manly’ diet, just watch the section regarding the university boys and the sleep study - it will make you look at vegan men in a whole new light…

Thought Vegan Men were unsexy? Think Again..

Won’t I get deficient in Vitamin B12?

Turns out at 37% of all humans, whether vegan or not, are deficient in B12. It was originally found in water and dirt so, again, meat was still the middle man. It’s best for most people to supplement B12.

But our teeth show we were meant to eat meat?

Actually they don’t. Our teeth are more suited to the grinding of fibrous plants, rather than the scissor like teeth seen in actual carnivores. There has been a view formed from archaeological studies that ancient man was found with animal bones and tools that would have been used to cut animals. In reality, these have just not decomposed over the centuries and the diet would have been predominantly plant based.

The film tells us that human teeth are meant to eat plants rather than meat. Apparently, we don't have the 'scissor' teeth of carnivores

What about my athletic performance?

Numerous star athletes are plant-based diet. Think Novak Djokovic, Lewis Hamilton, Venus Williams, David Haye, Tia Blanco - to name just a handful. The film shows that many athletes have reported a 30% increase in performance.

It doesn’t feel ‘healthy’ to be skipping meat and dairy?

This is the power of marketing from the meat and dairy industries. We are left in a permanent state of confusion regarding what is best to eat for our health. When you watch the film you will see the tests they have done on blood flow through arteries and it might change your view on what’s ‘healthy’.

Cows aren’t going to die out so what does it matter if I eat a burger?

The film discusses the point that cows are an ‘inefficient’ way to get protein. They need an enormous amount of land, feed & water to produce every lb of meat. The huge effort it takes to rear herds of cows is having a detrimental effect on the planet.

It takes huge amounts of feed, water and land to produce every lb of steak

The Verdict:
The film shows how you can fuel yourself, reduce your risk of disease, lose weight, gain muscle and help the environment.
However, when you go online there are plenty of blog posts pointing out the negatives and possible issues with the film.

Having watched a number of ‘plant-based’ films on Netflix/Amazon*, what you can’t deny is how damn healthy most of the people look. They seem to be glowing from the inside out. If we can help the planet and get some of that glow it’s definitely worth a try.

Watch it, educate yourself and make up your own mind.

* Cowspiracy, Vegucated, The Magic Pill, What The Health

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