Alright, so unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about or maybe seen the documentary What The Health on Netflix. It’s sweeping the nation, or at least my news feed. So much so that I had to see what all the fuss was about. But before I get to that first a little disclaimer of sorts:
GUYS! This is a not a drill if you’re a fan of meat, for the love of all things holy, DO NOT watch this fucking movie. BUT, if you’re a vegan or vegetarian go ahead because you’re in for a treat.
In all seriousness, I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, although… I’m not quite sure if it is a true documentary or vegan propaganda. Anyway, I took the time to write a review/tell you the most interesting things I “learned” from this documentary.
First Things First.
The movie makes some controversial claims concerning meat. Namely that meat is not as good for you as we are lead to believe. Some claims are easily verifiable like…
“Processed meat has been classified as a carcinogen a.k.a. something that could possibly cause cancer.”
Others not so easily verifiable like eating one egg is equivalent to smoking 5 cigarettes. I think the biggest revelation for me was that sugar is not directly involved in the development of diabetes… instead meat is! Crazy, right?! Basically, the fat and stuff in the meat we eat coat our receptors so that we aren’t able to process sugar like we’re supposed to. This inability to process sugar is ultimately what leads to a rise in our blood sugar and thus diabetes.
I remember that slogan and the promotions with people and their milk mustaches growing up. After all Milk does a body good as the saying goes. But wait a minute, that’s not quite true either. Apparently, there’s no evidence that milk from animals is good for us. Milk doesn’t even help us have strong bones… In fact the countries with the highest amount of milk consumption also have the highest diagnoses of osteoporosis.
To add to that, did you know that around 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant? This begs the question why is it we are still told to drink milk if 3/4 of the entire world can’t drink it? Part of the reason for this is that the organizations that advise us on health are influenced but outside entities.
Who’s REALLY in Your Corner?
The American Cancer Society, The American Diabetes Association, The American Heart Association, Susan G. Komen, The USDA Dietary Committee – these are all organizations that can be trusted, right… right? I thought so too, but then I found out that all of these organizations are either corporate partners with or receive donations from the companies producing the food that we eat and that could also be killing us.
For instance, according to the USDA, eggs can’t legally be classified as nutritious or good for you or safe, yet eggs are still sold every grocery store and offered as a part of many breakfast meals. Milk, which I’ve already mentioned, doesn’t have any health benefits, and is in all of our schools. What’s going on here, if these foods aren’t great for us why aren’t we being warned about it?
Part of this is due to the flow of money. These industries see what’s happened to cigarette companies and have gotten smart. Meat and dairy companies lobby to avoid costly laws and new regulations. In fact Meat and Dairy have spent at least $138 million lobbying in Congress. Ask yourself, “if these products were so great for you, would that kind of spending be necessary?” I think not.
Follow the Money!
If the lobbying doesn’t scare you, think about this… America is a capitalist nation, meaning we like to make/spend money. Where is a lot of money made these days in the private sector? Pharmaceuticals! In the U.S., treating chronic disease is a $1.5 trillion industry. Yes, TREATING not curing disease. I’ve thought this for a while but there’s no money in cures. It’s all in treatment.
Big Pharma wants to keep you alive and on their products for as long as possible. With that much money to be made, it’s no wonder why Big Pharma spends more on lobbying in the U.S. than any other single industry.
Protein comes from plants too.
Another myth most people believe is that meat is necessary for protein and strength. Truth is, it’s not. And if you’re worried about protein so much, you can virtually get all the protein you need from plants. This totally makes sense when I think back to Biology class. We get our nutrients from animals and animals get them from plants and plants produce them.
In fact, IIRC, the amount of nutrients we get from animals is much less than if we went straight to the source. Back to strength concerns, some of the largest and strongest animals are herbivores! Plant-based diets lead to more vitamin intake and overall nutrition over a meat-based diet. Plus people with plant-based diets watch their cholesterol levels drop through the floor and lower their blood pressure, so there’s that too. Even human’s closest living relatives (chimpanzees) get 97% of their calories from plants.
We’re not really built to eat meat. If you compare human anatomy to that of the omnivores’ and the frugivores’, humans are more closely related to frugivores. Just look at your teeth, do they look ideal for tear/ripping flesh to eat raw? Not at all. Not to mention the typical jaw of a frugivore can move up and down, left and right; versus just up and down for omnivores. The intestinal tracks of omnivores tend to be shorter (about 3x body length) versus frugivores longer intestinal track (about 12x body length). The human intestine is about 10x the length of the body. #MindBlown
Conclusion – Nothing tastes as good as healthy FEELS.
There’s so much more in this documentary than I have time to mention here. Although the “evidence” is stacked against meat, I haven’t made the leap to veganism. I don’t necessarily believe everything that has been said in the movie, but one thing that really stood out was the corporate sponsors of these health organizations. Money can be very influential to the right party and I would be stupid to believe that there is nothing shady going on behind closed doors.
So for now I’ll be more careful/mindful with what I eat. I won’t go full vegan (I think) but more veggies and fruit in my diet is definitely going to happen.
If you want to watch the movie, catch it on Netflix. Or, you can watch online at and check out all of the studies referenced throughout the movie at WhatTheHealthFilm.com. Oh if you see it or have seen it drop a comment and tell me what you thought about the whole deal.
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