“When I transitioned over to an entirely plant-based diet, I became like a machine”
Dotsie Bausch, cycling silver Olympic medallist
“Someone asked me, how could you get as strong as an ox without eating any meat? And my answer was, have you ever seen an ox eating meat?
Patrick Baboumian, multiple strength world records holder
Pros: eye-opening information in a fast-moving documentary.
Cons: maybe some view from the “other side”.
It is a 2018 documentary produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Novak Djokovic and a long etcetera of other known celebrities. We follow UFC fighter James Wills as he is trying to recover from an injury in both of his knees.
In his search of a healthy diet to help a quick recovery, he comes across a lot of information as why we have been “pushed” to eat meat, in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle and strength (meat equals energy). We are confronted with the fact that many successful athletes are vegetarian. Many also has achieved their best career results after transitioning to a plant-based diet. For example, Patrick Baboumian, a force of nature with multiple strength world records, the cyclist Dotsie Bausch, who got a silver medal at 39, three years after transitioning to a vegetarian diet, or the ultra-runner Scott Jurek, in his breaking of the Appalachian Trail running record.
We also know of the amount of resources needed to produce meat, and how it is an unnecessary intermediate step for our diet, because most of these animals eat plants to start with. We could eat directly the plants they are eating. Even more, proteins coming from plants are better quality than those coming from meat. Plant proteins carry antioxidants, while meat proteins carry inflammatory molecules that counteract sports recovery. We can see the results of eating a meat-burrito versus a plant-burrito, and how some health markers change in the short term.
But the documentary doesn´t stop there. We are also given anatomical evidence. For example, our teeth are not designed like other carnivorous predators, but more like vegetarian animals. Thanks to new archaeological techniques capable of studying micro fossils, we know that our ancestors were primarily vegetarian. The old misconception came because of the bones found in archaeological sites: they could be conserved for long while plants weren´t. It almost seems obvious, as vegetables were readily available, and much easier to get than hunting.
James Wills recovers fully following a diet based on plants. His diet change also settles with his family, as his dad suffers a stroke despite carrying a healthy lifestyle. Meat is pointed out as guilty. We come to know that a plant-based diet is surprisingly capable of reversing many of the deleterious effects of stroke and cardiac diseases, with meat linked also with a higher risk of many cancers.
Many of the publicity resources that were used by the tobacco industry for years, moved recently towards the food industry, with a lot of confusion. Although not so remarkably, besides meat, it is also the suggestion of reducing our consumption of dairy products and eggs.
Not being a vegetarian, I didn´t found so difficult to replace meat for other plant alternatives lately. And I haven´t missed it much. Do you think is not easy? You can find easily quinoa, leguminous plants (lentils, chickpeas, etc), nuts and avocados, with more options available every day. Maybe you don´t need to go full vegetarian. I doubt I will leave cheese or eggs in the short term, but as Schwarzenegger says in the documentary, we could start by trying to keep one day meat-free per week.
Watch it and take your own conclusions. We would love to read your comments.
For more information check directly the documentary official webpage: