So you watched “What the Health” on Netflix and now you want to condemn meat and meat-eaters and become a vegetarian/vegan and post all over the internet about it.
If this describes you then I hope what I’m about to write will burst your newly found passion for beans (because of the protein, duh). Because whatever you think you learned in that documentary is simply propaganda pushed by the extremely passionate vegans who made it, and not a statement on how society should be eating for health.
I will start by saying I haven’t watched it. I have sooooo many more important things to do with my time than watch completely biased bunch of ex-cons (at least one went to prison for harassment and lighting someone’s house on fire) spout pseudo-science at me about how meat is killing us in one way or another. But I’ve heard a lot about it, and have unfortunately noticed more than one person on Facebook announcing they have given up meat because this documentary is so “eye-opening”.
There are many reasons why veganism makes me irrationally angry. And I’m going to list them in no particular order in the hope that at least one person realizes the truth: that eating high quality, sustainably sourced animal products is in no way killing you. This means the animal was raised in its natural environment and fed the food it is designed to eat and allowed to move freely until it has fully grown and then taken to be humanely slaughtered on its “one bad day”.
For the record, I am not defending factory farmed meat/eggs in which animals are force fed food they are not designed to eat laced with antibiotics so they don’t get sick from standing in their own shit all day and hormones so they grow much faster than nature intended in order for them to be lined up and slaughtered in a completely unnatural and torturous way. Factory farming=bad.
Here’s what the movie doesn’t tell you:
- No hunter-gatherer or traditional society was ever in the history of humankind, vegan. They all consumed some type of protein from animals even if they were simply insects.
- You are not born a vegan, in fact you are designed to drink milk from a mammal from day 1. It is an unfortunate reality that some babies do not drink breast milk and that supplements made from soy exist but that is not the ideal.
- Humans are designed to eat meat, and our bodies rely on the nutrients that can only be obtained from eating animal protein like Vitamin A and B12.
- You would be hard pressed to find a lifelong vegan, or multigenerational veganism. It doesn’t happen.
- People are told they don’t need animals to live and are then marketed imitation foods which are highly processed and filled with chemicals, making them unhealthier.
- The “disney-fication” of animals has made them “our friends” and it’s unappealing to eat our friends. I’m not advocating for everyone going out and hunting for their food, but some people have to do that because that’s how the food chain works. You are certainly more than welcome to simply purchase your meat from the grocery store but don’t condemn someone for doing the dirty work.
- Are you a vegan but your car has leather seats? Your shoes have leather soles? Do you sit on a leather couch? We use animal products in more than just our food.
“What the Health” and other dogmatic films of this nature typically present one argument, by one type of person (vegan), and does not attempt to present the other side of the story making it completely biased. The brave thing for the filmmakers to do would’ve been to investigate sustainable meat production instead of condemning all meat everywhere under all conditions.
For more on the movie specifically, Robb Wolf does a truly excellent breakdown of the movie and his thoughts/response. Absolutely worth reading if you are still dead set on becoming a vegan. Read it here.
Some of my information came from the Rewild Yourself podcast by Daniel Vitalis, episode 94.
I hope this at least gets you to consider that there is more than one side to this story and that it is in your best interest to do your own research when making diet and lifestyle changes.