In 2017, industries and institutions continue to work together to perpetuate animal exploitation. As more and more people became aware of this, the corporations became desperate, peddling a phony narrative that further undermined the health of our planet and its people. This documentary highlights how these forces are starting to diminish, and how the undeniable paradigm shift is shaping. We are putting pressure on a system, and the system will break. There’s 66 billion animals that are being slaughtered every year, So should we all be going vegan? And I think more and more, particularly as technology brings us closer to that process, people are opting out of that system. People are going vegan left and right. This year has been amazing for the vegan movement. Today people understand how cruel the fur industry is. I promise you a future exists where every animal is treated with love, respect, kindness, dignity, and compassion. I believe we’re close to the tipping point. And the debate started, ‘What is milk?’ It’s just about understanding what’s better for you. You know, humans, animals, our planet. Within weeks and months of watching the film, they’re feeling better than they ever have. Moving to a plant-based diet is really just a solution to so many of the most pressing problems that we face today. It’ll become the single biggest movement in 2017. It’s something that everybody can try. And the progress is all around us. The world really is changing. I’m so incredibly optimistic. It will happen. As Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” The story begins with two people in January. One is senator Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin in the US, the other is Irish animal rights activist, Sandra Higgins. It was a moment where two opposing ideas about the future of food took hold. Higgins launched a small billboard campaign against the dairy industry, which proved an extraordinary experiment. Starting in Northern Ireland, but quickly expanding worldwide. And by the end of the year, no one could have foreseen how it would play out. Vegan campaigners are free to brand British milk production as ‘inhumane’ after a ruling by the advertising regulator. There was a campaign saying there’s no such thing as humane milk, and they won. During my time on the farm, approximately about 2,300 babies will have been born over those four years. So that’s 2,300 babies whose mothers were denied the right to feed their young, and that’s something that haunts me to this day. Meanwhile, in the U.S., senator Tammy Baldwin began a campaign against plant milk. Baldwin introduced the ‘Dairy Pride Act,’ which stopped non-dairy products, such as soy or almond milk, from being labeled ‘milk,’ ‘yogurt,’ or ‘cheese.’ Under the Dairy Pride Act drafted by senator Tammy Baldwin, the FDA would have to crack down on products that use terms like ‘milk’ or ‘cheese’ in a way that’s misleading. Senator Baldwin says the act will stop misleading consumers at the grocery store about the products they’re buying. When you say ‘milk,’ we mean a dairy product, and uh we mean quality, and we mean particular nutritional standards, and you’ve got to apply the law and make sure that these imitators don’t get to get away with misleading the consumer, and cutting into dairy producers’ revenue. Right now there are tears of frustration in the debate over who gets to put ‘milk’ on their labels. On one side, you have the long, dominant dairy farmers. And several farmers say the mislabeling is frustrating, especially because they have the potential to lose sales. And on the other, you have the new kids on the block. Tennis star Venus Williams. I do plants. And hip-hop producer DJ Khaled appear in these new up-tempo ads for Silk almond and soy milk. They’re part of an industry of plant-based products described as ‘milk substitutes,’ They generated 1.4. billion dollars this year, and grew 54 percent over the last five years in the U.S. Milk producers are facing decline, dropping 11 percent in sales over the last year. Now they’re fighting back. As the animal agriculture industries crack down on the labeling of vegan milk and other plant-based products, the public also became aware of their influence on academia. And who funded that study? Who funded that study? That was an egg industry-funded study. This is the most unscientific discussion I’ve ever had in my life. (shouting) Seriously- Guys, stop for one second. That is not science. That’s a lie, Travis. Films that provoked major change came out, and awareness grew around the collusion and corruption in government. Through many mechanisms, the government is very supportive of legislation that protects the animal food industry. The US government is responsible for the fast food crisis, the health crisis, the environmental crisis, by subsidizing this horrible food, by subsidizing animal agriculture. Our taxes are being used to subsidize the production of the food that kills us. Allot of money is being made selling people highly concentrated animal-based foods, and a lot of advertising, promotion, and education is being promulgated in the interest of promoting these foods. You go to these conferences that are sponsored by McDonald’s and Coca Cola. Eighteen percent of our gross national product is now going into the health industry. That’s insane. We operate from the disease model, meaning that we are in the business of treating sick people. We are not in the business of trying to keep people from becoming sick. Money talks. The hospital actually benefits from McDonald’s selling more food, and more Big Macs. The most prestigious medical body in the world when it comes to cancer says, “processed meat: category 1 carcinogen.” We’re as certain that processed meat causes cancer as we are that plutonium causes cancer, and asbestos causes cancer, and cigarette smoke causes cancer. Done. No scientific debate. It’s as reprehensible for a doctor treating a three-pack-a-day smoker for bronchitis not to tell them, “stop smoking.” In the same, identical way for the person who’s clogging their arteries, making themself diabetic, enflaming their tissue from what they’re eating, for the doctor not to say, “change your diet.” The meat dairy and egg industry are having quite significant influence on the information going out to doctors. That industry also has co-opted universities, influential scientists, even charities, to then give information which are based on half-truths. The American Heart Association has an industry nutrition advisory panel where you can pay ten thousand dollars every single year if you are McDonald’s, or the Beef Checkoff, or Coca-Cola, and they will give you special access to their nutritional and policy advisors. I think that the medical profession engages in an all-out campaign to create doubt. Again, these are not my slides. This is a US government program. “What do we want to do? We want to trigger cheese craving.” So let’s talk about the American Diabetes Association, which accepts money from Oscar Mayer processed meats. Corruption has worked its way into the health industry. Doctors are not taught. They get their knowledge how everyone else gets their knowledge, basically. Through the media. Here’s the problem when you’re talking about preventing disease, there’s no one-size-fits-all. So if you say “meat is bad,” that’s not necessarily true for everybody genetically. You’ll die as an infant if you don’t eat animal products. Grilled chicken is very good for you, madam. There’s a lot of misinformation in the public space about health, and it fosters confusion unnecessarily, because it’s not really that confusing. The overwhelming majority of the evidence supports nearly exclusively a plant-based diet. People like good news about their bad habits. And toss out that nutritional food guideline and eat more fat. It’s good for you. More delicious fat. I like this story. What do you think is the biggest misconception about a vegan diet? The biggest misconception is everyone says, “Where do you get your protein?” You know, we grew up with this belief that you need to eat animal foods, and that’s being clearly debunked. And that I think is one of the most important things that’s happening right now. I grew up thinking that you had to eat animal products. I grew up as a typical protein-oholic. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that you can meet all of your needs for every stage of life on a vegan diet. That’s the largest group in the world saying that, so I mean it’s pretty convincing. A world-record-holding strongman is vegan. Mr. Universe, for a few years ago is vegan. World-record-holding ultra marathoner, UFC fighters, football players. Being a professional athlete and a vegan, some people may think that kind of doesn’t go together naturally. Yeah, I think the experience has changed all of that for me and for anyone that’s looked into it. There’s plenty of athletes all over the planet now. And for me, I just experienced that I’ve felt so much better. Within days, I felt a difference in me as an athlete. It was a test and it was a challenge because I thought maybe I will get worse; I didn’t really know, I thought the protein myth and all this stuff. There’s a lot of myths about it because people are afraid, “If I don’t eat meat, I will run into a protein deficiency.” That’s a myth. Not that you don’t need protein, but like, you don’t hear of people dying of lack of protein. People are getting too much protein. When it came to health, 2017 went down as a key year, as more and more misconceptions surrounding the vegan diet were overcome. It is a misconception that eating vegan is expensive. And often, it’s the opposite. We are true herbivores, and we should not be eating animal foods at all. Plant-based nutrition was dubbed the single most important opportunity to reverse obesity and diabetes in a prominent cardiology journal. In addition, the American Medical Association passed a resolution saying hospitals should provide plant-based meals and remove processed meats. And plant-based reality series “The Big Fat Truth” launched, featuring Dr. Michael Greger, who also appeared on a number of mainstream TV shows throughout 2017. Take someone living in Japan, for example, which has the longest life expectancy, and they move to the US and start eating and living like the U.S., they get U.S. diseases. And similarly, if someone moves to Japan from The United States, and start eating and living like the Japanese, their rates of these chronic diseases plummets. So I just tried taking dairy out, and it started to help my acne; it started clearing it up. The dairy industry does studies to try to show that dairy is safe for you, or has some kind of benefit. Milk, cheese, and yogurt actually do not give rise to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Oh, there is no question. My profession has been far from noble in the way it has sacrificed its pursuit of the truth and scientific reality in exchange for money and baubles. The dairy industry would like you to believe that diary foods are the best sources of calcium. That is simply a lie. There is no study that has ever shown dairy calcium to be protective for bones. There is not a single more study that needs to be done that can fully convince the world that a plant-based diet is actually the best option for long-term health. It’s a question of trying to convince people how to adopt that mindset. And I’ve had a long-term health condition, and I’ve seen a dramatic shift in my health in the last 12 days. And if you look at human health, not a six month period goes by without some report coming out that’s making some connection between the animal protein that we consume, and the levels of which we consume it, and things like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. If you go plant-based, you can basically opt out of becoming one of those statistics. When I say that there are a lot of studies linking meat to cancer, there are a lot of studies. What we found is that heart disease and diabetes were so changed by this diet that the evidence was overwhelming. It’s clear that a whole foods, plant-based, low-fat diet is the best for overall health, treatment, disease prevention. It’s the plant-based eater who’s healthiest, and who has the lowest risk for disease, and who has the most robust health. We can eliminate chronic illness if we can get people to eat whole food, plant-based nutrition. It’s the power of food. And then in three months, I’d lost 50 pounds. And to this day, those 50 pounds have stayed off, and I eat like a horse. I eat a bunch of food, but it’s all whole foods, plant-based. We literally have patients crying tears of joy in our office. They feel so much better. After five months, the blockages in her heart were gone. It’s recognized, again, by the American insurance industry that there’s only two dietary plans that can reverse heart disease. There’s no meat in those programs; they’re plant-based programs. If that’s all a plant-based diet can do, reverse the number one or two killer of men and women, shouldn’t that kind of be the default diet? Otherwise, the fact it can also prevent and drastically reverse other leading killers, like type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Which seems to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming. Aside from health, 2017 saw a breakthrough when it came to acknowledging the impact of animal agriculture on the environment. As well as being cited for its health benefits, veganism is said to have positives on the planet. The United Nations has talked about how animal agriculture is one of the most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems our planet faces. There’s been a number of studies that have been done. The one that I have the most confidence in, is the one that was done by Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, both of them were with the World Bank, so not exactly a left-leaning organization. That organization is often is at odds with the environmental community, but what these two scientists wanted to do was to understand what’s truly driving the majority of emissions in the world, so they looked at livestock and it came up with the numbers saying it was 51% of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to livestock. One of the major contributing factors to global warming is industrial meat production. As people want to increase meat consumption, in turn it’s spiking the growth of greenhouse emissions coming out of the agricultural sector. Factory farming is responsible for most of the air, water, land pollution that disproportionately affects our poor communities. The raising of meat causes more global warming than cars and planes put together. They say the number one cause of global warming is the animals you eat. Many people don’t know this, but animal agriculture contributes more to greenhouse gas emissions than all planes, trains, trucks, boats, and motorcycles combined. It’s worse than all of transportation. Why do we rarely hear climate change campaigns targeting the animal agriculture industry? Let’s follow the money According to Open Secrets, the agribusiness industry spent nearly 33.5 million dollars on lobbying so far in 2017 alone. That figure tripled by the end of the year. Meanwhile, a NASA sponsored study showed that global methane emissions produced by livestock are 11 percent higher than estimates made last decade. And according to a report led by the Food Climate Research Network based at the University of Oxford, Switching to grass-fed meat does not benefit the environment any more than normal meat. Other articles also came out in several scientific journals, including in Nature and The Lancet, highlighting the deleterious environmental effects of animal agriculture. There is a recent study that came out this week that said that if everyone in the United States switched from eating beef to beans, we would actually meet our climate change goals immediately. It takes about 8 pounds of plant protein to produce 1 pound of animal protein. Ultimately, it’s a very lazy way to get protein. Each and every one of us has the power to cut down on the consumption of meat eating. To feed the growing world population, it is necessary that consumers switch to a more plant-based diet. By choosing plants instead of animals, we require far fewer resources, less water, less fossil fuels, less land, which means that we don’t need to cut down rainforests. We can let natural ecosystems grow, we can allow wildlife habitats to exist. It’s shocking, what’s happening. There’s never been any point in time like this. We’re in the Holocene extinction. It’s proven; its extinction based on human impact Our existence on this planet is only temporary, but the world that we leave behind will define the future and outlive us forever. A lot of people ask if people really can make a difference, and my answer is no. It’s not that people can make a difference, it’s that people do make a difference. Please consider my generation and future generations, and know that we are worried about our future on this planet, and we are looking to adults to help. I honestly felt like when I was younger, I knew I would change the world in some way. That I would be part of a movement, and I didn’t know what it was back then. but I’m convinced 100% within my heart now that I know it’s veganism because, which is changing the world. “but there are also a lot of fruits, vegetables, and grains which can be eaten and which give protein they give all the necessary vitamins” People do realize slowly that non-human animals are not things. It is known that any revolutionary idea goes through three stages before being fully accepted. And I’ve just seen an amazing transformation. I just want to share it with people. “We hope they will listen to us as they do not listen to the animals that they are going to kill. They must know we are against this cruelty.” Each one of us can choose whether we want to increase the amount of mercy in the world or the amount of misery in the world. The right to life, freedom, and justice are considered inalienable rights for humans, but one group staged a protest today, demanding that non-human animals also be granted those rights. People don’t have to eat animals to live. All of my favorite foods, like pizza and mac and cheese, I can still eat in a vegan version. Always speak out. It doesn’t matter if your hands are shaking. The Earth can’t wait for us; we have to change now. Social media is the most important thing for the movement. I got a bag from Whole Foods, and I got a bag from Trader Joe’s, and it’s all vegan. So today, I’m going to be talking about how I started to be a cruelty-free makeup artist. We stopped the trucks, so that we can get footage of the animals. We look at the animals to see what their health status is, but really, it doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day, they’re all going to be slaughtered. So we’re here just to show that these are living, breathing animals, and that their lives matter. just like yours, and other’s, and mine matters. They feel pain and suffer, so do we. And we just want them to be respected. We are bearing witness to animals going to slaughter, and we’re saying to the world, “Look at their faces. Look at them in the eye. Do you really want to kill this animal for the pleasure of a taste?” We can talk about animals, we can talk about antibiotic resistance, we can talk about climate change, we can talk about rainforest deforestation, famine, water use, ocean acidification, cancer, diabetes, heart disease. There’s also the whole aspect of the way they treat animals. They really don’t treat them well. Veganism began to break growth records all over the world. The Veganuary campaign saw tens of thousands of people sign up, a staggering increase from earlier years. And in response to the burgeoning demand, food lines such as Fry’s, Follow Your Heart, and V Bites gained real estate in supermarkets. However, it was not just vegan companies leading the charge. Dairy giant Danon WhiteWave Foods invested sixty million dollars in its plant milk facility. Tyson Foods, one of the world’s biggest meat processing companies, admitted that the future of food would likely be meatless. Coffee chain Starbucks added vegan beverages to its menu in order to stay profitable. And companies like Cargill began to sell off their feed lots, investing instead in plant-based food tech startups. These companies received record amounts of funding throughout 2017, as they began to mimic the taste and texture of animal meat using plants. It looks like meat, tastes like meat, yes, even bleeds like meat, but it’s actually made of plants. Plants! I’m enthusiastic about the incredible amount of money that’s been pumped into the movement. If you look at what a couple of companies in Silicon Valley raised in terms of venture capital, that’s more money than the whole animal rights movement combined. We’ve raised more than a hundred million dollars. Withing 10 years, we certainly expect our investors to be able to get their money back. I gotta say, it’s good! And it even oozes like grease, it bleeds on the grill a little bit. It’s made out of peas. What’s the grease made out of then? It’s plant-based grease too. We’re taking plant material and running it through a processor of heating, cooling, and pressure. It stitches together the protein that’s present in plants in a format that’s very similar to how it’s present in muscle in meat. So we’re essentially taking the animal out of the process. -You say it’s possible for meat lovers.
-Absolutely! -To move to plant protein and not miss anything.
-Yes! Yes! Impossible Foods’ plan is to invent new choices for people around the world that satisfy their taste for delicious meat. This offers a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs, businesses, scientists. Burgerfi, the chain with more than a hundred locations across the country, they’re going to start offering a plant-based burger that they say actually looks and tastes like the real deal. Oh, my god. I give it a 10 and so does the rest of the judges. In my view, it is the future of meat. The whole world’s moving in that direction. I can stay after, right? For us to finish. I had it, and we actually did a side-by-side taste test with a burger that was a traditional burger made of actual meat, and we definitely preferred this one. *Chatter* It’s very juicy, Steve, so I suggest you wear a little bib. *Chatter* For those of us who do care about and think about our impact on the environment, I mean, oh my gosh, this is so good! I mean, like, really good. Thank you very much If you didn’t tell me and I had my eyes closed, I wouldn’t really know. Is this the vegan [one]? I honestly thought that that was the chicken. Like, like seriously, how can you even tell the difference between vegan? Another product gaining widespread attention and funding this year was lab-based meat. This technology is controversial for some, as it sees scientists build meat from cultured animal cells, but others see it as the answer to the problems we face. China invested three hundred million dollars into the industry. Hampton Creek began talks with global giants in the meat processing trade who are interested in licensing this new technology And Richard Branson and Bill Gates, among others, invested in the lab meat startup Memphis Meats. You’re seeing disruptive techonologies change industries. So, hotels are being disrupted by Airbnb, taxi cabs are being disrupted by the lifts and the Ubers. And the list goes on and on. I see that about to happen with the fast-food industry. It’s old-school, it’s 20th century. There was one extraordinary businessman at the center of this food technology revolution. Jeremy Colin and his F.A.I.R. initiative quickly gained the backing of an investor coalition worth almost three trillion dollars. This powerful group of disruptors, not only invested vast quantities of wealth into the meat replacement sector, but also applied pressure on the 16 leading food companies, including Tesco, Walmart, and Target to switch from animal-based protein to plant-based protein. As this happened, more and more companies and restaurants realized the increasing popularity of vegan foods, and began releasing products. With interest in veganism on the rise, so too is the demand for meat free alternatives. I mean, there’s so many great vegan restaurants and dishes. It’s much easier than I thought it would be. I mean, change is really happening. You now have major companies that are starting to invest in developing vegan protein products, vegan plant milks, and so forth. Now we have plant-based meats and plant-based cheeses. And there’s almost nothing that I used to eat that I can’t eat now in a plant-based version. Despite the progress, there were some strange events. The high-profile plant-based impossible burger was not deemed safe for consumption, but very few questioned whether anything was wrong with traditional meat. Hampton Creek’s vegan products were dropped by American retailer Target after unsubstantiated safety claims. And nobody knew why. But progress was really hindered in the UK, where MPs attempted to scrap the law recognizing animals as sentient. And the Bank of England released notes containing beef fat, symbolic of the deception the animal agriculture industry relies on for its continued existence. In addition, despite removing dairy from its draft dietary recommendations, the Canadian government insisted on investing 350 million dollars into new dairy support programs. It was another contradiction that made us question the actions of those in power. And as we did this, we realized they did not care. They continue to subsidize industry to the tune of tens of billions. The flaws in their system became more obvious to the world. And revelations came to light about animal abuse: This is the captive bolt gun. Collusion between industries: An investigation revealed that some factories have been driving inspectors and politicians. And the antibiotic resistance crisis: Use of antibiotics in livestock can lead to unhealthy, even dangerous outcomes. Antibiotics are losing their efficacy because of their mass use in industrial meat production. 80%, eight-zero percent, of all antibiotics in the US are used on factory farms. Leading to a major medical crisis. Using antibiotics and misusing them just to make animals get fatter, or so you can cram more together, and you know, have more stressful conditions and feed them worse diets is the worst way to be using these incredibly important drugs. Most animals raised for food in the United States are grown inside giant, industrial buildings called “factory farms.” For the first time ever, we have compiled drone footage of these facilities across America. If something is considered standard agricultural practice, it is exempt from cruelty prosecution. It is that loophole that allows pigs to be slammed into the ground headfirst, for the pigs be castrated and have their tails cut off without pain relief, chickens to have their beaks cut off, animals to be crammed in cages on factory farms. In 1992, 30% of pigs were kept on a factory farm in the US. By 2016, it was over 97%. Now let’s face it, this is not an industry, it’s an atrocity. It’s like any pictures of animals cooped up, you don’t want them to be like that. You want them to be free in a field. They have a war waged against them. The animal rights campaigners claimed conditions that are appalling. There are many alarming revelations. In these concentrated animal feeding operations, crowded, stressed, standing around on their own feces. When we consume, you know, what’s called meat, this is the body of a living, feeling individual who wanted to live, so this is not just some personal choice. And at the slaughterhouse, they will be shot in the head with a bolt gun, which would fire a bolt through their skull to pierce their brain, and they call that “humane slaughter!” The conditions that these animals live in are absolutely horrendous. The crises were piling up, but the mainstream media would continue to peddle a false narrative, helping the world’s most powerful industry instead of challenging it. A recent survey has shown a worrying trend among young people under 25 for dairy free diets. My son only eats chicken fingers, I wear leather! You are lacking in nutrients your body needs. Almond milk and soy milk seem to be okay. Dairy is better. The mainstream media will never tell our story because the advertisers are the meat, dairy, and pharmaceutical industries. Those industries stand to lose big if America and the world goes plant-based. Is Miley Cyrus the veganest vegan to ever vegan? In 2017, a number of celebrities adopted a plant-based diet, including Jason Derulo, Charlie Sheen, Kylie Jenner, Neo, and actress Danielle Brooks, among others. Leonardo DiCaprio and Serena Williams invested in vegan brands, NFL champion Roland Williams urged fans to leave meat off their plates, Paul McCartney demanded that only vegan food be served at his concert, David Attenborough ditched meat, and a number of high-profile chefs created vegan dishes. I’m gonna show you how to make a great vegetable risotto, even a vegan risotto. So for all of you out there, this is a great way to make a risotto. Also in 2017, famed tattoo artist Kat Von D released a vegan shoe line. Vegan actress Evanna Lynch urged UK and EU members of parliament to ban rabbit cages. And as the vegan leather industry started to boom, celebrities like Bon Jovi dropped leather from their fashion lines. Fashion materials, once seen as innocuous like wool, started to generate debate. It’s 2017. We actually don’t need to drape ourselves in the skins of animals and the hairs of animals -because there’s other options available.
-So what are the other options? What do we put ourselves in? Oh, if you go up to the High Street or from designer racks, there is cotton, or bamboo, there’s hemp, there’s recycled polyester. When it comes to leather, we’re actually seeing leather being made out of pineapples, out of apples, out of mushrooms. The possibilities are really endless from every price point on every High Street shop. In addition, others spoke out, including Danielle Monet, Jaden Smith, Alicia Silverstone, Jessica Chastain, Liam Hemsworth, and Miley Cyrus. I posted some food photos this summer. And for me, it was a celebration because I’m vegan. Oh, well that’s wonderful. Congratulations. I am also vegan. Thousands and thousands abused. I’m not taking their honey. I’m not taking the chicken’s eggs. I’m like a farmer, but I won’t interact with them because I worry about it. I’m sort of vegan curious, you know. I’ve been trying to vegan lifestyle too. What do you think of that? It’s amazing. Now I am vegan. And I became vegan at 9AM this morning. -You did?
-Yeah. I lost a bet with a friend of mine. And the bet is I have to be a vegan for 17 days. Vegans have been urging us all to do without meat and dairy this month in an experiment they’re calling: Veganuary. And then when you actually live the lifestyle, you’ll see and feel the difference, and then you don’t want to go back; and then you don’t want to switch. So that’s the incentive. In this superficial world we live in, vegan needs to become hip, and trendy, and cool. It’s, to be honest, I think it’s the first time I’ve been asked about veganism. And fashionable. And I’ve got my fake leather shoes on my vegan shoes. How have you managed to preserve yourself so wonderfully, when I preserve myself so chaoticly badly? I’m vegan. You look pretty fit. What diet are you on? Plant-based. -You’re on a plant-based diet?
-Yes! Over the course of the year, many professional athletes also dropped animal products, and set new records on a vegan diet. Vegan climber Kuntal Joisher scaled Everest. Fitness P90X founder Tony Horton turned to a plant-based diet, as well as soccer player Jermain Defoe, NFL quarterback Cardale Jones, and basketball players Jahlil Okafor, Kyrie Irving, and Damian Lillard. I thought it was all hype. I thought people just said it just because it was healthier food, but I can feel it. I can definitely feel it. Getting away from, you know, just the animals and all that, man. I had to get away from that, so my energy is up, my body feels amazing. Also speaking out about the benefits were NFL star Griff Whelan, basketball player Wilson Chandler, professional surfer Tia Blanco, and former rugby player Ben Cohen. Endurance athlete Rich Roll completed one of the hardest races at the age of 50. And a number of others adopted a plant-based diet after watching the documentary What The Health. What The Health. Including Formula One giant Lewis Hamilton. -Plant-based diet, you’ve gone onto?
-Yeah. I can’t express to you how amazing it feels. This What The Health movie, driving the world crazy. Everyone’s vegan now! My fiance watched this documentary called What The Health. Everyone is buzzing about the Netflix documentary What The Health. A new documentary on Netflix has many people questioning their diets. And now we’re vegans. Following What The Health, other films were announced, many with high profile casts, including The Game Changers, From The Ground Up, Eating Our Way To Extinction, Eating Animals, Eating You Alive, The Invisible Vegan, Taking Note, Empathy, Seaspiracy, Meat The Future, and Dominion. UK indie documentary Land of Hope and Glory made waves with its release, and so did Netflix original Okja, with its groundbreaking budget of fifty million dollars. We watched Okja, the film, and it just absolutely had us in tears at the end. We were ethically convinced immediately that there was no reason to kill any animals. And this is a work of art. And that’s why art exists, because sometimes people can’t handle the truth in its raw footage form, but they can handle an artistic work. In a striking move for mainstream television, the documentary Carnage was released by the BBC. Look at what the meat industry is doing to our planet, look at what it’s doing to other animals, look what it’s doing to us. That’s extreme. As these films circulated worldwide, the dairy industry lashed out more. Just go. The dairy protesting is still putting many farmers under intense pressure. -(Activist): [This is a] peaceful protest.
-(Farmer): Go out there on the foot path, will you not?! Once a sideshow in the animal rights struggle, the dairy industry became, in 2017, a key and central battle, and one the industry was losing. While dairy producer’s profits plunged, research from Packaged Facts predicted that the dairy free market would be worth 28 billion dollars in the next two years, a staggering growth from only six billion dollars last year. Industry leaders admitted the dairy sector is facing an existential threat from vegan campaigning at a recent industry summit. Tammy Baldwin’s attempts to crack down on vegan milk sales proved unsuccessful, and the dairy industry, in a confused state of desperation, began calling their own products plant-based. In addition, thanks to Sandra Higgins’ tireless defense of her poster message, the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK ruled that you can legally state that humane milk is a myth. The idea that my pleasure, or my taste, or anybody’s pleasure or taste is worth more than the entire life of somebody else is ludicrous, and it’s immoral. Towards the end of the year, Plant Based News’ World Plant Milk Day was launched, and the dairy industry began its own counter hashtag. I’m Abi Reader, and I’m proud to be a dairy farmer. We’re only here for this family, and we are proud of dairy. Proud Of Dairy achieved only a handful of submissions, while World Plant Milk day trended all day. The fate of the two hashtags are a fitting metaphor for the competing forces, and a sign of increasing awareness. And I’ll tell you what, there’s nothing happy about the dairy industry. Calves that are born into this industry, particularly the male calves, are considered wastage. The calves are taken from their mothers a few hours after birth to be slaughtered and processed. And we warn this report may distress some viewers. Conditions on two Invercargill dairy farms have been described as catastrophic. And so we have this rampant sexual abuse. A cow has to become pregnant in order to produce milk, and that they become these baby-making machines. We’ve done investigations at so many dairy factory farms across the country, and have documented mother cows bellowing for days. All the cruelty in the dairy industry, the forced impregnation, the separating babies from their mothers, the slaughtering of the baby animals, the killing of the mothers as well, and the exploitation of their reproductive system, all this cruelty and violence and oppression. And what’s it for? Just so we can have a little bit of cow’s milk in our cereal, so we can make a piece of cheese to fit with all the other ingredients on our sandwich. It’s not about respecting me as a vegan. It’s about respecting the life of somebody who feels like me; someone who’s capable of the same physical feelings that I have. I’d like all people to look at the fundamental core of ethics and morality, which is treat others the way you want to be treated. “It’s an ethical crime to judge whether a chicken has 40 or 45 square centimeters to inhabit.” If we were telling people what they already knew then we wouldn’t be doing our jobs as activists. We need to tell the world what they don’t already know, and what they don’t know is that humane meat is a lie. And our aim really is for total animal liberation. We’re abolitionists, so we want to end all animal exploitation, whether that’s for food, clothing, animal testing, or animals in entertainment. Throughout 2017, it was revealed industry representatives carefully watched vegan activists, recording their speeches and compiling documents on how to combat advocacy. Press releases were published in an attempt to discredit their arguments, and FBI agents raided animal shelters in an attempt to intimidate animal rights activists. It’s absolutely true that most senior counterterrorism officials would be appalled by this recent conduct of the FBI. And to pursue these animal activists instead of the people who are actually abusing the animals is actually a massive waste of resources. I think we’ll continue to see a lot of resistance from animal agriculture in this country. This is a two hundred fifty billion dollar industry; a lot of people’s livelihoods are dependent on it. Anytime animals are being tortured, follow the money. We’re up against a trillion dollar industry. We are living in a world that’s deeply steeped in carnism. The meat industry tries to suppress us. It’s a powerful industry we’re going up against. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying, they spend, I think, billions of dollars in advertising. There are so many subliminal, manipulative techniques that are used by the advertising industry to encourage people to eat meat. They associate it with social status, with family values, with sex appeal, with masculinity, with upward mobility, with all these things that it has nothing to do with. Because for all of their money, and for all of their political influence, we have one thing they will never have; we have the truth! Disproportionate between that little bit of extra pleasure you might get from eating meat and the phenomenal amount of destruction required to produce it, should surely commend it to anyone as a stupid thing to do. If you spent one minute in their shoes, if you knew what that was like, I know you wouldn’t do it. Just look into the eyes of an animal who’s suffering, who’s about to be brutalized and torn to pieces on the slaughter line. And stuff with all kinds of carcinogens, the growth hormones, steroids, the Prozac, the antibiotics, stuffed with that shit! And every movement in history, movements have grown and changed the world when people have the confidence to speak truth to power. You really can’t be an environmentalist and not be vegan, you really can’t be a feminist and not be vegan. And if you look at human history, there have been a number of institutions and behaviors that we now look back on and are appalled by. If you look at everybody in the history of making a change in the world, they were verbally, and in much earlier times, physically abused. The suffragists who were fighting for the women’s right to vote, they were seen as hysterical anti-males. It’s a way of shooting the messenger. If you shoot the messenger, you don’t have to take seriously the implications of their message. 100 billion animals made to be born into suffering, to destroy our planet, and to be the worst comic disaster in the history the world reenacted every year is unconscious behavior. Animals can’t speak for themselves. They’re so defenseless, and they’re the most innocent, vulnerable beings on Earth. And I think at some point we’re going to be looking back on today and saying, “How could we have supported this system that was so harmful?” And it’s really basically habits. We’re creatures of habit. We’re also social animals, so if everybody around us is doing something, we start doing it, often without thinking about it. It’s blatantly obvious now that we do not need to consume animals to be healthy, we’ll be far healthier without them. She got her life back. You can’t put that into words. We like to think of ourselves as moral, and kind, and just, and extending that circle to include animals I think is the ethical calling of our time. Time so we need to have that bold vision and say, “You know what? I think I want to create a world, I don’t think – I know I want to create a world where every single slaughterhouse in this world has been replaced by a sanctuary.” And this is my number one goal. And my number one goal will be achieved: to end animal factory farming. 100%, it will end before we die. So we personally invested in a company doing it for meat, a company doing it for leather, a company doing it for gelatin, a company doing it for milk proteins. There are other companies doing it for eggs, for fish, even for spider silk. We think it’s going to be one of the most impactful and one the most profitable technology revolutions that the world has ever seen. “Now we have so many doctors that warn people from consuming meat and anima fat.” I think that the oppression of animals is the gateway drug to oppressing humans. If you put a rabbit and an apple in a crib, the baby will eat the apple and pet the rabbit. And what we do is we try to toughen boys up and girls, and we try to make them strong by making them callous and unfeeling, and we indoctrinate and condition them into being cruel, and giving them the terrible values that what you drive, or what you wear, what your little totems are are more important than kindness and compassion. And I do think those skills are going to tip at some point so that veganism becomes a dominant ideology. There’s so many new campaigns, there’s so much new activism happening. The Save movement is growing, more people getting to these slaughterhouses and showing people these animals. I think that’s one of the most powerful things happening right now. The Cube of Truth by Anonymous for the Voiceless is growing in city, after city, after city. It is so amazing to be a witness to the growth and development of this cruelty-free world, especially in the beauty world. And I talk to some people now who look back on, for example, Ringling Bros.’ circus closure, and they say, “Oh, it was inevitable.” It wasn’t inevitable, but nor was it impossible. Nothing about what we’re doing is inevitable, nor impossible. By the end of 2017, there were a number of promising developments. Ag-Gag bills, designed to cover up the reality of factory farming, were declared unconstitutional in several states in the US. The charity Viva crowdfunded vegan cinema ads in the UK. A political think-tank called for a vote to make factory farming illegal in Switzerland. And animal rights marches broke record numbers all over the world. The easiest thing that any one of us can do to help animals is simply leave them off our plates and stop paying for their abuse. Online access to information about how to live vegan is more accessible, with new recipe guides and resources coming out all the time. Groundbreaking media, using social media, YouTube, Facebook, and video to get the word out is so important. As you people predominantly get their news from these platforms now, a new generation is being created in the biggest health, environmental, and ethical movement ever to exist. What’s exciting about that is it shows the generational shift. Even people perceived to be against the new way of thinking began to speak out, including Unilever president Amanda Sourry. In addition, supermarkets redesigned meat aisles to encourage consumers to buy less meat. Tesco’s hired a director of plant-based innovation, the first position of its kind. And the German Ministry of Environment also made changes. The German Ministry of Environment bans meat at all of its official functions. In addition, media outlets like Unilad published articles. The Guardian listed meat and dairy alternatives as the number one megatron to fight climate change. Car companies such as Tesla ditched leather interiors. Restaurant chains like Pret A Manger expanded their veggie stores, and sports clubs like Forest Green Rovers went vegan. Veganism is no longer viewed as a fringe lifestyle choice; it is a moral framework searing into the consciousness of huge numbers of people. The question now is: What will you bring to 2018?