Netflix Has Us Considering Going Plant-Based. Here's Why
The Game Changers documentary is out to break stereotypes
You know how something that turned your world upside down can actually help you get right side up? For MMA fighter James Wilks, a double knee injury led him down the [carrot-filled] rabbit hole of health and nutrition research. In The Game Changers, he shares his discoveries with the help of fellow muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger, martial artist Jackie Chan and many other super-athletes.
When a film stirs a Terminator character flashback, you know it has its “man’s man” audience covered. Though it speaks mostly to archetypal red meat eaters, it’s effective at pushing green eating closer to the mainstream. Here are some tidbits from the film that got more people swapping chicken for chickpeas.
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"Someone asked me: How could you get as strong as an ox without eating meat? My answer was: Have you ever seen an ox eating meat?”
—Patrik Baboumian, Record-holder strength athlete and vegan activist
When people think of a plant-based diet, the first thing that comes to mind is a salad bowl of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots—not necessarily a protein powerhouse. But the plant kingdom has many other protein-rich sources! Beans, peas, lentils, tofu, nuts and seeds contain high amounts of amino acids that help build muscle for strength and recovery. Compared to protein from meat that may contain pathogens, plants contain other nutrients and fiber that give you a boost in energy and performance.
"The #1 killer of in-the-line-of-duty firefighters is heart attacks. This is a food created disease and you guys don't have to be another statistic."
—Rip Esselstyn, former fireman and world-class triathlete
The lifestyle choices we make greatly affect our health and longevity. Being stagnant and consuming processed foods riddled with bad cholesterol and other harmful elements significantly increase the risk for chronic diseases. But having an active lifestyle and eating whole foods rich in antioxidants, like those found in plants, can help stifle (and even reverse) the onset of diseases.
Protecting the Environment
“The actual biggest threat we have is the meat industry and the land that they are continually taking away from what we have left of these natural wilderness areas. Inch by inch, yard by yard, mile by mile.”
—Damien Mander, anti-poaching activist and war veteran
A few months in and the world has already witnessed a lot of forest fires, drought and flood. This isn’t coincidental, this is the effect of improper land use for raising cattle for human consumption. When rainforests are paved for animal agriculture, we waste much of our natural resources and speed up global warming.
Excessive industrial animal farming has adverse effects not only in the environment, but also our health. In fact, we are in a pandemic now because of cross-contamination in the meat market.
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All or Something
In the end, The Game Changers doesn't strong-arm people into veganism. It simply presents facts backed by science and lets its viewers decide for themselves.
After all, nutritious eating is a subject that deserves a closer look and deeper research. Jampacking testimonials of elite athletes and scientific studies into 112 minutes barely scratches the surface.
Just like Wilks quoted Bruce Lee at the beginning of the film, we urge you to do the same: “Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.”
Watch The Game Changers and other mind-opening documentaries on Netflix. Start streaming with a Globe Postpaid plan.