Where does protein come from? It comes from meat, yes, but it originates in plants. And that is the central point of The Game Changers eye-opening documentary.
When elite athletes can improve their peak performance by converting to a plant-based diet, it utterly negates the ubiquitous and now debunked claims that meat-eating makes us stronger and healthier. How can it be that a vegetarian or vegan diet can actually make us more physically fit, healthier, and stronger than the perceived strong-man, armed-hunter, meat-eating archetype we’ve been conditioned to believe? Arnold Schwarzenegger sums it up in one word: marketing.
The Game Changers movie (on Netflix), produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jackie Chan, shows that our health is the top reason to eat less meat from animals. However, there are numerous other benefits of incorporating plant-based foods into our diets, none-the-least of which as said by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is that “making the transition to a plant-based diet may be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change.” Of course, it also helps reduce the sadly ever-increasing amount of animal suffering attributed to raising and slaughtering animals.
Wouldn’t we all be better off if we could just eat less meat? According to Project Drawdown, “Plant-rich diets reduce emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. According to a 2016 study, business-as-usual emissions could be reduced by as much as 70 percent through adopting a vegan diet and 63 percent for a vegetarian diet, which includes cheese, milk, and eggs. $1 trillion in annual health-care costs and lost productivity would be saved.”
Yes it can be difficult! Not only is meat-eating profoundly personal and cultural, it has been presented to us throughout our lives as the best choice, as well as normal and ethical. Now, not so much (…search “Ethics” on my previous post “Better than Beef?” on LinkedIn or my BLOG.) Fortunately, plant-based foods are proliferating and giving us all many more delicious choices. Times are changing from the days when “vegan” foods meant to plug your nose and swallow quickly. Some tasty examples include the alternative meats from Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, Nestlé, and others; as well as amazing recipes from The Game Changers, Plant Based on a Budget, among others.
The first step may be to become a “flexitarian” and go from there. As reported by CNN, “This flexitarian diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and plant-based protein sources including legumes, soybeans and nuts, along with modest amounts of poultry, fish, milk and eggs, and small amounts of red meat.” Even if you’re not planning to become an elite athlete, going plant-based may just help you live longer and help save the world.
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