As you probably know, I’ve been diving in head first to loads of books and documentaries and am devouring them like a fiend! Yes, I’m a book/research, let’s just get that out there. 😉 Anyway, today I wanted to share with you some of my all-time favourite health and nutrition documentaries that’ll change the way you think, challenge you, enlighten you, and you’ll most certainly learn something you didn’t know before.
It was only until I really started thinking about all this for myself, and actively going out and finding out all the facts and information I could, that I realised how sheltered and a bit blinded I’d been to so many things! Watch a few and see what you think. 🙂
My I Be Frank?
This documentary really hit home for me and moved me in really unexpected ways. This doco follows the journey of Frank, a 54-year-old Sicilian living in San Francisco and battling drug/alcohol addiction, depression and being estranged from his family. On top of that, he’s been diagnosed with Hepatitis C and is pre-diabetic.
One day, Frank stumbles upon a little raw vegan cafe in New York, and becomes friendly with a few young men who work there. They ask him: “what’s one thing you want to do before you die?” His answer was “fall in love one more time, but no one will love me looking the way I do.”
What happens next is absolutely extraordinary and such an incredible journey of transformation, healing and discovering self-love. Frank embarks on a 42-day experiment with the staff at the cafe that includes eating raw vegan foods, practicing gratitude, going to a spiritual retreat and seeing holistic practitioners along the way. What Frank doesn’t bargain for, is not only the physical healing, but the miraculous redemption, love and purging of toxic emotions that had been weighing him down for years. Finally, and possibly the greatest moment of all, he’s able to reestablish a relationship with his daughter after years of anger and resentment.
Definitely made me cry a bit, I won’t lie! This was one of my favourites, and I love how it combined witnessing the healing benefits of natural foods, but also delves deep into the darkest corners of Frank’s life, and shows his spiritual and emotional transformation as well.
Earthlings is probably the most confronting thing I’ve ever watched. I spent the entire film with my hand over my mouth in shock, wiping the tears that I couldn’t stop from streaming. You can read all about how I felt afterwards here. ‘Earthlings’ provides behind-the-scenes insight into what goes on in slaughterhouses and factory farms, and it’s been deemed ‘the Vegan Maker’. This film is so vitally important, because it shines a light on what society turns a blind eye to, or is simply not aware is happening or how their steak made it to their plate. What I saw was astoundingly heart wrenching, and for me, it’ll be impossible to reverse the emotions that came up, and to ever see the meat and dairy industries the same way again. I vowed to myself to refuse participation in such a cruel and disgusting cycle.
The gruesome footage shows the inhumane, callous slaughtering and torturing of animals to provide for the meat and dairy industry. They scenes before your eyes show you things that you had no idea were happening, and will not only make you sick to your stomach, but will make you instantly want to make a difference and do anything you can to save at least some animals from being tortured and killed.
As horrendous as this was to watch, I’m so grateful that I’ve now learned the truth that is hidden to flawlessly by multi-billion dollar industries. It’s so important for us to know exactly how our food gets to us, so that we can make informed decisions using our own moral and ethical compass.
You can watch the film here.
Hungry For Change
This one divulges all the dark, dirty secrets of the dieting and weight loss industry. It reveals exactly how they strategically make us keep coming back for more and are making us sicker and unhealthier.
‘Hungry For Change’ shows you all the hidden, nasty additives in our foods that are designed to be addictive. Not only that, but we learn about how they’re damaging our hormone function and contributing to chronic malnutrition (even in the face of rising obesity). Ironic, right? Experts in the health and nutrition industry talk about how we’ve strayed so far from how we should be naturally and instinctively eating, and are now consuming hundreds of “food-like substances”, riddled with harmful chemicals, that are making us obese and diseased. The vicious cycle continues when we place our trust in the diet industry, another one purely after stockpiling money, to desperately lose weight… when all along what we need to do, is strip everything back to how we should be eating and our body will react accordingly and in amazing ways we couldn’t imagine. We just need to break free from addiction and stop being brainwashed by big money-hungry giants in the food and dieting world.
The doco includes bold and controversial statements such as: “If you walk the aisles in the average grocery store and you look at the amount of sugar in a child’s breakfast cereal, you might as well be rolling up the kid’s sleeve and putting in heroin, because it’s the same thing.” It really makes you critically think about it all, and want to make a change in your own life to become the healthiest version of you. A real eye-opener.
Check out the film here.
This one explores things from a slightly different, but intriguing, angle. It investigates how Americans see it as more important to get fast, easy, convenient meals than to look at the associated dangers, costs and environmental impacts. The director interviews people with completely opposing views to get to the crux of it and the wider picture: CEOs, farmers, experts and advocates. The one that struck me most was a mother who’d been lobbying for years for better E. coli standards after her 2-year-old son was killed by it creeping into his burger. This is something that is life-threatening, and not even taken seriously or monitored closely enough… all in the name of shooting the most animal products into a hungry nation.
Behind the scenes footage show chickens who’s breasts are growing too fast (due to growth hormones) that they can no longer walk and support their own weight. It reveals cows munching on feed pumped with toxic chemicals and antibiotics, and illegal immigrants risking their lives simply to bring this food to the table. The FDA and USDA are bodies that should be protecting the health and safety of citizens, but the doco reveals that they’ve been guilty of favouring profit over this. Even the government is affiliated with dairy and meat companies.
‘Food, Inc’ aims to educate Americans on how corporations, and even the government, are exploiting laws to become increasingly powerful and earn more cash – all without a single care for the health and safety of the food they’re feeding millions.
You can see it all here.
Best Speech You Will Ever Hear + 101 Reasons To Be Vegan
These are both speeches that are presented in such a persuasive, logical and rational way, that the discrepancy between how we eat, and how we’re supposed to be eating makes total sense.
‘Best Speech You Will Ever Hear’ is by Gary Yourofsky, a renowned animal rights activist. He goes behind the scenes of farms and slaughterhouses, and gives incredibly thought-provoking information and indisputable facts about a vegan lifestyle vs. a carnivorous one. He speaks for the forgotten victims, animals, and not only explains how veganism is beneficial for our health, but how eating animal products is deteriorating it.
He speaks in a confident, captivating way, and really draws you in and makes you think. He makes you seriously consider what your values are, and question how society’s thinking and behaving has veered so far from what’s natural over the years. He highlights that humans are the only animals that drink milk after infancy, not only that, but we drink the milk of another species entirely – something that is completely unnatural when you really think about it. He uses examples like this to challenge the stereotype of vegans being ‘weird’, ‘undernourished’ and ‘preachy’. Loved it! So worth a watch!
‘101 Reasons to Go Vegan’ by the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida redefines what being healthy and nourishing our bodies means. It dispels the stories we’ve been told our entire lives about animal products and how they’ve simply become a part of cultural tradition, and not necessarily something we do for health. For example, he addresses the notion that calcium can only be found in dairy products, and are needed to “build strong, healthy bones!” In reality, dairy products are creating an acidic environment in the body, and to desperately counteract this, the body leaches minerals and vitamins from the bones – leading to osteoporosis in the long run.
The presenter made a fantastic point that really slaps you in the face: if he walked into the room and placed a punnet of strawberries in front of the audience, they’d likely naturally and instinctively want to eat the delicious berries. However, if he placed a basket of little pink piglets in front of them, they sure as hell wouldn’t dive right in and start chomping on them. They’d probably smile at how cute they are instead! So how come, when pigs are in bacon form, they’re all of a sudden okay to eat? Especially after they’ve been unnecessarily tortured and killed? Hmm, wow. Good point there.
Hope you enjoyed the post, and dive in to some of these incredible, eye-opening documentaries! I can guarantee you you’ll be moved, educated and enlightened all at the same time – it’s opened a whole new world for me. 🙂
On that note, have a fantastic Sunday! I’m on uni holidays and am being the biggest lazy slob just because I can 😉
Have you watched any of these documentaries? What did you find most shocking and interesting?
Any other gems that I haven’t added to the list? If so, please let me know!