22 February 2011

'Forks Over Knives' successfully portrays the benefits of a plant-based diet

I had the most exciting opportunity to attend a preview screening of the new movie Forks Over Knives. The event included a soiree hosted by Whole Foods Market and a panel discussion following the movie. The panel included Rip Esselstyn, author of the Engine 2 Diet (and son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, world renowned researcher and plant based diet advocate).

“The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Each of them traveled separate paths which ultimately lead them to a common philosophy, that eating whole, plant-based foods is the core of good health.”

Dr. Campbell, a leading scientific researcher, studied patterns and sought reasons for unhealthy population clusters. His work is chronicled in the China Study, where correlations are specifically identified between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.

Meanwhile, Dr. Esselstyn was diverting from his cardiology surgery into finding ways to prevent heart disease, working with a small group in a long term case study. The group practiced the daily benefits of a plant based diet during a commitment to a 5 year study, that changed their lives forever.

The movie focused on reversing and preventing disease as the reason for choosing a plant based diet. It was convincing in a way that I’ve never experienced before, encouraging a vegan lifestyle without being inflammatory, focusing on or even showing animal suffering. At times, the you can do it; you can change your life and repair the world with your fork message, made you want to cheer. In fact, some audience members did just that and I joined in. It made you want to choose to eat healthier with pride, excitement and inspiration. It wisely left out the shame and negative feelings that can so easily come with seeing graphic images of animal suffering that you now realize you have unwittingly participated in your entire life from one drive thru to the next.

These two gray haired men in their seventies show you the writing on the wall, sharing their professional, medically based experiences that illustrate the reasons for following a vegan diet. It is delivered in a tangible, no-nonsense fashion, like chatting with a professor or neighbor you really respect and admire.

This kind of information used to come packaged in a VW van full of rescue animals and serving falafel out the back door. Instead it is rolling out in something more average and universally relate-able. The movie is brilliant, simple to understand and will help further the movement the instant it hits the silver screens on May 6th nationwide. This is great news for all of us.

Here is a link to view the schedule of their upcoming screenings.
Click here to view the trailer Forks over Knives.
Quotes pulled from the Forks Over Knives site

Sherry Duquet
Sherry is on a mission to inspire others to join in her journey to change the world, one meal at a time. As a long time vegetarian and vegan newbie, Sherry launched a compassionate living blog Exploits of a Vegan Wannabe where she welcomes meat-a-tarians, vegans and anyone interested in creating change with their choices and voices.

Photo credit: Forksoverknives.com