The Game Changers documentary is a captivating look into how transitioning to a plant-based diet could help change your health and save the planet.
James Wilks starred in the documentary and began by using his personal journey to recovery after injuries to both knees during sparring. He explained how transitioning to a plant based diet sped up his recovery and transformed him into a better athlete then he was prior to injury.
Statistics and numerical figures were a hard-hitter throughout. For example a study showed a single hamburger impairs blood flow and can increase levels of inflammation by 70%. High figures like 70% really make the viewer re-evaluate how performance could be enhanced just by switching the foods you eat. Another study showed that what we eat has a major impact on our health and wellbeing. People who eat a diet in animal protein have a 75% increased risk of premature death from all causes and a 400-500% increase risk of death from most forms of cancer and type 2 diabetes. Combining statistics to illness and death is widening their target audience suggesting that a plant based diet improves everyone’s health not just athletes.
Another key area I discovered from watching the documentary was how persuasive it was. It made the transition from animal based foods to plant based foods seem like a very simple transition. A statistic stated that plants have on average 64x the antioxidant content of animal foods, suggesting switching to a plant based diet can help reduce measures of inflammation by upto 29% in just three weeks. Three weeks is not a long time, if they had said three months then people would think that the change may not be worth it for this period of time. By stating that you can see benefits in such a short time it persuades the viewer to think about consuming plant based foods even more.
Although the documentary is trying to get you to eat a plant based diet it doesn’t neglect that animal foods do have some positives. They use comparisons well to make the argument fairer. For example, in one aspect they said the best way for humans to get enough B-12 whether they eat animal foods or not is through supplementation. They said that you can get vitamins and minerals from both animal and plant based diets but they still defer you away from animal based foods by suggesting supplementation. It makes the argument fair but still one-sided at the same time.
Hard-hitting facts were also a key part of the documentary, for example the livestock sector is the single biggest source of habitat destruction and then backing it up with more statistics: meat, dairy, egg and fish farming use 83% of the world’s farmland. Another suggests that the requirements for animal feed is one of the leading drivers of deforestation and is the sole cause of 25% of the rivers in the world no longer reaching the ocean. The livestock sector is responsible for 15% of man-made emissions – about the same as all of the emissions from all travel in the world like planes and cars. Ultimately, suggesting that shifting away from an animal based diet would reduce agricultural emissions by up to 73% and save 1 million litres of water per person per year. All of these facts are extremely persuasive in attempting to get viewers to transition to a plant based diet.
Wilks found out from research that the whole ‘meat gives you energy’ period began in the 1800s, with one study by a famous German chemist hypothesising muscular energy came from animal protein and that vegetarians were incapable of prolonged exercise. As time passed, there has been an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence connecting animal foods to many of the most common deadly diseases such as cancer. Wilks discovered that the meat, dairy and egg industries have engaged in a covert response to vegetarians, funding studies that deny the evidence whilst burying their involvement in the fineprint. One of the highered industries to conduct these studies was Exponent Inc, a company whose research was used by the tobacco industry to deny the connection between second hand smoke and cancer.
To conclude, The Game Changers movie was an extremely interesting watch giving viewers an insight into the list of positives you could benefit from by maintaining a plant based diet. It explained in great detail the effect of diet on performance, health and the world whilst using many resources, including many top athletes and studies. So yes, it does favour plant based foods but it explains the benefits on a human and global scale with scientific evidence to back up the information and statistics.