I was blown away. Of course, the movie was kind of "preaching to the choir" with me since I already firmly believe in the benefits of a vegan diet. Still, I found myself glued to the screen, and even I was flabbergasted at the undeniable medical evidence presented in the film.
In the past year that I have kept my plant-based diet, I have definitely felt the scrutiny of people who don't understand my choices. I feel like I am constantly defending myself, and that's fine because I am steadfast in my passion for this lifestyle. Plus, food is one of my favorite topics to chat about, and I know my sh!t, so I am happy to defend my stance.
What I have found though, is that food and what we choose to include in our diet is a very personal choice, and that people tend to resort to a defensive state when their habits are challenged. So, while I am happy to share my beliefs, I sincerely try to avoid being "preachy" or seemingly-attacking when discussing this stuff.
Often, and I have notices mostly from guys, I am perceived as being a hyper-sensitive, overly-emotional, hippie who is concerned with animal cruelty and saving the planet. While this is partly true, and I am concerned with those things as most vegans are, it isn't the only- or even the main- reason that I avoid animal products. Really, it is the health effects that animal products on our bodies that motivate my desire to maintain my plant-based diet.
This is the reason that I found Forks Over Knives to be so effective. It leaves out the emotional side of a vegan diet and appeals entirely to the hard medical evidence. I truly believe that it could be persuasive even to those most hesitant.
"Who cares about the animals? Check out the health benefits! Be selfish and save yourself by turning your health around with a vegan diet!"
After watching the movie, I felt this strong urge to spread it to my family and loved ones. I texted both my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend encouraging them to watch the movie and seriously consider its implications.
My brother was the focus of this attention (he doesn't read the blog, so no worries about what I am about to say). The broski's weight has fluctuated greatly in his life. He went from offensive-lineman size in high school, to too-thin-I-might-not-be-so-healthy sized in college, and back to his original size-minus-the-activity now. I love him, and he is my best friend regardless of his weight, and honestly it isn't about his size. It's about his health. His risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and cancer I worry for him. I know he isn't the healthiest of people, and I just worry for his future. I want him to be around for a long time, have kids with his girlfriend (hopefully soon-to-be-fiance), and be around to watch his family grow.
He is also the least receptive to any of my opinions. When it's coming from his baby sister, he wants nothing to do with it. He can't take it seriously or believe that I could have something going. He often calls me his "little, dirty, tree-hugger" and doesn't buy into any of the emotional reasons behind my vegan diet.
It is my hope that the arguments presented in Forks Over Knives could plant some kind of seed in his mind about how he can start taking his health into his own hands. The message could spread like molasses from person to person if everyone would just be open to these new ideas.
I love him, and I want him to be around for a long time, but he won't accept it coming from me. Maybe hearing doctors and scientist present the same arguments could change his perspective? Here's hoping.