Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles We live in a complex and unfair World, where the way things work don't make much sense. Those in power tell stories to keep us blinded and distracted from this cruel reality. But those stories have become increasingly unconvincing, desperate and hollow. This is a short film about why those stories have stopped making sense, and how this has led to a powerful and new global movement. It is told through the events of an epic and shapeshifting year. This is vegan 2016. Following 2015, veganism could no longer be ignored. It caused the meat industry to react There is a lot of resistance when you talk about vegan. But what if this response is a sign that times are changing. Veganism is growing while the animal agriculture industry is trying desperately to hold on to their profits. And to understand exactly how this is happening, you have to look firstly, to the events of early 2016. Early 2016 centred around Dr Michael Greger. Please join me and welcoming Dr. Michael Greger. Dr Greger is an American physician and public health expert. For years, his views had been ignored by the mainstream, but in 2016, something very different happened. His new book reached the new York times top 10 best sellers list and all of a sudden, he was in the media spotlight. Dr. Michael Greger. We got Dr. Michael Greger here. There is only one diet ever been proven to reverse heart disease in the majority patients is a planet-based diet. If that's the only thing a plant-based diet can do, reverse the number one killer, number two killer here in the UK, shouldn't that be the default diet until proven otherwise? And the fact that can also prevent, arrest or reverse other leading killers, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, would seem to make the case simply overwhelming And Greger's assertion that this information is being distorted by our institutions appeared to hold true in 2016 when the US dietary guidelines came out. The government is out with new guidelines. The new guidelines from the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services are supposed to tell you what to eat, but critics say they're muddled and confusing and not by accident. Critics say the guidelines don't go far enough. There is new controversy over the American diet. The government is dropping its recommendation to limit egg consumption and foods high in cholesterol. Instead of saying eat less meat, they say less than 10% of your diet should come from saturated fat. People don't know what saturated fat is. Instead of eat less meat, eggs, dairy junk, when they say eat less saturated and trans fatty acids things like that, Biochemical components, right? Because they don't want to mention foods because that's too politically empowered. The meat, dairy and egg industry are huge investors in the government as is the pharmaceutical industry. The meat industry does not want the American Government saying: “Eat less meat”. We are being manipulated by an industry that thinks that we are cash cows. These are multibillion-dollar industries that put a huge amount of effort, not just in advertising their products but in the changing in the Federal policy. Doctor Neil Barnard is president of the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which is suing the government, claiming the egg industry used its influence to try to weaken warnings about cholesterol. The egg industry was paying Universities where these people are then put on the committee to decide whether eggs are safe or not. That's a conflict of interest. And another industry, the mainstream media, has attempted to influence consumers' preferences. Throughout 2016, they have provided a vaudeville of anti vegan content, bringing attention to veganism in a very biased way There is a story in the paper today, the headline, “Fashionable Veganism is harming health.” It's also Vegan! You can't get all the nutrients you need. They can go and get some lamb! Some can end up deficient in vitamin D, calcium and iron. But unfortunately, vegetarians and vegans haven't seen the funny side of it. Get a sense of humor, is what I would say. Protein, Iron deficiencies are the common ones if you're not eating the right foods. It's a very treacherous group, the vegans. But maybe these media journalists aren't really journalists any longer. Without realising it, they have become instead contrarians and puppets whose real job is to make us confused. And when we are confused about what to eat, we stick to old habits. And these old habits feed the power and wealth of the meat, dairy and egg industries. A CSRO survey has found one in six Australians are ditching dairy without a medical diagnosis. It's leading to dangerous levels of health risks arising from a lack of Calcium. When you look at the plant sources like broccoli etc., you need to literally consume 20 cups of broccoli to get anywhere near the amount of Calcium in a cup of milk. That's just not true. We grow up believing we need to drink cow's milk for calcium, so we don't get osteoporosis. That's not true. We've been conditioned since school, we need calcium form cow's milk, we need protein from animal flesh. The public is being lied to, with the big money commercial interest that are trying to twist the truth. And it became stranger when the Washington Post ran an article implicating Dr Greger's website, NutritionFacts.org, which was bizarely accused of being part of a Russian propaganda campaign. An indication once again, of the mainstream media's anti vegan rhetoric. You are not going to get this information from the powers that be because those institutions are controlled. The media is controlled by the meat and dairy industry. Like with the tobacco industry in the 20th century, the animal agriculture industry manipulates a constant state of confusion and misinformation. And whenever there is opposition, industry absorbs it, for example by using the animal enterprise terrorism act. This act, which is still in force in 2016 and used against animal rights activists, states that anyone disrupting the business of an animal enterprise, is committing an act of terrorism. If you just affect the profits of this industry, even by telling the truth, you can be considered doing something breaking the law at least in this country. That is how powerful this industry is. If you film inside the place where they sell food, you go to jail. - The Happy Vegan is the name of the book. - They bought your politician. They bought your government. But at the dark heart of this corrupt force in 2016 is the way industry syphons off large quantities of government wealth. For example in 2016, the meat and dairy industry insisted on taking over 30 billion dollars from the US government in the form of subsidies. And this was especially strange, given that fruit and vegetables were only subsidised 0.04% compared to meat and dairy. Our government holds international conferences to address climate change and seek solutions all the while the single most devastating force behind our planets, environmental collapse remains not only unspoken but actually actively denied by the very organizations charged with saving our planet. Animal agriculture is responsible for 16% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to the 13% of all global transportation. This was according to a 2016 report funded by the United Nations environment programme, and backs up previous reports by the FAO and World watch. And there is now a general consensus that animal agriculture is the leading cause of not just global warming, but also water depletion, deforestation, species extinction, ocean deadzones, antibiotic resistance and the inefficient feeding of a growing population. But given that 2015 was the hottest year on record, why does the issue of animal agriculture remain largely unspoken. Why have the studies that have come out in 2016 been ignored. That's what the meat and the dairy industry have accomplished so far. Why are ag gag laws sweeping the US, which aim to hide the practices of factory farming. Is it because we are collectively revealing the truth about animal agriculture. Thanks to the Internet age, we are now at this democratization of information, now everyone has access. Something just in the past couple of years, you can just kind of feel it, like this transformation of information passes so fast, you can't hide things from people. Unlike before, the institutions and the meat and dairy industries do not have as much power. No longer do they hold a monopoly as gatekeepers of knowledge. Increasingly, people know what's wrong with animal products. Today's generation is growing up with considerable knowledge about the environment and how individual decisions can impact it. The single best thing that you can do to help the environment, and to help animals and your health, is to adopt a plant-based diet. Due to the internet, resources are now available online, and information about the horrors and impact of animal agriculture are clear for the world to see. Thought provoking documentaries like Plant Pure Nation are now up, as well as others and more are due to come out, which all highlight the growing consensus that a plant based vegan diet is optimal for health. The healthiest diet for the vast majority of people is an exclusively plant food diet. I've never seen anything come close to the breadth and depth of benefits that a plant-based diet provides. Here are the 15 leading, um, uh, reasons Americans die, and a plant-based diet can help prevent nearly all of them. Can help treat more than half of them. In some cases, even reverse the progression of disease. If we aren't eating animals for health, and we don't need to kill and eat them to survive and be healthy, what are we doing this to them for? Perhaps because of this increased awareness, veganism has broken growth and sales records in 2016. For example, the vegan hashtag on Instagram has been used 25% more this year. Vegan festivals are attracting record numbers and the vegan restaurant finding app HappyCow say they are growing exponentially, with restaurant entries in 176 countries worldwide Even in places renound for their meat-centric culture there were signs indicating veganism is being embraced. And in the US, while vegetarian menus were shown to be up 66%, veganism has been on the march in the UK. How many vegans do you know? This is the question. Well, the answer is probably more than you think because there is a new survey printed today that we're going to talk about, that says the number of vegans in Britain has gone up by... how much Sarah Jane? A whopping 350%. Whopping! Whopping!" Welcome to the vegan movement, right? There is a movement happening. As a result, more and more businesses are realising the increasing popularity of vegan foods, with many companies and restaurants releasing products this year. Pret a manger's veggie store experiment for example was a great success, so much so that the company have now decided to make it a permanent fix, and plan to roll out similar stores soon. As consumers start voting with our dollars and purchasing foods that are aligned with our values and aligned with our interests and eating more plants, and fewer or no animal products, the companies who have been selling animal foods and all kinds of other things to us are gonna adjust. And we saw that with Hellman's, starting now to sell a vegan mayonnaise, and I think others will follow soon Tyson, a huge meat company, recently invested in a vegan plant-based company called Beyond Meat, um, and I think those trends will continue. If people ask for vegan meals, guess what? Pretty soon, they start offering vegan meals because they don't care. They just want your money. The reason that so many companies in cosmetics and food are changing is because they're now registering that sentiment that exists in the marketplace, saying: Hey! We've got to change because people are figuring this out. A number of articles have been written this about the meat substitute market, including in many high profile outlets, predicting how this market is soon to affect the global economy. And it has caused the meat industry to take notice. Very recently in the Meatingplace Magazine, which is the leading industry meat publication, the cover story was on plant-based meats. - It was on, you know like - meat substitute market right, meat substitute market, and they are saying, “Look, we've got the distribution, we've got the machines, we've got like the sausage making machines. We should be... These vegan companies are taking away our market share. Let's get into this!” They have learned how to extract actual red blood from plants, and they have, uh, they essentially make a vegetarian, vegan burger that actually has real blood. Everything you enjoyed before, you can enjoy.