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  • 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.

  • You like burgers? We got veggie burgers.

  • You like brie?

  • We got, we got anything you want.

  • You like ice cream? We got ice cream!

  • Like anything,