I recently heard Dr. Esselstyn speak about his vegan-is-best food theory featured in the movie Forks Over Knives. The claims he made were hard to believe and I debated about watching the film because I’m not a fan of vegan propaganda. But curiosity got the best of me, so I bit the bullet and watched the entire movie.
Forks Over Knives
starts with news clips about how Americans are overweight and have
medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Then asks
the questions; 1) could food be causing these health issues? and 2) is
there a single solution to all these problems? The solution . . . .
eliminate all animal-based foods and adopt a plant-based diet. The film
claims if people do this, all chronic diseases would be eliminated
and/or reversed. This is quite a revelation. If it were true, wouldn’t
it be widely publicized and promoted by the majority of doctors and
health professionals in the nation?
to Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Campbell, people have two options; 1) eat a
vegan/plant-based diet, or 2) die of cancer, heart disease, diabetes or
other health complications. What frustrates me as a food-consuming
American is that they present these options as if there is nothing in
between. It’s either a plant-based diet or death. Many Americans manage
to live a healthy lifestyle by consuming a balance diet, including
animal proteins, and getting adequate physical activity.
carefully crafted script and images are aimed at convincing you their
theory is correct. The people featured in the movie don’t use the word
vegan instead substituting it with the term plant-based. When speaking
of “traditional” dietary guidelines and the American diet, the film
displays black and white commercials and public service announcements
from the 1950’s and 60’s. I believe this is done in an attempt to
discredit today’s dietary guidelines, which include meat, milk and eggs,
by trying to make them look outdated. When the movie references the
“western diet”, images of fast food restaurants appeared, not grocery
stores or families eating at home, only fast food restaurants.
to Dr. Doug Lisle, an evolutionary psychologist and author who speaks in
the film, being fat is not linked to laziness. He believes fattening
and fast foods are “drugs” that have control over us. With these
statements, he takes the responsibility away from people making food
diet plays a role in our overall health. The vast majority of science,
doctors, and dieticians recommend a balanced diet which includes dairy,
meat and eggs. However, if you don’t agree with the doctors in this
film, they say it’s because you’re part of the “big ag”, “big
government” or “big medicine” conspiracy. As if the entire American food
and medicine system is conspiring against them.
two doctors life’s work is proving a vegan diet is best. If you choose
to eat a vegan diet, that’s certainly your right. But it’s wrong to
scare people into believing if they eat even the smallest amount of
animal protein, they will be unhealthy and die. It’s irresponsible for
the film to spread misinformation about the environmental impact of
cattle and how animals are treated only to strengthen their message.
film offers many of the same anti-animal agriculture messages featured
in Food Inc., Fast Food Nation, King Corn and Supersize Me. I reviewed
these films in my blog Food Inc. or Black Sheep.
For another review, check out The Center for Consumer Freedom’s Taking a Scalpel to Forks Over Knives and the website An Epidemic of Obesity Myths.
of the experts in the film is from the Physicians Committee for
Responsible Medicine (PCRM). This is an animal rights group, click here to learn more about PCRM.
have the right to make food choices that work for them and their
family. I hope you’ll trust your common sense and look at both sides of