The vegan movement is becoming more mainstream by the day. Whether consumers switch to a plant-based diet due to health concerns or out of protest against animal cruelty, vegans are challenging the status quo in the food industry. Corporations and certain political powers are on the ropes, and they’re working to shift the tide back in their favor with uninformed and deceptive public relations campaigns. The two-part documentary Vegan outlines the battle between the demands of activist consumers and the will of corporate interests.
The first segment of the documentary (2017) works to dispel many of the most common misconceptions about going vegan. Do you receive enough protein from a vegetarian diet? Is it considerably more expensive than an animal-based eating regimen? Is dairy really the ideal solution for calcium consumption?
Food scientists and nutritionists are in overwhelming agreement over the benefits of plant-based eating, and its role in improving susceptibility to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic and life-threatening medical conditions. But some in the industry have been swayed by the well-funded persuasions of corporate pressures and lobbyists.
In one particularly nefarious tactic outlined in the film, lawmakers make efforts to pass the Dairy Pride Act, an attempt to discard soy and almond milk as viable substitutes for traditional dairy products. Additional laws have been proposed and enacted with the sole purpose of protecting organizations that indulge in animal exploitation and the production of unhealthy processed meats.
After establishing the debate, and the power struggles that continue to define it, part two of the documentary (2018) looks at where we are now. With the number of vegans growing by 500% over the past four years, the meat production landscape is at a tipping point. “The future is definitely plant-based,” says one commentator featured in the film. In a matter of years, this one-time fringe movement will represent a majority. Attempts to stifle their side of the debate seem increasingly desperate and futile.
The film contains a wealth of media clips featuring vegan advocates and members of their opposition, and original interviews with medical professionals also chime in with sound scientific evidence in support of a vegan lifestyle.
Vegan elegantly summarizes the moral, economic, environmental and health-related aspects of the vegan debate.