Monday, July 30, 2012

Forks Over Knives Review


Forks Over Knives, as you may or may not know, is a documentary detailing the health benefits of an entirely vegan diet. If it's main goal is to make you feel bad about eating poorly, then it succeeds in a monumental fashion.

If however, it's goal was to convince people that eating an entirely plant based diet serves as a cure for cancer, heart disease, and other ailments, well, it missed the mark by quite a bit.

For one, they used highly selective arguments to prove their thesis. For example, they cited a chart that showed how the percentage of death by heart attack and stroke went down by a huge amount during World War II in countries that were forced to switch to a diet of vegetables and grains as a result of Nazi actions. Clearly, the documentary wanted the viewer to see the change of diet as the cause for this.

See the problem here? Percentage of death could mean anything, and in this case, it probably means that more people died during World War II at the hands of the Nazis than they did to heart disease and stroke, not that less people died from heart attacks because they had their meat taken away.

This logic is used in much of their evidence, causing you to wonder why they needed to spin the facts in order to get the point across that eating meat is horrible for you.

Another problem I had with the documentary was that it lacked any decent counter argument. It would cut to a USDA spokesperson for a few seconds in order to explain the opposing side's point of view, but you could tell that the footage was likely edited to make them look crazy or uninformed, which makes little sense considering that they are M.D.'s whose job it is to make sure the meat we eat is safe.

All that being said, I still suggest you watch Forkes Over Knives (it's on Netflix), if only because it encourages eating a healthy diet. While I disagree with the idea that meat is the cause of all disease and evils in the world, I do enjoy the film's other message; that we as a country need to start making smarter choices when it comes to the food we eat.

Though I find their one sided argument about the joys of veganism pretentious, I have no qualms admitting that Americans could go without the egregious amounts of unhealthy foods we currently take in each year.

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