Review: The Game Changers
Released on Netflix 16th of October 2019
This documentary/film is directed by Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos and produced by a host of household names; James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic and Chris Paul.
This is a well made and well-polished film compared to other vegan documentaries/ films such as cowspiracy. at time cowspiracy felt like watching a well made Youtube video with slide shows and narration.
For any person already converted to the vegan diet, this film just like cowspiracy feels like old news. Most vegans will have done their own research into nutrition and other benefits of a plant-based diet. I for one have spent many hours listening to Dr.Greger’s videos on Youtube. There a handful of famous doctors who have been advocating a plant-based diet for years and debunking popular myths that have been propagated by the meat and dairy industries.
That being said this is a great film for introducing non-vegans to the benefits of a plant-based diet, particularly those who are into health and fitness. this sleek and well-polished film will definitely make the most ardent meat-eaters think again especially people aspiring to become professional athletes. Current professional athletes who are ignorant of the diet will also take notice.
Star of the film is James Wilks is an English MMA fighter who retired back in 2012 due to injury. He now trains special military forces in hand to hand combat. The film starts with a brief history of James Wilks including his childhood in which he explains how Bruce Lee was his hero. We then get a brief history of James’s MMA career which was before he turned to a vegan diet. James then goes on to explain how his current career (training elite military forces) was sidelined by injury. During this time he started researching how he could heal his injuries in the most effective way possible. Through his research, he discovered the benefits of a plant-based diet/ vegan diet.
Many doctors are featured throughout the film debunking common misconception regarding animal products. They start by debunking the protein myth. the film then focuses on athletic performance interviewing Olympians, marathon runners and world record strong man Patrik Baboumia.
The film then moves on to discuss the health benefits of a plant-based diet along with the negative health effects of consuming animal products. Nothing groundbreaking for a seasoned vegan but potentially eye-opening stuff for non-vegans.
The film seems to touch on many of the bases you would expect all be it briefly as the film then focuses on biological traits. Comparing the length of our digestive tract compared to that of carnivores such as lions. and of course, it covers the big one, our teeth, pointing out that gorillas have big canines and that our canines are not proof that we need to consume meat to be healthy.
Game changers then takes a less predictive turn and focuses on erections and how just one plant-based meal can affect the size, duration and length of your erections at this point in the film I decided this film was mostly geared towards men, which is fine as meat is advertised and pushed on men more than women perhaps historically more than now but still. this section of the film also discusses testosterone and the myth that soy-based food products increase estrogen in the body, a myth that has been debunked for years but is still perpetuated as a reason to keep eating meat.
The Meat industry is then compared to the smoking industry which is obviously very pertinent to do so as they are so similar. just like the meat industry the cigarette industry used to advertise their products as healthy and would get celebrities and athletes to promote their products. As the evidence for smoking being detrimental to health grew the cigarette industries resolve to sell cigarettes also grew. which led to propaganda claiming that cigarettes were good for your health. they even had advertising campaigns featuring doctors. It took years if not decades for the masses to wake up the fact that cigarettes are bad for you, the length it took is in no small part due to the effects advertising has on the population.
The film points out the similarities in both the meat and cigarette advertising campaign. the meat industry and dairy industry also feature celebrities and athletes in there advertising. just like the cigarette industry the meat industry also has the money and power to pay for studies with industry-friendly results, as one scientific study comes out warning of the health implications of high meat consumption another will swiftly follow debunking the former study and reassuring people that meat is fine to eat on a regular basis.
The film ends briefly touching on the effects on the environment that animal agriculture has. deforestation for livestock and the amount of water consumed by the livestock and how the waste from the 70 billion land animals bred for human consumption has on the environment.
Game Changers Summary
Basically, if you are long term convert of the plant-based diet and have done some research over the years then this film is not for you, apart from some entertainment. This is a good documentary/ film for anyone not familiar with all the benefits of going vegan and I believe that this will contribute to people going vegan either for health benefits or athletic performance. I would argue that this film will not persuade people to chose a plant-based diet because of the environmental effects of the meat and dairy industry. But that is just a brief part of the film in there just to cover all the basis more than anything.