Friday, December 17, 2021

The Game Changers

 Pushing my limits on blog frequency this film had to be included.  My long time friend Bob Stone recommended "The Game Changers" (2019)  and it made an impression that will be hard to cast aside.  

Veganism is something never heard of in my youth, but I have met a few people who are or who have attempted to be one.  Cruelty to animals is repulsive and one also learns that climate change is being accelerated by our meat eating habits.  Although those thoughts are impactful our habits are difficult to change.  The thrust of this film is on our health and for men especially on concepts of masculinity.

Arnold Schwartzenegger epitomizes for many of us masculinity personified.  He admits in his body building days eating meat and eggs was a big part of his strategy, but since has studied the issues more closely and has concluded a plant based diet is not only healthier but does not impeded muscle accumulation.  Arnold is one of the executive producers and talks about his conversion.

The quote I remember most and resets our thinking comes from Patrik Babourmian who demonstrates why he has been labeled "the world's strongest man."  Someone commented to him that he was as strong as an ox and he replied "Have you ever seen an ox eat meat?"  For that matter our favorite sources of meat are cows, pigs and chickens.  

The film is narrated and presented by James Wilks a champion UFC fighter.  A few clips of his fights are shown to demonstrate that not only strength, but quickness are required to reach his level.  During the film he introduces us to a wide variety of athletes who have adopted a vegan lifestyle.  Doctors are also brought to explain the scientific logic for veganism. We see football players, track athletes, cyclists and even a champion Grand Prix racer.

Protein is protein, but actually there is a difference between animal protein and plant protein.  Animal protein contains inflammatory elements that are unhealthy.  As is explained a few times our meat sources are like a middle man taking their protein from plants before passing the adjusted protein to us meat eaters.  

We are shown graphs that illustrates the impact of even a temporary vegan diet.  Strength is maintained and even increased.  Speed and endurance are boosted.   One doctor takes three college football players and demonstrates that sexual virility is enhanced with a vegan diet.

Opposed to veganism are economic interests.

Directed by Louie Psihoyos who has one Oscar  for "The Cove" (2009) to his credit and a big shelf full of other awards.  Script was handled by Mark Monroe, Joseph Pace and Shannon Kornelsen.  

Editing such a wide ranging film covering a number of short clips requires expertise.  Dan Swietlik had edited "An Inconvenient Truth"(2006) and "Sicko" (2007) along with many other documentaries.  " (2007).  Stephanie Mechura has edited a number of Frontline episodes and such films as "The Price of Sex" (2011).

The two producers were James Wilks and Jason Pace who will also produced "Eating Our Way to Extinction" (2021).  Executive producers included Pamela Anderson, James Cameron, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton and Arnold Schwartzenegger.

Veganism is a difficult concept to commit to, but have been tipping in that direction.  Mark Bittman, New York Times columnist is aware of the challenge and has offered a suggestion I have had some limit4d success with--see  After watching "Octopus:  Making Contact" (2019) and "My Octopus Teacher" (2020) I was struck by this odd creature having intelligence that I have decided I could no longer eat calamari.

My personal difficulty is I am addicted to the taste and perhaps even more the traditions associated with meat dishes.  It seems animals are subject to humans' sense of fashion.  What to do with all the farm animals as we convert to veganism:

Another film that hit me personally was "Escape from Extinction" (2020) We humans are very self centered, often to the point of hurting our survival.

All films have some impact on us. One of my motives for blogging is to remember important things.  

The first mention of films I have seen are bolded, partly for my vanity, but also to indicate some familiarity. 

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