In 2014, Cowspiracy showed the world how animal agriculture is destroying the planet. Now, What the Health is here to reveal how the very same industry is sabotaging human health and killing millions of Americans every year.
The powerful new documentary (now available on Netflix!) follows filmmaker Kip Andersen as he seeks the truth about the consequences of eating animal products — and investigates why the nation’s biggest health organizations are keeping quiet.
We spoke to Kip on the groundbreaking new flick, how animal agriculture and human rights go hand in hand — and the amazing power of a whole foods, plant-based diet.
TryVeg: What inspired you to create What the Health?
Kip Anderson: It’s personal for me because of my family history. That was the real driving factor. My dad has had several heart blockages. My grandpa died of heart disease and diabetes. I have cancer on both sides, a lot of diabetes. My aunt is dying of diabetes. [My family] always warned me, ‘Kip, you’re going to have heart disease.’ And then to find out, [the cause] is mostly our diet! A lot of this is to, honestly, show my family and friends that I love.
What surprised you the most when putting the film together?
The biggest trouble is these organizations that you think would want to talk, similar to Cowspiracy — the environmental NGOs, the health groups — just don’t want to, because they know they are essentially failing the public in telling the truth about what’s causing a lot of these diseases that they are supposedly in the business of trying to help stop or prevent. Cowspiracy was considered groundbreaking because there had only been a couple of people at that point who had really dug deep into the environmental impacts [of animal agriculture]. The medical community is in the dark, but you have quite a few doctors now who are kind of renegades who had to find out [the truth] on their own — of course they didn’t learn about it in medical school. There are a lot more doctors being turned on to the secret of a vegan diet and [its impacts on] health, so it was easier to find more people to talk to in What the Health.
For those who haven’t seen the film yet, how would you describe the relationship between animal products and chronic disease?
There is a strong link between eating animal flesh, dairy, and eggs to most chronic diseases. The countless studies that are not funded by the animal ag industry show this connection to be strongly associated. The problem is that, until now most of this information has been hidden from the public. Fortunately the truth is getting out now.
How does animal agriculture connect to human rights?
They go hand in hand. Animal ag or Animal Rights, whatever angle you wish to see it or call it, is perhaps the single greatest human rights issue we have ever faced in the history of mankind. The reason for this is that it is so pervasive through everything we are as humans; from the environment, to our health, to our spiritual development. When we as a species move past this monumental frontier of ascending to a vegan lifestyle, all of humanity will benefit from this, perhaps more than any other single thing we can do. For without this transformation, we are biding time, sitting in a stale, used up barbaric state of existence that is long overdue to be overcome. Finally though, the time has come where this is becoming evidently clear.
What’s the most important thing a person can do to protect their health?
The most important thing I feel is to first eliminate all animal products. Big surprise here, eh, ha. But it is just that simple. From there, one’s best chance to live super healthy is to follow a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Not only does eliminating eating animals help with your physical health, but your mental and spiritual health as well. Also, it is just so liberating to free yourself from this horrific industry. This is what True Health is all about – where health supersedes your own bubble to include all others’ health as well, including all animals and the planet.