FORKS OVER KNIVES
Starring a bunch of vegans
Written and directed by Lee Fulkerson
Running time 98 min
MPAA Rating PG
Selig Film Rating Broadcast TV
For the record, I am not opposed to vegetarianism or vegans. But, I am also not opposed to hunting and eating meat. In a free society, you can do pretty much whatever you want, just don’t try and push you agenda on me and I will not push my agenda on you. The new documentary Forks over Knives presents a one-sided argument about the benefits of the vegan lifestyle.
The film starts with the basic premise that ‘the American diet’ is killing us. With some stunning graphics, the case is made with some convincing evidence. The makers site the rise of cancer and diabetes as the folly of eating meat. They also take on the idea that one needs meat for protein. They show that places such as China and the Philippines where the diet consists of whole grains and leafy vegetables, the incidents of things like prostate cancer were almost negligible.
The film also focuses on research done by two different doctors, born at almost the same times in different parts of the country. Both did research and concluded that there was a major link between diet and health. Using different methods, they both came up with some of the same findings—by changing diet one can reverse the damage done by cancer. The doctors refer to these illnesses as ‘diseases of affluence’.
The film is written and directed by Lee Fulkerson. He becomes a willing participant in seeing how eating a vegetarian diet will affect his basic body chemistry. At the beginning, the doctor tells him that he shows a predisposition for a heart attack and heart disease. To become healthier, his doctors put him on a no meat, no animal products and no processed oils diet. In the end, Fulkerson seems to be happy with the results.
The most compelling arguments come from following different individuals who take on the diet. There is a single woman who works in a health clinic who is able to get off her insulin by using the diet. An older man finds that he has more energy by following the diet. There is an Ultimate Fighter on the diet as well as a female senior citizen who not only stops her cancer by doing the diet. But also becomes strong enough to win her age group in the Hawaiian Iron Man competition.
Fulkerson mixes in global warming and erectile dysfunction into his arguments. Toward the end, it feels like he uses everything under the kitchen sink to stretch out his film and to prove his point, no matter how tangible the evidence.
The entire film felt like a big screen version of a Nova TV program. I am no scientist, but the scientific/medical community is mixed about the benefits of being a vegan. Again, I do not care if one does or does not eat meat if they do not care what I do. Forks over Knives will probably not change many minds, just re-enforce set biases. The final arguments will fall on deaf ears of the meat-eaters of the audience.