Having produced more than 80 award-winning documentaries, I always ask what is needed of my audience. If you’re willing to listen, people will tell you what they need in order to make changes in their lives. Especially young people – they’re more idealistic, they haven’t been corrupted by the system, and they believe that they can make a difference. Also, there’s a sprinkling of older people who are willing to make some changes, but their careers, their family, their personal issues take center stage, and these other changes are of secondary importance. So I thought: what could people change that could help save the planet? We’re not going to be able to get off fossil fuels – every car, plane, boat, and factories are all using various forms of fossil fuels as energy or in their creation. Even solar and wind require large amounts of fossil fuels just to make a product that requires less of them. The one thing that people can change on an individual basis if they choose to is their diet. People are creatures of habit – they want change, they want the benefits of change, even if they don’t always want to be the person that changes. But then, look how many people are going out of their way to buy organic produce; how many people are going out of their way to drink healthier water instead of what comes from the tap; how many people are making an effort to help their bodies with jogging, yoga, and other exercise; how many people are shopping in health food stores, farmers’ markets, and food co-ops.
This film is functioning on three levels. One, I wanted to show board-certified physicians who themselves are vegan. The reason they became vegan was because they had health issues that they were not able – with all the tools available to them in their orthodox medical training and practice – to resolve, but on a plant based diet, they were successful. It’s that simple. Then they helped their patients. All told, just the physicians in this book have treated tens of thousands of patients successfully on a plant-based diet. A study of the scientific literature shows thousands of studies on healthy, nutritious choices impacting the prevention or improvement of different medical conditions, from arthritis to dementia, diabetes to high blood pressure, cancer to fatigue.
For younger people, though, it’s not health issues that motivate them. It’s respect for sentient creatures. The calves, the dairy cows, the pigs, the piglets, the chickens, the lambs, the fish – they have been sensitized to realize that these creatures feel pain, are conscious, respond to love, and have unique personalities and emotions. Anyone who knows a dog or cat knows that they will never betray you their entire lives. That’s why the loss of a pet is frequently as painful as the loss of a friend or family member. The health benefits are of secondary significance.
Then there’s a third reason to consider. A lot of environmentalists of all ages are going vegan because when you do, you aren’t wasting all the natural resources such as water and topsoil, or clearing forests, which are the lungs of the planet, absorbing carbon dioxide and giving us fresh oxygen. Especially if you support local farming – the carbon footprint of growing an animal in Washington and transporting it to Florida, or even just the byproducts of that animal after it’s been slaughtered, is enormous, and most people are repulsed by seeing how animals are treated in commercial factory farming. It’s a truth too searing for most to accept: Where does my hamburger come from? If you understand that lobsters are intelligent and feel pain, then watch as a lobster is put into a boiling pot and you see it trying to escape, it will impact you. So if you can help lessen the methane gases, which are 20 times more powerful than CO2 at contributing to global warming, that can help the planet in a very real way. About 30% of global warming is from agriculture, and about 18% of that 30% comes from animals – tens of billions in emissions a year. There’s the destruction of the Amazon rainforest to grow GMO soybeans to ship back to China or South Korea or Japan so they can feed them to livestock, which is then consumed by populations that increasingly crave meat. China alone has experienced a 300% increase in meat consumption in just 5 years.
So let us summarize: we don’t want to see animals raised for slaughter because of the privations and suffering they go through. We want to see a healthier person develop by making healthier plant-based dietary choices. We want to see climate change slow down by moving toward a vegan plantbased diet. And in the film you’re watching, you’ll see doctors who’ve changed their own lives. One of those is Dr. Dean Ornish, one of America’s most respected cardiologists. He was the pioneer who showed in a study over 30 years ago that you can reverse major heart disease conditions, including atherosclerosis and arterial sclerosis, with a plant-based diet, exercise, and stress management. I was there, and filmed it at the time, but it did not cause a revolution – even though he was able to replicate his findings, and other doctors read the articles he published in the Lancet and NEJM – two separate articles! – it didn’t move anyone to change.
Here we have a perfect example of someone showing that what we were doing was contrary to good health standards, yet we paid no attention to him. Now you’ll see him discussing 9 of his current patients, all of whom were so diseased they were going to have heart transplants. Of those 9, none of them actually had to have the transplant because he helped them heal their hearts and arteries. He should have received the Nobel Prize for medicine and been on the front cover of every newspaper – but instead there was not a word in the mainstream press, and some even said it didn’t happen. It did. The question is: why can’t we accept new truths that could replace old dogmas, conditioned mindsets and beliefs? Especially when it’s to our advantage to do so? Curing the Incurable takes you on that journey. It’s very upbeat, very uplifting, with a positive message of things that we can individually do if we choose. I will be doing a discussion on how to begin your journey toward transforming yourself, towards a plant-based diet, helping lower blood pressure, blood glucose, losing weight, and improving mood and energy levels following the showing.
Gary Null will be speaking and showing his new film at the NEWLIFE EXPO, New York City, March 22-24.