Forks Over Knives – or How to Pretend to Be an Exposé Documentary

A review by
Buffy, the Movie Slayer

Forks Over Knives suggests that eating milk and meat causes chronic degenerative disorders.  Somehow it leaps over a fact – that chronic degenerative disorders are new but eating milk and milk are as old as human kind.

This movie seems meant to “look like” an anti-establishment documentary, but it is a disaster in terms of offering anyone a “whole” view of food.

The movie appears to show the difference in health between cultures that eat meat and drink milk and those that don’t.  But it leaves off the many cultures that have subsisted without diseases by living entirely on meat and/or milk (Eskimos, Mongolians, etc.)  A plant based diet is crucial but Forks Over Knives omits that eating meat or drinking milk from grass fed animals IS eating a plant based diet.  It’s why people can live only on such food and never eat vegetables.

But what Forks Over Knives even more oddly leaves off, given that it is allegedly a documentary exposing what people have not been told about food is that there are two kinds of meat and milk.  There is milk and meat like human beings used to consume and there there is milk and meat coming from CAFOS (confined animal feeding operations) which are toxic – where the animals are loaded with antibiotics and hormones, and are eating a diet of grains which is a very abnormal diet for them, and grains that are genetically engineered and heavily exposed to pesticides.  They are also eating slaughter house waste – parts of other animals ground up into the feed, a source of Mad Cow disease.

THAT is the meat and milk sold in supermarkets that the movie is comparing to vegetables, but without ever saying so.  To be honest with the public, the movie should say we are comparing health results from eating vegetables to eating meat and milk heavily loaded with drugs, toxins and GMOs that do not even meet the definition of food which is why the food industry have gotten it redefined as “stuff.”  Director Lee Fulkerson is comparing apples and oranges, or more specifically actual food to “stuff.”

The issue is what is in the meat or milk, not meat or milk per se.

The corporations are going to love this movie (did they help in its production?) because they want to get rid of farm animals as it is.  Why? 1. Because farm animals are central to sustainable agriculture/organic farms) and Monsanto and industrial agriculture are doing all possible to get rid of them.  2. Because without organic farms, there would be only biotech crops (there goes the value of a plant based diet) with pesticides and chemical fertilizers that lack the essential nutrients provided by manure, and TOTAL control of meat which they hope to produce in labs.

This film does not talk about what industrial ag has done to make meat and milk literally dangerous to eat or who did that or what would happen to farm animals needed, at a minimum, to provide manure for crops.  Getting rid of farm animals would be the death of farming, but the movie doesn’t touch on that either.  Vandana Shiva says the cow is “the keystone species for agro-ecosystems” and offer free energy and fertility.  The movie suggests food from farm animals is dangerous to humans, omitting the cycle of life involved, the exchange of nutrients, the wondrous reality of what animals provide for meat, milk, vegetables, and soil.  Let us not forget how crucial their contribution to soil which is the very basis of food being nutritious and healing.  All missing from the movie.

A quick comparison to foreign diets, a quick report on how sick American’s are, “outrage” (real?  or “documentary mimicking”?) that people don’t know how they can be well, and the upshot – you are responsible for your own health – you just need the facts.

But facts about the toxicity of American food are left out.  How non-educating.  How focused away from the corporate degradation of food and health.  How convenient for getting rid of independent ranchers selling grass fed meat, or of hog farmers trying to stay in business raising animals away from confinement pens, and of local raw milk dairies.

How is it if milk is so toxic, that families are specifically seeking it out to heal their children of Crohn’s disease?

And why didn’t the film mention that pasteurized industry milk contains the Crohn’s bacteria (in addition to pus, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs) which is killing hundreds a year in the US?  Or that Crohn’s is new, and related to farm animals raised under terrible conditions?  Again, the indictment should be only of industrial milk, not milk and its wonders.

Milk that harms?

Publishers Note: Dear readers the following letter was mailed to me from Lila Streff of Streff Ridge Farm Goat Dairy in Custer South Dakota. I find this letter to be one of the most critical letters to the editor I have received in years and highly recommend you read it in its entirety.

This movie promotes a continuation of people’s fractured view of nature and food, not understanding that all food is incredible and healthy, and it is solely what industry has done to it in the last 50 years that has made it dangerous and disease causing.  An all meat diet or all milk diet are complete diets – you wouldn’t need to eat one more thing – because the animals raised on grass provide nutrients from the plants they eat.  Eskimos never ate vegetables yet were fine because they ate whales who fed on algae and other greens in the ocean.

Not to put too fine a point on wondering whether industry was involved in this movie, Michelle Obama is in it, and given Obama’s close connection to Monsanto, that’s a red flag right there.  While she was planting her PR-staged organic garden, he was appointing Monsanto and pesticide and biotech people to every possible food and trade position.

This movie could help the companies undermine sustainable farming which depends on animals.  And it’s not as though vegetables are an answer to health in any case because Monsanto has genetically engineered vegetables waiting (and with them, extreme amounts of pesticides, having already gone after grains and oils.  If they succeed in getting the vegetables on the market and getting rid of organic farms, vegetables will also be worthless for health.

This is not to say that a vegetarian diet can’t provide people benefits but human kind has been eating meat and drinking milk for thousands of years without a problem.  So, the question is why are they suddenly causing chronic degenerative diseases?  What has changed?  Does the movie mention that as of 1996, thanks to Clinton and Monsanto, GE-corn was planted in the US?  Since then, over only the next 10 years, diabetes went up 90%.  Does the movie mention that corporate meat and milk all have genetically engineered hormones in them, which are associated with weight gain, or that GE-food is directly associated with diabetes?  Does it mention GMOs at all?  It would be odd to leave them out since they are the biggest change to “food” in the history of mankind, and with most impact on meat and milk.

The movie provides cherry picked information (distorting the true picture), leaving off what the food industry and industrial ag and the pharmaceutical industry have done to food and suggesting, as corporations and the government do, that this is a case of individual responsibility not an issue of corporate greed and malfeasance as the whole population is being misled so they will eat things that they wouldn’t if they knew what was in them.

The upside is that the movie can become a farce in which people can start seeing what never gets mentioned – what industry did to meat and milk – and to have people wonder who it serves.  Also, perhaps people rushing to the safety of vegetables will notice that while most have not been genetically engineered yet, without farm animals there’ll be no real farms, and there’ll be only GE-vegetables.  Then there’ll be nothing that offers health.

Perhaps the “seems like a” documentary will stir up a storm of outrage over its never mentioning that meat and milk are contaminated by industry, and that grassfed animals have produced healthy food for billions of people for thousands of years.  Suddenly it’s no longer safe.  Why?  Who screwed with it is the question.

Vegetarian is great if people seek it for moral reasons or cultural reasons but notice that while Indians eat a vegetarian diet they revere the cow for its manure (and urine) and keep animals on their farms.  Here, because Americans are so distanced from farming and the reality of food, we have a terribly fragmented view nature.  So, if we don’t eat animals, then who needs them?

We all do.  We can’t live without them.  But who will protect farm animals when ignorant vegetarians are being taken in by such distorted information and are then are passive as massive multinational corporations are out to get rid of them (even using harmless diseases as scares) and farming?

21 responses to “Forks Over Knives – or How to Pretend to Be an Exposé Documentary

  1. Good that word is getting out that there is a threat to animals. Everyone should see the video of the pigs being buried alive in Korea over a disease that’s a nothing. There couldn’t be a clearer picture of agribusiness. It’s the last link.

  2. Suzana Megles

    The post notes that eating meat and milk are as old as mankind. True – but certainly our early ancestors did not consume these products to the huge extent we do today. Re degenerative disease – the China Study by Prof. Campbell who spent years studying the effects of food on our health believes that a plant-based diet would help get rid of our heart, cancer, diabetes, and stroke problems. I’ve been a vegan for close to 30 years and at least in my case so far – and I’m 80 – I haven’t seen a doctor in 5 years and then I went to check out why I collapsed with a bout of bronchitis. He said not to worry as long as I didn’t have a bacterial infection which I didn’t. My blood work was fine and I take no prescription drugs.

  3. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Food Freedom | Decentralize, Grow Your Own, Buy Local.

  4. Documentary is a wonderful and informative art form but as with any source of information viewers must always ask what’s being left out and what the agenda might be.

    Nearly everything requires a grain of salt these days. Thank you for providing this rebuttal. I’ve been a vegetarian for 5 years, but rather than push this agenda I always just suggest people be informed and choosy when it comes to their meat and dairy.

  5. Thank you for sharing this useful info.
    That is a great post. Thank you. Looking forward to more
    Livebuffer

  6. http://www.loving-it-raw.com/the-china-study.html

    I just wrote a 1000 word response to your article and deleted it by mistake!! was very angry with myself! but anyway…
    it appears to me that forks over knives is your first encounter to this idea. there is much more to the movement than that. if you would like to read more for yourself then please go to http://www.loving-it-raw.com for more information. there are reviews going up of all these types of films there…
    especially the book, The China Study. please go to the site often as I have reviewed the films Healing Cancer from the Inside Out, and also Eating 2nd edition and they will be up over the next couple weeks.
    they explain the points you question quite nicely.

    Good luck and love lots! :)

  7. First of all, there are many reasons why people choose vegetarianism.
    Animal products are the only sources of cholesterol. That is likely the reason for Bill Clinton’s choice for this diet. Moral, ethical reasons include the inhumane “care” and slaughter of animals. Also, the inefficient, polluting nature of a meat-based diet. On this website is an article on Agent Orange being used in the Amazon to clear rainforest for cattle farming. Many years ago Einstein stated that “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” A man of great vision, but I wonder if he could have foreseen the mess we are in here in the 21st century! Also, I would like to point out that in the past, milk was the diet of infants, human milk. The problem I have with your article is that you seem to feel that all animals are here for our use and to be exploited as we see fit. Some are pets, others are slaughtered, others such as beluga whales, are taken from the wild for “entertainment.” I don’t like the hypocrisy. Animals are here for their own interests. “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  8. Eskimos only ate meat and they were “fine”… how long was the average lifespan of an eskimo again? You cherry pick your facts and omit others as well. This is the most hypocritical thing I have ever read.

  9. Thank you Jeff. Took the words out of my mouth. The disappearance of “farm animals” doesn’t mean that they disappear because we don’t need them. I agree that they are beneficial for soiling crops but when the documentary stated the disappearance of “farm animals” it was referring to humans no longer USING animals for nutritional profit. Almost all of the meat consumed in America is produced by factory farms. Those are the farms using the chemicals and the antibiotics and the growth hormones on your beloved meat and that is what you’re consuming and that is what’s causing the majority of illness in the country. Since the 1920s as a country, America’s consumption of meat steeply increased and guess what! So did disease and so did factory farming. You’re the literary genius here, put two and two together.

  10. I did not see any mention in this review that addresses the explosion of meat eaters worldwide. The introduction of meat diets to more nations, coupled with an ever growing world population makes ‘harvesting’ grass fed farm animals, not feasible in regards to feeding billions of people. We simply do not have the land space to raise hundreds of billions of cows and pigs, what have you, to feed so many people. Reverting back to farm life as it was 100 years ago will not solve the global hunger issue, nor the loss of rain forests and natural lands. It will continue to displace land that could be used for growing crops and feeding starving people. It will only be available to those that can afford high meat prices.
    Number of people worldwide who will die as a result of malnutrition this year: 20 million
    Number of people who could be adequately fed using land freed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 100 million
    Percentage of corn grown in the US eaten by people: 20
    Percentage of corn grown in the US eaten by livestock: 80
    Percentage of oats grown in the US eaten by livestock: 95
    Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90
    How frequently a child dies as a result of malnutrition: every 2 point 3 seconds
    Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 40,000
    Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 250
    Percentage of US farmland devoted to beef production: 56
    Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce a pound of edible flesh from feedlot beef: 16

  11. Pingback: Plant based spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce | Nutritionista

  12. Kathleen, we don’t need ways to feed more people, we need LESS PEOPLE!

    • ckeller argument = red herring

      This documentary did not omit the fact that people have eaten meat or dairy and been healthy. The introductory ‘rat’ studies contrasted two groups, each of which were given animal protein, one at 20% and one at 5%. People currently consume MUCH more meat and animal products than we have ever even been capable of in the past. That was made visually and statistically apparent throughout the documentary.

      Of course chemicals are bad for you. The premise of the ‘cancer’ portion of this documentary stated how you get cancer. 1) You are born with a genetic disposition 2) chemicals change you to have a disposition. The SOLUTION is to eat plant based foods!

      To me, this article as a cheap antagonistic afternoon’s work to gain publicity. It is an example of bad journalism. I place a vote of no confidence in this article and author.

      (I am not a practicing vegan or vegetarian)

  13. you know what, of course people “live” as you call it, but I have done this and i can tell you it’s not living AT ALL. Im sorry, i grew up on chemicals and low fat, low sodium and processed foods and you know how you “live”? You live on poor health, pills, presciptions, and reliance on trying to feel better all the time. This post is ridiculous. Did fox news pay you for this?? This is a documentary simply based on putting different info out and letting viewers know what they have come up with after experimenting for years. Normal people could never achieve some of these studies. Watch it, take it for what it is and do what you will for the information. Just so you know i didn’t pay a DIME for this info. I didn’t buy the movie. What is your science again?? Oh that’s right, people are “alive”. please!!!!! Write about something you know about ok!!!

  14. WV Infowarrior

    “Forks Over Knives” = controlled opposition. It’s nothing but cleverly-disguised Monsanto propaganda.

  15. Monsanto? They’ll take a loss on the nation switching to plant-based foods. They make so much more money just feeding livestock. Calling it propaganda kind of undermines the fact that it just logically makes sense. If you almost never eat meat or dairy, and eat antioxidant rich foods, you’ll never have a heart attack. If you are concerned about your health after the movie, you’re going to be more likely to buy organic, which is the opposite of what Monsanto offers. Also, eating cheap GMO vegetables on a diet like this is just unappealing. It’s not going to do much for Monsanto except hurt them.

    Also, the milk and egg industries are just as immoral as the meat industry as well, so, ethically I’m going to keep this vegan thing going too. Beyond that, I’ve had the energy to bike up Mt. Lemmon from my apartment, 6500 ft climb, 85 mile round trip. After it was over I had energy to bike over to my friend’s apartment to watch the Walking Dead, adding another 14 miles to the day. And I was going fast as Hell.

    Go plant-based, buy whole foods, locally grown and organics when possible. Buy bulk foods to save money. I’m NEVER going back, I feel too good and I am too happy.

    • dcinfowarrior

      Oh and by the way, PETA actually did allow paid Monsanto trolls to post pro-GMO propaganda on one of their videos, and I got blocked by PETA for countering the trolls. That alone tells me who PETA works for. They don’t work for the animals. They work for Monsanto.

  16. Am wondering who Buffy is or GeoBear7. Why doesn’t he or she give his or her name?

  17. Why do people still think cholesterol, dietary and otherwise is a problem? Please get up to speed.

    • Amen. I mean… seriously. I come across posts like this during searches, and then I stupidly read all the comments…

      And I just don’t understand how in this “information age” so many people seem to be stuck in the eighties.
      Sure, I miss sometimes miss my big hair and ripped stockings, but having progressed in nutritional science and moved beyond basing our choices on flawed studies and “biologically plausible” assumptions is a GOOD THING.

      Can we all just grow up now and stop making up dietary boogie-men?

  18. “Forks Over Knives” is more like vegan abolitionist propaganda. The official “Forks Over Knives” page on Facebook actually spreads the lie that “there is no such thing as humane meat/milk/eggs”. “Forks Over Knives” is vegan propaganda which equates organic free range farms with CAFOs. It’s full of dishonesty and disinformation.

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