But where do you get your protein?

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We tried to go and see The Game Changers at the cinema last weekend: we bought tickets, we bought popcorn, but at the last moment we got stopped because the documentary is rated 15+ and Daniel and Elizabeth are not 15. They gave us our money back but I was very disappointed and I felt like a bad parent, as though I was trying to smuggle my children into an x-rated porno.  What could possibly be in a vegan documentary that’s unsuitable for the pre-teen age group?

On Tuesday the documentary was released electronically to the world and we bought it on iTunes and watched it this weekend. It’s brilliant and I recommend it to everyone including pre-teens. There’s really nothing unsuitable about it other than some swear words and a short segment on the effect of a plant-based meal on a man’s erection. I’m often astonished by the level of violence in children’s computer games and even movies and yet dare to mention a natural phenomenon that half the human population experiences – erections – and it becomes adults only. There was not a visible penis in sight and the focus was on the beneficial effect of eating plants on arterial function and therefore blood flow to the major organs.

But most of the film was about elite athletes who are vegan and at the top of their game. There’s a misconception that you need to eat meat to get protein and this myth is most ubiquitous among athletes and bodybuilders. The protein myth was scientifically disproved a couple of decades ago but persists like a lingering fart in an elevator. I have thrived on a plant-based diet but I’m not an athlete and so it was refreshing for me to see and learn about some amazing vegans who are.

There’s the Australian sprinter, Morgan Mitchell:

Nimai Delgado, the bodybuilder who has never eaten meat, ever, his entire life.

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Competitive weight lifter, Kendrick Farris, who is also vegan.

There are many others in the documentary. You can see the full cast here.

There are also interviews with scientists and doctors and one quote that I particularly liked from Dean Ornish MD is,

“It’s not one set of dietary guidelines for improving your performance as an athlete, another one for reversing heart disease, a different one for reversing diabetes, a different one for reversing prostate cancer, it’s the same for all of them.”

If anything the documentary will inspire you to improve your diet and get some exercise. We all enjoyed it, especially the kids.