Last night, my wife, Billie and I had the pleasure of attending the very first pre-release screening of the movie, “Eating You Alive” with about 450 other Detroit area people interested in better health through eating a whole-foods plant-based diet. It is a great movie and will be as (or more) successful than “Forks Over Knives”. It stars some of our favorite heroes: James and Suzy Cameron, Samuel L. Jackson, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. John McDougall. There are a host of other voices we hear from too from the medical and scientific community on the subject of food and health, plus a myriad of people with heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, lupus and other ailments whose stories bring out the benefits of eating a whole-food plant-based diet.
I was quite moved to hear the story of the filmmakers on stage after the screening who started this journey without this end in mind. They were contacted to do some short segments for Dr. Michael Hollie and his plant-based group who was instrumental in starting a program called Dinner with the Doctor, but after doing these short promo segments for eating healthy, they took the information to heart and started eating a vegan whole-foods plant-based diet. Their diet change created a transformation in their perspective which drove them to want to share what they had learned so that others could learn about the benefits of eating this way and not live a life of misery on drugs, procedures and hospital visits.
It is a compassionate movie and message. It hits the other factors involved in with eating a whole-foods plant-based diet too: animal suffering and environmental destruction of the planet.
It’s a movie based on scientific fact-based data which, if we are listening, should move us all.
There is a quote in the movie about the covenant between a caregiver and their sick patient where it is stated: the caregiver will tell the patient what is wrong. This is not happening in our modern society and this reminded me of what my Buddhist teacher has taught me about the Buddha and his message 2,500 years ago. The Buddha is likened to a physician, over and over again, in most Buddhist teachings. He is a physician who teaches us how to wake up from our delusions, hatred and attachments. He tells us what is wrong and is completely honest with us. Then it is up to us to take the medicine and fix ourselves. This whole path comes down to three items: Sila (morality and ethical behavior), Samadhi (meditation) and Panna (insight or wisdom).
How does this relate to living vegan and eating a whole-foods plant-based diet and the movie Eating You Alive? It is morally wrong when we have the scientific data to continue to eat the Standard American Diet. It is not being communicated to us from most of the medical community and certainly not by our government. It is ethically and morally wrong because it hurts and causes so much suffering for human beings. It is ethically and morally wrong because it is wasteful of precious resources, is killing the planet, and causes suffering to trillions of land and sea animals. When we learn about this and just think about it, mull it around and meditate upon it, we can gain some insight. And when we implement what we learn: that eating plants and just plants creates health, heals the planet and saves billions of animals from suffering, we are living the life of an awakened one: a Buddha. I was very happy to be with 400 + awakened ones last night with the PBNSG group at Seaholm High School for this first screening.
Seek out the movie. If you are a vegan eating a whole-foods plant-based diet, get the information, understand it, commit to the change, and implement it. When we learn about this way of living, make these changes, and share them with others then we are doing what the Buddha taught and have sila, samadhi and panna since we certainly have insight and wisdom and are living a more ethical life for the people, planet and animals. Connect the dots.