Kip Andersen, Co-producer of documentary ‘Cowspiracy’, talks to Vegan Life about his latest film, ‘What the Health’
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. The reaction to Cowspiracy has been incredible. How does What the Health differ from Cowspiracy?
Well the obvious thing is that, rather than focusing on the environment, it focuses on the health. A lot of people think this movie will be bigger than Cowspiracy just simply because more people care about their own health, their family’s health and the health of people they know more than they care about the environment. It’s different too because when you are doing something for the environment, like going vegan for the environment, it’s a little bit abstract and you don’t really see the results. You do it because you think it’s a good thing whereas with health, within weeks, you see actual results; that’s so powerful. Everybody knows someone with cancer or diabetes or heart disease so What the Health is getting passed around a lot. Other than that, it’s very similar. The story plays out in the same way and shows the collusions, the corruption and the things that are hidden from us.
There are so many revelations in the documentary; which one surprised you the most?
Well, we knew a lot going into it, but then there is always some stuff which surprised us. It was definitely shocking to find that sugar does not cause diabetes. You never think of the cause. You think since diabetics can’t eat sugar now, that’s what caused it. But [diabetic suffers] can’t eat sugar because it can’t get where it needs to go because of saturated fat. We know that that has been the controversial thing.
It’s quite an emotional film, was there a particular moment which choked you up?
Going to North Carolina and meeting the people who live around the farms was so sad. Everyone around there has some sort of bizarre illness, living around those pig farms. My dad lives in Carolina and it’s so beautiful there, yet these people are living in misery. Then you think about the pigs living in these farms and you can only imagine how horrific that is. The whole experience was just so sad.
What was the most frustrating thing about the film?
Well, with Cowspiracy, eventually we got to speak to people but it was just so frustrating not being able to speak to someone higher up on the Sarah G Komen pink ribbon campaign or in the Cancer Society. We got so close so many times and we were upset by that but thank goodness we got that one interview with the American diabetes association. It just summed up how they all would’ve been. It was super frustrating just trying to talk to people about what they do and they didn’t want to. If that’s not shady, then I don’t know what is.
What do you think needs to change?
Really, just showing the truth and spreading it so everybody knows. Once you know, you can’t un-know and if you participate in it then, especially with health, it’s like Russian roulette. You might be okay, there are people who live into their nineties who eat meat and dairy, but is it worth it? Is it worth it to the environment? I think it is just education. Now people know the truth. There is a radical transformation that is happening so fast, especially with the younger generation, and you can’t hide things anymore. We really are taking the next step and entering the next level of consciousness because we are aware of everything.
How can people educate themselves?
Watch What the Health! I wanted to make this film more than Cowspiracy because it’s closer to home for me. My passion is primarily health. We wanted to make the film digestible and entertaining. If you start googling these things, you will come across studies which are funded by the dairy industry so it’s tough for people to find this information on google. With Cowspiracy people could go on google and see the truth. With What the health, it was really hard to weed through all the false studies.
Have you changed your eating habits as a result of what the health?
I have. I’ve eaten a lot better. I used to be a full-on junk food vegan — pizzas, nachos, vegan chicken — but now I’ve cut back a lot. I’m eating more whole foods.
So, not a 100 per cent raw vegan yet?
No, I keep on saying that. I did three weeks one time and I felt phenomenal. I want to do it again, even just for a month.
What are your plans for the future?
We are working on several films right now. Seaspiracy [out in 2018] will show the things which are being hidden from us, such as the sustainable fishing hoax. If you’ve seen The Cove, imagine The Cove meets Cowspiracy. It’s going really well. Another film in the works is called Running for Good which is about Fiona Oaks and I’m working on a few other films which we haven’t announced yet. It’s an exciting time to live in — the time that we’ve been waiting for. It’s important that we all know its happening and its happening fast. So, keep on spreading the word and enjoying the transformation.
What the Health is available on Netflix and at whatthehealthfilm.com