Every so often, a documentary comes along that scares the living sh*t out of you. You might be paranoid for days about the various chemicals lurking on restaurant surfaces that could poison you forever or the inevitable doom you could face from an unpredictable natural disaster.
Luckily, Netflix’s new What the Health highlights a scary issue that we have complete control over: dietary health. Here are 15 takeaways from the documentary that you should really share with everyone that you care about. Oh, and if you’re a fact-checker, check out the film’s website for every source that the filmmakers used.
1. The World Health Organization has classified bacon and sausage as carcinogenic to humans.
This means that eating processed meats like bacon and sausage can give humans cancer.
2. Diabetes is not caused by eating a high-carbohydrate diet or sugar. It’s actually caused by fat buildup (mostly from animal fats), which makes it impossible for sugar to be absorbed.
Mind = blown.
3. Each 50-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer by 18 percent.
So one slice of deli meat per day increases your risk of developing cancer by a pretty significant amount. If that doesn’t scare you into switching to Tofurky sandwiches, I don’t know what will.
4. Over 17 million people die every year from cardiovascular disease (which can be prevented by following a well-balanced vegan diet).
That makes cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death around the world. This means that the number of people who die from cardiovascular disease is equivalent to four jumbo jets full of people crashing every single hour of every day for a year. Gulp.
5. A greater risk of dementia is associated with eating more meat.
So the meat that people eat today could have a seriously negative effect on their brains later in life.
6. The number one source of dietary cholesterol in the U.S. is chicken.
You should really share this fact with anyone you know who thinks they’re being healthy by eating chicken, rather than other kinds of meat.
7. Salmon and tilapia contain more cholesterol than a pork chop.
I’m looking at you, pescatarians.
8. Most people in the world are lactose intolerant to some degree.
This makes sense, because cow’s milk is made for growing baby cows, not humans.
9. Countries with the highest rates of dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis.
So, no, dairy milk does not build strong bones.
10. Dairy “products” can increase a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer by 34 percent.
That’s a lot of percents.
11. Big pharma sells 80 percent of all antibiotics made in the U.S. to animal agriculture.
Therefore, almost every time you consume beef, chicken, or pork, you’re also consuming lots of antibiotics. Yikes.
12. The 10 million pigs in North Carolina alone produce more waste than 100,000,000 people.
This waste pollutes rivers, oceans, and the air we breathe.
13. Feces are typically found in the meat people eat, and pus is often discovered in the milk and other dairy “products” that people drink.
14. All protein is initially made by plants.
If you’re eating “animal” protein, you’re just getting the protein from the plants that animals ate before they were slaughtered. So yes, vegans can most certainly get enough protein from plants.
15. You can actually stop and reverse heart disease with a plant-based diet.
So what are you waiting for? Go vegan!
And while you’re at it, tell your loved ones to do the same. If acted on, these facts from What the Health could possibly save their lives—along with those of countless pigs, chickens, cows, and other animals used for food. Check out our “Guide to Going Vegan” to get started!