Most members of a couple can recall that one magical moment when they knew that this person was their ‘person’, when the fire of longing for love is quenched with a cool calm (potentially followed by an immediate panic attack) and the search was finally over. My moment came after a mind-blowing meal at Kayrn’s on Green in Chicago when Evan leaned over, grabbed my hand gently, and said “let’s go back to the hotel and rent that new documentary on the New York Times”. My reaction was much like Jennifer Aniston in Office Space when Peter asks her to watch Kung Fu and she is put in a trance, “yeah, totally. Okay. Okay.” I thought, “play it cool Hayls, this may be your only chance to score a vegan, documentary watching, sarcastic man who idolizes Lance Armstrong, listens to Radiohead, and has a 401k.”
There are many things you can take away from this story: 1. rehearsing the right thing to say will never lead to long lasting love, so just be yourself. 2. A great vegan meal can really set up a prime environment for magic to happen. 3. Financial stability enhances your sex appeal. 4. Documentaries WILL get you laid.
Okay, that last one may be false but hey – filling yourself full of information can help you to engage in more educated arguments, not to mention the whole part about making the best decisions for YOU and not following the mainstream, media-driven social norms. If the thinking-for-yourself gets lonely, find a group that shares your passions on a website like Meetup. This past Saturday, our Southern Oregon vegetarian/vegan meetup group brought apps & zerts to our house, drank some adult beverages, and a watched the documentary Got The Facts on Milk (trailer below) followed by an informal chat on our evolving journey towards going sans dairy. Not only were we reenergized and had lots of new recipes to try, we made connections with like minded peeps that made us feel at home again in the world. I love love.
As for this list, we could have made this a ‘Top 50″ but narrowed it down to our all-time favs. Whenever we need a little magic in our lives, I make it a point to lean over to Evan and whisper softly “let’s watch Food Inc tonight.” Awwwwwww yeeaahhhh.
Top 5 Pro-Plant Documentaries
1. Food, Inc.
There are few films that provide such a holistic, fact-based, and captivating insider look at our nation’s food industry as Food, Inc. Citing food industry experts such as Michael Pollen (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) combined with insider dialogue with those growing, producing, selling, and purchasing food, this film reveals shocking truths in a digestible language. This film is a great recommendation if you (or someone you know) want to take back their power and understand how the social demand for “faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper” impacts global, local, and personal health.
Two out of every three Americans are overweight. Diabetes is beginning to impact our citizens at younger and younger ages, and nearly half of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug, yet our health is only getting worse. Why is this happening and can it be reversed? This question is examined and addressed using modern technology, cases that follow real patients, and global scientific studies to examine the cost, politics, and scope of the problem. If you have an illness, you much watch this video.
The first time I watched this was during the most difficult time during a recent three-day juice fast, and I went from wanting to quit to wanting to juice for months. Joe Cross, 100 pounds overweight with a rare and debilitating autoimmune disease, goes on a 61 day journey across America drinking only juice that he makes out of the back of his vehicle. While his story is incredible, it was the transformative story of the 400+ pound truck driver whom he rescued from near death that brought me to tears. The power of plants is amazing.
4. King Corn
Coming from Iowa, this one hit our hearts, mind, and stomachs hard. The film follows two friends that move for a season to Iowa and follow one acre of land from prep to plant to harvest and beyond. Corn: the “raw material for an overweight society” – this movie is a commentary on the story behind what we eat, where it comes from and where it goes. This film feels less like a mother’s guilt trip and more like a your burnout college friends preaching the cool truth.
The perfect starter movie for anyone even a little open to understanding their health and wellness. This independently funded film examines a breadth of issues that lead to our health crisis of today from pharmaceuticals to food programs to education to diet. It clearly marks out consequences of continuing on this path and provides hope for the future.