In the few years since their 2014 debut film, Cowspiracy, was released, Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn have had an incredible journey as filmmakers. Leonardo DiCaprio was so impressed by their debut film that he executive-produced a cut that was released on Netflix in 2015. Hollywood has taken notice of these filmmakers, and they have something important to say. In fact, the things they learned in this new documentary shocked me. I was thrilled to chat with Kip and Keegan about their new film, What the Health.
Kip explained the film, stating, “It’s a complete, full spectrum film on health, covering everything from personal health to how true health embodies everything, not only yourself but the community, the planet, and other beings. It reveals many things that are hidden from us. Why do we think we need animal products? How are health organizations in collusion with the pharmaceutical industry and the animal agriculture industry?”
The answer to that question may surprise you. Keegan confessed, “One of the most shocking things that we uncovered while making the film was the impacts on animal products on developing children and on babies in particular. There are dioxins, which are the most toxic substance known to science. 93 percent of our exposure to dioxins come from meat and dairy products. There is no way for our bodies to get rid of these dioxins, these horrible toxic substances. For women, they can get rid of them, but that is passing the on to their children through breast milk or through the uterus while pregnant. So, the thought of these environmental pollutants, our exposure to them primarily coming from animal product and children being affected by these who have no choice in the matter. They don’t have a say in what their parents eat. That was one of the most shocking things that we uncovered.”
Kip added, “Another thing, I think for Keegan, too. We didn’t realize too much about diabetes. Even up until we started researching this film. We knew animal products played a role in it, but We didn’t know until we interviewed Dr. Neal Barnard. We always thought that sugar caused diabetes. It’s not sugar. He’d pretty adamant about saying that its’ not sugar. It’s saturated fat. The leading cause of diabetes is essentially eating high-saturated fat animal products, such as meat and dairy. Everybody says, ‘Don’t eat sugar.’ Once you have diabetes, you can’t have sugar, but it’s ultimately the animal products that are causing the diabetes.”
So, how did they get inspired to make such a movie? “Life naturally led to it. In Cowspiracy, we have an interview with Dr. Michael Klaper. He was asked about the need for dairy, and he says, ‘We’re not baby cows. That’s for baby cows.’ Once that gets into your head, you’re like, ‘Wait? Why are you eating secretions from a cow? We’re not a cow we’re definitely not a baby cow.,’” Kip said
“That’s when we started looking further,” he continued. “We thought, ‘Maybe it’s the same thing playing out in the health world. Why are we eating animal flesh still? Aren’t we supposed to be vegetarian or fruitavore? What’s going on here?’ We started digging into it deeper and deeper, and it was amazing to see the same thing was happening. Not to a big surprise, because you have to realize that the animal agriculture history, especially the lobby industry, is so powerful, and It’s so ingrained into the government that what we think is true. It’s being manipulated, and studies are being manipulated.”
“The big kicker is the pharmaceutical industry. They are the big winners in this game. That’s a big part of the film as well. We see how they come into play in this whole ‘health con.’”
“Kip and I joked about how similar Cowspiracy and What the Health really are. We felt like we were almost making the same story again because the same story is playing out. The story between government industry and non-profit organizations. Ultimately it is a very different film in both the feel and the context because we are focusing almost exclusively on health vs. the environment,” Keegan said.
The fact that Kip and Keegan are having such a big impact with their films may stem from a sincere passion for the truth and justice they have fought for in their films. They also both have a sincere love of cinema. Kip’s dream was to make movies, and he took some community college classes on filmmaking after getting an unrelated degree. From there, he started to keep a camera on him all the time, and let that go for a while until things came full circle with the making of Cowspiracy. He observed, “I am grateful that it has an impact beyond just making a cool movie.”
Keegan’s background is also in film. “I was making videos for non-profit organizations. I started making short films, and I started making short films. Those progressed into doing feature-length documentaries. I have no formal training. I’m YouTube-University trained. I practiced by doing. It’s been a natural progression of filming as much as possible and editing as much as possible.”
Produced by AUM Films and First Spark Media, What the Health is an investigative film that explores and exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is having catastrophic effects on the health of the earth and individuals. So, I had to ask. After making the movie, what did they find out was the most important thing people can do for their health?
“Go vegan,” Kip explained.
Keegan elaborated, “In all the research that we did, and two years of looking at every study we can get our hands on, it really does come down to this. Kip and I are not doctors, but it appears the most important you can do is remove animal products from your diet. The most rigorous studies show that to the case. Going vegan can help us extend our lives, reverse disease, prevent disease, and overall benefit ourselves, our community, and our entire planet.”
What the Health is now available to watch online through Vimeo on Demand.