When I was in middle-school, I was a vegetarian for a year or so. My mother was constantly worried I wasn't getting enough protein. I was. I just had an overly concerned mom.
My dietary change was the result of me not being crazy about the taste of meat... along with a short story I'd read. James Agee wrote a moving story called "A Mother's Tale" about a cow that--like all the other cows--wants to experience getting away from the boring pasture and wants to get on the train... the train that other cows are lucky enough to get shoved onto.
The cow does get taken away (by train) to the slaughterhouse, and miraculously, escapes right before it's slaughtered. Most of their hide has been torn off, they're barely alive... but they're on a mission to warn the other cows.
Jasmine Leyva's documentary, The Invisible Vegan, is part history lesson, a tiny part cooking show and a huge part call to action. Jasmine has a calm, casual way of speaking to the viewer, making it easy for anybody to relate to her. The movie takes me back to my vegetarian days, and has probably made it so I'll never have another bacon slice or a chicken patty again.
On the journey to dispel myths and make her case, Leyva includes a movie chapter about enslaved people and how they were forcibly taken from a culture that subsisted on a plant-based diet... and how once they arrived at their new "home," they had no choice but to eat low on the hog.
Now--in 2021--there are minority neighborhoods without access to decent (and affordable) vegetables and fruit. According to some of the experts who star in this documentary, we should rally for fresh food just like we should rally for social justice.
If you're thinking of having "Meatless Mondays" or you're seriously considering your food choices, I highly recommend watching Jasmine Leyva's documentary. It's entertaining, engaging and relatable. You can watch the trailer below:
And here are some other posts reviewing the movie or interviewing the director:
Activist, actress, and documentary filmmaker, Jasmine is passionate about veganism, social justice, and telling her own stories. With a Bachelor of Arts in TV, Film and Media and a Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting, Jasmine is unapologetically an artist. She has worked as an associate producer on a NAACP winning docuseries entitled Unsung and has written and produced for Being, a docuseries highlighting dynamic entertainers in film and music.
Jasmine ultimately decided to let go of her nine-to-five and focus on her goals with no boss except for her own creativity. She went on to produce her own feature length documentary, The Invisible Vegan, a film that chronicles her personal experience with plant-based eating. The film also explains how plant-based eating is directly linked to African roots and how African-American eating habits have been debased by a chain of oppression.
Soul On Fire podcast.