In their hit 2014 documentary "Cowspiracy," filmmakers Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn explored the impact large-scale factory farming has on the planet — and the environmental organizations too afraid to address it.
In what's something of a sequel, a rare word in the documentary genre, Kuhn and Andersen are about to take viewers further down the rabbit hole. Their new film "What The Health" will uncover the impact highly processed industrial animal foods have on our personal health, and the network of forces, from the pharmaceutical industry to the government and medical communities, that continues to support it.
"When we started to explore, we looked at some of the leading health organizations to see what they had to say about this," Keegan Kuhn says in a promotional video for the film. "We were shocked to find that not only did they not discourage people to eat animal products, they actually encouraged it."
As the trailer for the film hints, the biggest reason for this failure lies in the many, many billions of dollars at stake for the various industries involved in health care. Preventative medicine, the very act of educating people to better their health ahead of any illness, is a threat to the bottom line. As Kuhn explains, making a documentary like this also comes with its own hazards.
“We’re putting ourselves at great personal risks by speaking about this," he says. "Activists in the United States have been persecuted, followed, wiretapped and even imprisoned for speaking out."
Nonetheless, the pair have tremendous support to bring "What The Health" to the forefront of the national discussion on health and wellness. A presently unfolding IndieGoGo campaign to finance the film's production, marketing, and release has already hit $131,000 — more than 244 percent over the initial goal. Their next step, a $164,000 milestone, would allow them to screen the film for one week in New York and Los Angeles, thereby making it eligible for the Oscars.
"We have to do this together," added Andersen. "This topic is so huge, so controversial, that we have to gather together to get this message out to everyone we know, all of our loved ones, and out to the entire world."