In a trailer for the forthcoming Under the Skin podcast published on 12th June 2019, Russell Brand asks: was I right to go vegan?
The podcast interviews Kip Anderson, the co-director of the documentaries Cowspiracy and What The Health. The documentaries have proved controversial since many of the facts and statistics contained in them have been questioned. Claims have been made that the filmmaker falsified data.
In the podcast, Anderson staunchly defends his position and all the sources. These are set out on the What The Health site and are fully sourced.
Furthermore, he confirmed that he and his doctors would happily engage in a public online unedited debate with anybody wishing to dispute the facts that the films allude to. But nobody as taken up the offer. It is all “talk, talk, talk”.
Anderson quotes one example of so-called facts that were presented to them about eggs – but it was provided from a study funded by the egg industry.
“They are giving us “facts” from studies that are funded by the animal agriculture industry and they don’t realise it” he said. These nutritionists are taught things that are “filtered through this industry”.
An economic imperative
The discussion focused on the reality that this is primarily an economic issue rather a dietary or ecological or health issue. It is a billion dollar industry with vested interests that promotes its own vested interests despite the health, ecological and cruelty issues associated with it.
“I didn’t want to give up eggs, I didn’t want to give up cheese and in fact, to tell you the truth, in spite of all my claims to spirituality I know that it’s cruel I saw that with my own eyes, that cow thing. It was only when realised ‘oh man, the whole thing is a blag, we shouldn’t be eating this stuff’. The only reason we are getting this information is because it is economically germane for them to keep selling eggs and dairy products.”
Anderson emphasised that one has to look at where the money is. Information has in the past been withheld, but today it is the exact opposite. We are “flooded with information”. Young people in particular are being targeted, just as has been seen with the tobacco industry. By being able to see this clearly his response was that he didn’t want to have any part in this.
Russell Brand has re-iterated his new commitment to veganism on the latest episode of Rich Roll’s podcast, provocatively entitled The Awakenng of Russell Brand. Speaking to the vegan activist and endurance athlete, Brand said that watching Roll in the What the Health documentary was his tipping point.
“It chimed so neatly with my belief about how the world operates,” he said.
“I’ve always loved animals you know and I’ve always cared, to a degree, about my health. But when added to that was ‘oh my god it’s a ruse, the corruption behind this’.
“Of course there are counter arguments or whatever but I don’t see some powerful vegan lobbying forces around Washington,” he said.
Bringing greater consciousness
Brand also said that not only does he feel healthier since he cut out all animal products from his diet but that it also helps him ‘bring consciousness to everything’.
In the podcast, Brand made it clear that he can see this renewed commitment to veganism as a part of his spiritual awareness. It was helpful not merely to see veganism as just being about denying oneself things. “True freedom is freedom from our desires,” he said rather than the freedom to pursue our desires.
Brand has been something of a yo-yo over the years on the matter. Back in March, he told his 1.1 million Instagram followers that he had gone vegan – again. It was his Great British Bake Off experience that had pushed him that final yard. He had, he said, been baking like a maniac ever since the “Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up 2 Cancer”. So Brand is now firmly a member of the vegan celebrity community.
No doubt those vegan brownies had something to do with it.