I Could Never Go Vegan (2024)

April 25th, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Thomas Pickering | With: Thomas Pickering, George Monbiot, Sophia Ellis, Melanie Joy, Gemma Newman, Alan Desmond, Minik Patel, Paul Youd | UK Doc 97’

There are so many reasons to go vegan according to a plausible new documentary that takes us jauntily through the long list of why eating animal protein is no longer viable according to first time feature filmmaker Thomas Pickering – who has never eaten meat.

Born in the 1980’s and raised vegetarian, before switching to a vegan diet, Tom is convinced that his way of eating it the right way for animals, his own health, and the planet. In his vehement attempts at proselytism he comes up against some reasonable claims: “vegan food is expensive”, “how d’you get your protein” and “climate change doesn’t exist” are just a few.

So Tom sets out on a quest to investigate whether veganism is justified by talking to athletes, doctors, scientists, psychologists, farmers and even chefs. He talks to a game 84-year-old taking part in his sixth ultra-marathon, and visits a factory farm where the practices are appalling to say the least in footage that is painful to watch and these scenes are to be applauded in raising animal welfare issues. Worth mentioning here is also diseases contracted from animal sources such as campobylactor  and E Coli.

Whether you are convinced or not – and there’s something extremely irritating about Pickering’s bumptious way of putting across his point of view – most of us agree that there are highly plausible reasons to choose a varied diet and that occasionally eating animal protein with its rich range of vitamins is healthy despite objecting on humane grounds to animal welfare and slaughter methods, particularly with regards to halal practices – a topic Pickering sadly fails to explore – or even mention.

Directed, edited and written by Thomas and his brother James, with support from Heather Mills (ahhh!) Peter Egan and Alicia Silverstone, I Could Never Go Vegan is decently made and researched. But when somebody bangs on about their opinion for over an hour, without any counter-argument I want to run for the hills in the opposite direction, fast. But many will find this revealing and persuasive, I’m sure. @MeredithTaylor

IN UK and IRISH CINEMAS from 19 April 2024


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