The Game Changers has celebrities talking about plant-based diets. Backed by a star-studded list, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan, the film’s premiere attracted NBA stars, Dr. Oz, and Serena Williams. The captain of the Indian cricket team even promoted the documentary to his 34M Twitter followers. Google search data suggests the film drove a global uptick in searches for plant-based diets (see chart below). The Game Changers is just the latest documentary to raise the profile of factory farming and plant-based diets. Eating Animals (2018) drew glowing reviews, won awards, and attracted national media attention. The more factually-challenged What the Health (2017) inspired Formula One legend Lewis Hamilton, NBA star Kyrie Irving, and fashion designer Tom Ford to go vegan, and likely also boosted Google searches. Blackfish (2013) is credited with causing SeaWorld to cease breeding captive orcas entirely. After CNN aired the documentary on repeat, SeaWorld attendance plunged, bands canceled performances there, and a communications representative privately described the park’s reputation as “positively radioactive.” When SeaWorld finally acknowledged the “Blackfish Effect,” its share price fell by a third. Two years later it settled with the SEC over its failure to disclose to investors the documentary’s impact. So should we double down on documentaries to end factory farming?
Bollard, L., (2020). Documentaries for Farm Animals. Farm Animal Welfare Newsletter, 14 Feb. https://www.openphilanthropy.org/farm-animal-welfare-newsletter-archive