London-born filmmaker Klaus Mitchell debuted short film Vegan 2016 this month. Mitchell created the 35-minute film as a narrative of the top worldwide accomplishments—plus some challenges—of the vegan movement during 2016. According to Mitchell, the vegan message first broke through to a broad audience with the popularity of vegan doctor Michael Greger, MD, whose 2016 appearances on media outlets such as Fox News spread the message of his New York Times bestselling book How Not to Die. The filmmaker outlined other major events such as Hampton Creek’s impact on the egg industry, the growing popularity of meat alternatives, and mounting scientific evidence to support the health and environmental benefits of a vegan diet. Between new vegan product launches by unlikely companies such as Ben & Jerry’s, Unilever, and Bailey’s, a 35-percent growth of the social media vegan hashtag, animal-free advances in the fashion industry, the rise of vegan athletes, and celebrity endorsements of veganism from the likes of musician Moby, Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch, singer Ellie Goulding, and director James Cameron, Mitchell says, “It is clear that veganism is starting to disrupt our economic system.” The 26-year-old explained to VegNews why he went vegan four years ago. “I read The China Study and then watched Earthlings,” Mitchell says, “Now I sleep well at night.” Mitchell founded media outlet Plant Based News in 2015, and plans to document the vegan movement through film for the next 50 years to create a “macro-perspective of all the individual events” as a resource that society references to trace the evolution of the vegan movement.
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