James Wilks—a former Mixed Martial Arts champion, Special Forces trainer, and producer of documentary The Game Changers—set the record straight about the benefits of a plant-based diet during a nearly four-hour debate with Paleo advocate and health coach Chris Kresser on a recent episode of podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience.” The Game Changers—which is executively produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, and a host of others—follows a diverse group of elite athletes that have thrived on a plant-based diet with the aim of dispelling the myth that consumption of animal products is key for athletic performance. On a previous episode of Rogan’s podcast, Kresser voiced his objections to claims made in The Game Changers, and published a supplementary list of notes to his website. “The Game Changers is an agenda-driven film, not an objective analysis of an optimal diet for athletes,” Kresser’s notes read. “The purpose of this film is to advocate for a plant-based diet. It hasn’t been peer-reviewed, and it plays very fast and loose with the science. It’s propaganda for veganism, pure and simple.”
As Kresser’s opinion was one-sided, Rogan invited Wilkes to his podcast to respond. Wilkes took the opportunity to deliver a well-organized discussion of the science behind following a plant-based diet for optimal athletic performance, a topic Wilks says he studied for several thousand hours with input from the world’s leading experts. During the podcast, Wilkes moved down Kresser’s list of objections to the claims made in The Game Changers, refuting each one and eventually getting Kresser to admit he was wrong in several ways, including Kresser’s claim that animals are not treated with B12 on farms and that only vegans are deficient in the vitamin. “You think I made claims in the film that I couldn’t back up?” Wilks boldly asks Kresser before showing him a picture of industrial B12 vitamin supplements used in animal agriculture. “Vegans [do] have to take a [B12] supplement, but guess what? You’re supplementing anyway,” Willks said, referring to the more than 95 percent of cows raised for consumption that are supplemented with B12 by farmers.
Prior to the podcast going live, Rogan took to Instagram to say that Wilkes completely “knocked it out of the park,” in defending the facts he presented in The Game Changers. “So much so that I’m actually considering taking the original breakdown of the film offline,” Rogan said about Kresser’s episode of the podcast.