There's more to being vegan than eating "trendy food" from a dingy bus-turned-restaurant. Some people's bodies cannot process a typical omnivorous diet while others - in less developed countries and even people around the corner from you - simply cannot afford the luxury of meat. Plant-based eating has been around long before 2014.
Still, it can't be helped that the trend is growing and if it means the mass population gets healthier for it, I don't mind the erection of vegan stores on every other block (however, I'm not too happy about the price of things - kale used to be so cheap before hipsters and other rich people from the suburbs started liking it).
The surge in veganism also helps sustainability, and Lord knows we need all the help we can get if we have top officials claiming climate change isn't real. If more people go vegan, the impact it will have on the world will be tremendous. It can help to conserve water, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and decrease land usage dedicated to raising livestock and their feed. According to James Cameron, people won't have erectile dysfunction anymore, either.
Cameron made the proclamation that veganism can kill Viagra in an interview with The Star. The 63-year-old had just premiered his new documentary, The Game Changers, that partially addresses the issue.
In the film, a clinical test showed that men were more virile when they subbed out meat for plant-based meals. Cameron claims that the trial shows that Viagra would be irrelevant in a world gone vegan. "I’d love to put Viagra out of business, just by spreading the word on plant-based eating," he jokingly told The Star.
How does cutting meat out make men more vigorous, you ask? Turns out that erectile dysfunction is one of the first symptoms of heart disease, according to a study from the journal Circulation. "Some of the more severe heart problems tend to follow very quickly," Cameron added.
The Game Changers contains a scene that had the audience chortling at the film’s Sundance premiere in January, and which is likely to do so at its three Hot Docs screenings this coming weekend.
It shows three men in a clinical test conducted by urologist Dr Aaron Spitz, author of The Penis Book, which indicates that they had much better erections after consuming plant-based meals than after meat-based ones. The men wore special devices to monitor penile length and girth.
Joseph Pace, screenwriter and producer of The Game Changers, revealed how delighted Cameron was with the scene, and how he demanded it make it to the final cut of the documentary:
"When we first told Jim that there are a couple of ways that we could measure the (vegan) difference in terms of erectile function, he was like, ‘That’s the scene of the film!’ And this was years ago. I was in a conference call with him and he said, ‘Guys, if you do anything, please film that, trust me!’"
Cameron got his wish, and he’s delighted. But his main aim in backing The Game Changers is to promote the message - to men in particular - that humans don’t need to consume animal protein because they can get all they need from plants.
"Success for me (with the film) would be if the public finally gets it that meat does not equal protein. That’s the myth that we’re trying to dismantle here. It’s men who hold that most dearly. It’s that (misguided belief), ‘If I don’t eat animal flesh, I can’t have big biceps.’"
Based on that research, it may make sense to go with the salad on your next big date. That being said, if you're a little floppy downstairs, it could also be a sign that you should talk to a cardiologist. The Game Changers screens Friday, Saturday and May 5 at Hot Docs.