New Vegan Documentary They’re Trying to Kill Us Exposes Racism in the Food System
A new documentary by John Lewis (aka Badass Vegan) unveils the racism that lies within the food industry.
Have you ever wondered why healthy food is less available in communities of color? And not only that but why BIPOC are more susceptible to disease? These directly-related hard truths are built on an unjust food system that is exposed in the new documentary They’re Trying to Kill Us.
John Lewis is a Black vegan filmmaker and Ferguson native who has witnessed and experienced this issue first-hand. Lewis shared, “Even though I’ve been involved in athletics and sports since I was a little kid, I did reach a state of childhood obesity where I was 315 pounds as a freshman in high school. Many years later, I found out that it was not only the lack of activity that led to my obesity, but it was the foods I was eating at the time. I started my vegan journey once my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. After I did some research, I saw that animal protein wasn’t just a cause of cancers but it was also the cause of many diseases within the human body and that’s what led me down my journey to becoming a filmmaker in pointing out what I’ve learned along the way to help out more people.”
For this documentary, Lewis teamed up with Keegan Kuhn, the co-director of Cowspiracy and What the Health. Lewis told us they met a few years back at a festival. “I had a booth for my protein shake, Vegan Smart, and he had a booth for his documentary at the time, Cowspiracy. When I walked over to the booth, he actually knew who I was and it just became a good friendship from there.” Years later, Kuhn reached out to Lewis about working together on a documentary. Kuhn expressed a desire to reach more people with this documentary but didn’t know how to do so.
That’s when Lewis suggested the idea of using hip-hop. “Hip-hop really runs the world and if we can appeal to the people who love it,” he shared, “then they would be more willing to listen to the message.” They’re Trying to Kill Us will feature interviews with numerous hip-hop artists, public figures, and doctors as they discuss veganism, health, poverty, systemic racism, and more. Ne-Yo, Raury, TxTHEWAY, Lola Monroe, King Los, Dame Dash, Grey, Angela Yee, Dr. Neal Barnard, and John Salley are some of the guests who make an appearance.
When we asked Lewis what message he hopes to get across with They’re Trying to Kill Us, he told us, “This documentary is solution-based. The main purpose of this is to actually show people that they have a way out if they use a plan of action. I want people to see that there is a way out from the dark and dismal portrayal of health that has been shown to us in the past.”
They’re Trying to Kill Us is set to be released by the end of the year. They have not yet announced what platforms it will be available on. For the most recent updates, follow @theyretryingtokillusfilm on Instagram.
Allie is a writer, musical theatre performer, yoga instructor, and walking vegan restaurant directory. On any given day, you can catch her making tofu scramble, scouring Trader Joe’s for new plant-based products, or watching The Lizzie McGuire Movie! Visit her website at alexandrammitchell.com.
More from VegOut
The Best Places to Eat Vegan in the South Bay
If you’re heading to Manhattan, Hermosa, or Redondo Beach, there is no shortage of vegan options. From upscale vegan Italian to Asian fusion to a fully vegan organic market with perhaps the best vegan BLTA you will ever have, there’s something for everyone. Here are the best places to eat vegan in the South Bay!
Chef Mark McKinney Is Opening a Vegan Restaurant in Philadelphia This Fall
This vegan chef is transforming his original pop-up into a restaurant concept in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!
VegOut’s Los Angeles Vegan Gift Guide
Gift giving is a tradition as old as time, but not too long ago collective sighs could be heard across the world when it came time to buy thoughtful presents for vegans. Now, plant-based gift shopping is anything but boring and the furthest thing from difficult! Our Los Angeles vegan gift guide has you covered with everything from hand-poured candles and toxin-free spas to French-style pastries and some of the best chocolate you’ve ever had!
Peet’s Coffee Now Serves a Limited-Edition Vegan Cold Brew Oat Latte
The fan-favorite coffee chain is back at it with the vegan options!
10 Vegan Skincare Brands We Love
It’s time to cue up the messy bun and wash away the troubles of the day with these cruelty-free, vegan skincare brands.
Crocs Plans to Go 100% Vegan by the End of 2021
The wickedly popular shoe brand is putting its kicks into four-wheel drive with its latest sustainability efforts!
Jessica Biel Just Launched a Vegan Wellness Brand for Kids
The actress and mother of two has created a company that makes natural, vegan products for families and also gives back to the planet.
10 Gluten-Free Vegan Snacks That’ll Satisfy Your Cravings
From dips and chips to popcorn and protein bars, these brands have you covered for your gluten-free snacking needs.
New 144-Seat Vegan Restaurant Fancy Plants Kitchen to Open in Chicago
A new all-vegan restaurant is opening in the Lincoln Park neighborhood!
Beyond Meat to Offer Free Vegan Chicken Tenders This Tuesday
In honor of National Chicken Tender Day, Beyond Meat is giving customers a chance to try their new plant-based tenders for free.
New Vegan Vendor Opens at Brooklyn’s DeKalb Market
This new eatery is serving up plantain-based tacos, desserts, and more!
Vegan Meat Brand OZO Launches New Chicken Nuggets, Meatballs, and More
New OZO products including frozen nuggets, meatballs, chicken patties, and fresh versions of the Smokehouse Burger and ground turkey are available this summer.
Subscribe NowOrder the magazine!