The film

    Synopsis

    „Use your life wisely!“
    (Dr. Jane Goodall, primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace)

    „Every act of conscious eating is an act of changing the world.“
    (Dr. Vandana Shiva, environmental activist, physicist and Alternative Nobel Laureate)

    Half of the population in Western society suffers from being overweight. Cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes and cancer are epidemic. Our meat consumption has quintupled over the past 50 years. 65 billion land animals are being slaughtered every year for food consumption. One third of the global grain production is fed to animals for fattening while 1.8 billion people world wide suffer from hunger and starvation. Can there really be a solution to all these problems?

    It was the search for an answer to this question that led Austrian author and filmmaker Nina Messinger on a journey through Europe, India and the US to investigate the consequences of our diet and to meet with leading experts in nutrition, medicine, and agriculture, among others, as well as with farmers and people who have recovered from severe illnesses by simply changing their diet. The film´s deeply distressing images and moving stories make a clear case for a plant-based diet that is not so just a short-lived life-style trend but rather for preserving our entire world. The movie serves up a stunningly simply, yet comprehensive solution – right in front of our plates. Changing our eating habits will rebalance not just our health but the planet itself.

    H.O.P.E. is a startling and moving documentary uncovering and revealing the effects of Western eating habits. It contrasts the limited interests of the pharmaceutical and agricultural industry with the all encompassing interests of living beings on this planet and with the power of responsible consumer action. Hope for All is an urgent call to action to all of us to commit to a change towards sustainability and safeguarding our living environment.

    It has a clear message: Let´s change your diet and change the world.

     

    Protagonists

    Dr. Jane Goodall

    Dr. Jane Goodall

    Dr. Jane Goodall

    Primatologist, UN Messenger of Peace

    England

    Dr. Jane Goodall, born 1934, is one of the world’s leading primatologists. Over five decades, Dr. Goodall has revolutionized the field of comparative behavioral sciences as well as our knowledge on primates and their habitats. Over the years, she gradually expanded her research to include environmental protection as a basic requirement for wildlife conservation and the respectful treatment of all life as a prerequisite for sustainable, preventive environmental protection.

    In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation. Active in 130 countries and committed to a holistic and respectful approach towards treating human beings, animals, and the environment, the institute not only works to protect and enhance our understanding of primates, but also focuses on innovative protection and development projects. In 1991, the British behavioral scientist launched the “Roots & Shoots” Program, a global ecological and humanitarian program for children and adolescents. Jane Goodall has garnered numerous awards for her work, including the 1990 Kyoto Prize and the 2002 Konrad-Lorenz-Award. In 2002, she was also chosen as the United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2005 she was distinguished as an officer of the French Legion of Honor (Officier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur). In 2010, she received the German Media Prize Bambi. Since 2012, she has been an honorary member of the World Future Council.

    Dr. Vandana Shiva

    Dr. Vandana Shiva

    Dr. Vandana Shiva

    Physicist, Environmental Activist, Alternative Nobel Laureate

    India

    Dr. Vandana Shiva, born in 1952, is an Indian quantum physicist, environmentalist, feminist, human rights activist, and board member of the World Future Council. She also serves as a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In 1982, she converted her mother Dehra Dun’s cowshed into the independent Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which she has directed to this day.
    In 1991, Vandana Shiva founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect biodiversity and the integrity of biological resources, especially traditional seeds. To date, her organization has established 60 seed libraries in 16 countries in collaboration with local governments and grassroots initiatives. The organization aims to promote ecological agricultural practices and fair trade. Vandana Shiva received numerous awards for her commitment to a wide spectrum of causes, including the 1993 Alternative Nobel Prize. At the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Time Magazine honored her as the “Hero for the Green Century” for her fight against patenting and for the protection of free access to traditional seeds.

    Prof. Dr. T. Colin Campbell

    Prof. Dr. T. Colin Campbell

    Prof. Dr. T. Colin Campbell

    Nutritional Biochemist, Director of the Cornell-China-Oxford Project („China Study“)

    USA

    Prof. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, born in 1934, is Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. For more than forty years he has been at the forefront of nutrition research. He has participated in multiple deliberations on state, national and international policy matters, has lectured extensively, and has authored more than 300 research papers.

    In the 1980s and 1990s T. Colin Campbell directed the China-Cornell-Oxford Project. Entitled The China Study, its published results aroused international attention. This research project is the most comprehensive study on nutrition’s influence on health to date. In this and numerous other studies, Dr. Campbell has proven the relationship between animal-based foods and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

    Dr. Campbell was the Senior Science Advisor for the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, presently holds an Honorary Professorships at the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine and is on the Research Advisory Board of the Chinese Institute of Nutritional Sciences in the Chinese Academy of Science, the government’s leading institution responsible for nutrition research and policy in China. He is also the founder of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in Ithaca, New York, and is the recipient of several awards, both in research and citizenship.

    Through his ground-breaking scientific research and his on-going efforts to educate the public concerning the benefits of the whole food plant-based lifestyle, Dr. Campbell has positively impacted the lives of thousands of people including health professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, etc.), community advocates, caregivers, parents, health coaches, lifestyle counselors, massage therapists, policy makers, athletes, coaches, chefs, vegetarians, vegans, and others who value long-term health.

    Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.

    Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.

    Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.

    Surgeon, Researcher and Clinician

    USA

    Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., born in 1933, attended Yale University and Western Reserve University School of medicine. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. Since 1968, he has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. During that time he served as President of the Staff and was a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic´s Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery.

    Dr. Esselstyn is one of the pioneers of a whole food plant based diet to prevent and reverse cardiovascular disease. In his twenty-year nutritional study, he proved the effectiveness of such a diet in arresting and reversing coronary artery diseases,  In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn served as the President of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, and in that same year he organized the first National Conference on the Elimination and Prevention of Heart Disease. He has received numerous awards, including the first Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine in 2005. He  won a gold medal in the eight oared rowing competition at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia and was awarded the Bronze Star as an Army surgeon in Vietnam.

    Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular disease prevention and reversal program at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

    Prof. Dr. Claus Leitzmann

    Prof. Dr. Claus Leitzmann

    Prof. Dr. Claus Leitzmann

    Biochemist, Former Director of the Institute of Nutritional Sciences at Giessen University

    Germany

    Prof. Dr. Claus Leitzmann, born in 1933, is a German chemist, microbiologist, biochemist and nutritionist. His research focuses on nutritional problems in developing countries, nutrition ecology, vegetarianism and nutrition education. He was a research fellow with the later Nobel laureate Paul Boyer, University of California in Los Angeles, and until 1974 a visiting scientist of biochemistry and nutrition as well as the head of a research laboratory for malnutrition in Thailand. He then moved to the Institute of Nutrition at the University of Giessen, which he headed from 1990 to 1995. In 1998 he became professor emeritus. Claus Leitzmann, author of numerous textbooks, is a member of the Federation of German Scientists, the German Nutrition Society and acts as a scientific advisor for professional bodies, foundations and scientific journals. He is mentor of the “Association for Independent Health Guidance” and the “Institute of Alternative and Sustainable Nutrition.”

    1988 Claus Leitzmann received the Zabel Award for Cancer Prevention and 1997 the award of the Dr. Broermann Foundation for preventive nutrition. In the 1990s, two of his books were awarded the Gold Medal and two were awarded the Silver Medal by the German Gastronomic Academy. In 2012 he received an honorary plaque in gold for his contribution to sustainable nutrition by the Hessian Ministry for Environment, Nutrition, Agriculture and Consumer Protection.

    Dr. Rüdiger Dahlke

    Dr. Rüdiger Dahlke

    Dr. Rüdiger Dahlke

    Physician and Psychotherapist

    Austria

    Dr. Ruediger Dahlke, born in 1951, has worked as a physician, seminar leader, author and trainer for over 30 years. His bestseller Peace Food kicked off a series of books on a healthy, animal friendly and ecologically sound diet of plant-based wholefoods and has become a source of inspiration for the vegan movement.

    He is well-known for his books on philosophy of life and on understanding disease pattern which are available in twenty-eight languages.

    Rüdiger Dahlke ist he founder of the TamanGa health resort and seminar centre in Southern Styria in Austria and has recently moved to Switzerland.

    Prof. Dr. Thomas Wendt

    Prof. Dr. Thomas Wendt

    Prof. Dr. Thomas Wendt

    Cardiologist and Rehabilitation Medicine Specialist

    Germany

    Prof. Dr. Thomas Wendt, born in 1955, is a specialist in internal medicine and cardiology, sports medicine and physical and rehabilitation medicine. He served as medical director for several rehabilitation centres and clinics. Since 2010 he has been partner to the Kardiocentrum Frankfurt and head of his private practice in Frankfurt /Main. His father Lothar Wendt (*1907) had developed the concept of the so-called protein storage disorders as early as the 40s. Together they published numerous scientific papers demonstrating that an excess in animal protein in the diet leads to protein deposits in connective and supporting tissue as well as in blood vessel walls which then will lead disorders like arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, arthrosis, gout, rheumatism or diabetes type 2. While their research could not be refuted till to date the idea of protein storage disorders has not been accepted by conventional medicine and is largely ignored in the nutritional sciences.

    Dr. Ernst Walter Henrich

    Dr. Ernst Walter Henrich

    Dr. Ernst Walter Henrich

    Physician and Nutrition Expert

    Switzerland

    Dr. Ernst Walter Henrich, born in 1958, added a naturopathic training to his medical training and doctor’s degree. He specialised in preventive health care with a focus on healthy nutrition and skin care. He has been teaching many trainings and seminars on these topics and is commited to and promoting a vegan lifestyle.

     

    Arthur Soteros

    Arthur Soteros

    Arthur Soteros

    Former Cardiac Patient

    USA

    Arthur Soteros, born in 1961, was diagnosed with Type II diabetes mellitus at the age of 32. By age 43 he started suffering from coronary heart disease. But inspite of eight stents and a bypass surgery his general condition was deteriorating dramatically. A breakthrough was achieved in 2010 when he met Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn and chose to change his diet to a low fat, whole foods, plant-based diet.

    Sharon Kintz

    Sharon Kintz

    Sharon Kintz

    Former Cardiac Patient

    USA

    Sharon Kintz, born in 1943, suffered a heart attack in spring of 2010. She refused surgery and opted instead for a whole food, plant-based diet as recommended by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn. Successfully so.

    Ralf Brosius

    Ralf Brosius

    Ralf Brosius

    Former Cancer Patient

    Germany

    Ralph Brosius, born in 1952, was diagnosed with lung cancer in the final stage in 2006. Half of his left lung and several affected lymph nodes were surgically removed. A chemotherapy was to follow, but Mr Brosius decided not to do it. Instead, he relied on detoxication, a vegan and gluten free raw food diet, wild herbs and a healthy life style. He recovered and did not relapse. Today he shares his experience and knowledge in lectures and seminars.

    Martin Hofstetter

    Martin Hofstetter

    Martin Hofstetter

    Agronomist, Agricultural Expert for Greenpeace

    Germany

    Martin Hofstetter, born in 1961, got an agricultural apprenticeship after high-school graduation and civilian service. He worked on traditional as well as organic farms while still studying agriculture, landscape planning and environmentalism. He went on to work for a health food whole sale business, an organic producer association and as research assistant at the university of Kassel, later on he joined Greenpeace, specialising on agricultural policy, biodiversity protection and genetic engineering. He has been in charge of agricultural and environmental policy for Greenpeace Berlin since 2015.

    Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth

    Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth

    Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth

    Former Owner of Europe‘s Largest Meat Processing Company

    Germany

    Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth, born in 1930, is a German master butcher and entrepreneur. During the 1950s he worked hard to turn his parent’s butcher shop Herta into Europe`s largest meat processing company by following the strict industrial production and rationalisation protocolls of large US abattoirs. In the end 25.000 pigs and 5000 cattle were slaughtered at Herta every week. Along with success came doubts. Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth, the meat millionaire, realized that „meat coming from such intensely bred and tortured animals can never be a nurturing source of food“. In 1984 he sold Herta to the Nestlé food conglomerate and founded the Schweisfurth Foundation in Munich. At the same time he established the Hermannsdorfer Landwerkstätten, an organic farm in Glonn.

    Dr. Hermann Focke

    Dr. Hermann Focke

    Dr. Hermann Focke

    Former Veterinary Director

    Germany

    Dr. Hermann Focke, born in 1940, directed the veterinary department of Südoldenburg, the region with the densest population of farm animals in Europe. Hermann Focke became known in Germany in the 1990s, when he made public scandalous conditions prevalent during international transports of slaughter animals. He also disclosed meat industry subsidy frauds amounting to several million dollars.

    Hermann Focke ranks among the most competent and vehement critics of industrial livestock farming and its effects on animals, human beings, and the environment. Among other things, he criticizes the heavy use of antibiotics in industrial-size animal plants, which has led to alarming resistances in humans as well.

    In 1994, Hermann Focke received the Animal Protection Research Prize of the Free University in Berlin. In 1995, he garnered the Moral Courage Award of the Solbach-Freise Foundation. In 2001, the Hans-Rönn-Foundation awarded him its Animal Protection Prize.

    Prof. Dr. Klaus Tröger

    Prof. Dr. Klaus Tröger

    Prof. Dr. Klaus Tröger

    Former Director of the Department of Safety and Quality of Meat

    Germany

    Prof. Dr. Klaus Tröger, born in 1949, is a German veterinarian and a renowned slaughterhouse expert. From 1994 onwards he served as Managing Director of the Institute of Technology at the “Bundesanstalt für Fleischforschung” (the Federal Office for Meat Research), now named: “Bundesforschungsanstalt für Ernährung und Lebensmittel“ (Federal Office for Nutrition and Food Research), from 2008 to 2012 he was head of the “Institut für Sicherheit und Qualität bei Fleisch” (the Institute for Safety and Quality of Meat) at the Max Rubner Institute (MRI). He mainly worked on meat hygiene and efficient stunning methods prior to slaughter. In his many international trips he gained intimate knowledge about the situation in slaughterhouses worldwide. He also was a board member of the department for food hygiene at the “Deutsche Veterinärmedizinische Gesellschaft” (the German Veterinary Society) where he was in charge of meat hygiene.

    Prof. Dr. Marc Bekoff

    Prof. Dr. Marc Bekoff

    Prof. Dr. Marc Bekoff

    Animal Behaviorist

    USA

    Prof. Dr. Marc Bekoff, born in 1945, is a former Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has written numerous fundamental works as well as best sellers. He is counted among the most eminent behavioural scientists and cognition ethologists and has done extensive and meticulous research on animals’ social life and on their emotions. He has published more than 1000 essays (popular, scientific, and book chapters) and 30 books. From the results of his research he deduced an ethical responsibility of humans towards animals and, in 2000, he and the British primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall co-founded the organisation “Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: Citizens for Responsible Animal Behaviour Studies”.

    Furthermore he is an ambassador for Jane Goodall’s Root & Shoots programme, a member of the Ethics Committee of the Jane Goodall Institute, he is on the Board of Directors of The Fauna Sanctuary and The Cougar Fund as well as on the Advisory Board  and member of several organisations for the protection of animals and of the environment such as Animal Defenders, Laboratory Primate Advocacy Group or Project Coyote. He still fights for the animals‘ right to respectful interaction and against animal cruelty writing books and articles, holding lectures and by consulting.

    For his tireless commitment he was presented, among others, with the New Zealand St. Francis of Assisi Award as well as with the Exemplar Award of the Animal Behaviour Society. His work with children, the elderly and prisoners was rewarded with The Bank One Faculty Community Service Award.

    Harold Brown

    Harold Brown

    Harold Brown

    Former Cattle and Dairy Farmer

    USA

    Harold Brown, born in 1956, grew up on a conventional cattle farm in Michigan and also worked in the dairy industry. When he like many other members of his family began to suffer from serious cardiovascular conditions he started to investigate possible dietary causes and switched to a pure, plant-based diet. His health problems disappeared. He investigated more in depth, revised all his previous ideas about agriculture and the role of animals and became a vegan activist. He founded FarmKind, a platform to educate farmers as well as consumers on the foundations of our diet, the transition to plant based agriculture, the right of animals to their own life and the prerequisites for peace and sustainability on the planet.

    Jan Gerdes

    Jan Gerdes

    Jan Gerdes

    Former Dairy Farmer and Founder of Butenland Farm

    Germany

    Jan Gerdes, born in 1954, managed the family dairy farm Hof Butenland as agricultural master, first with conventional production methods, later as Demeter farm. In the long run, however, he could not bear the amount of animal suffering still present in organic dairy farms. He decided to give up and sell his farm but when the first slaughterhouse truck drove away with his cows his heart almost broke. For his remaining cows he then founded the first retirement home for cows in Germany. Since then Hof Butenland has become an idyllic live-on farm for over hundred different animals.

    Hubert Liebertz

    Hubert Liebertz

    Hubert Liebertz

    Former Butcher

    Germany

    Hubert Liebertz, born in 1965, did an apprenticeship as a butcher in a small German butchery. Then he worked in several slaughterhouses as a head slaughterer. At some point in time he could not bear the animal suffering any longer and quit this job. He now works as a dog trainer and runs a dog training centre school in Cologne.

    Josef Walchshofer

    Josef Walchshofer

    Josef Walchshofer

    Former Butcher

    Austria

    Josef Walchshofer was born in 1954. He did an apprenticeship as a butcher in the family business in Austria and went on to work as a butcher in Switzerland, Italy and Austria. He became increasingly aware of the violence used to drive animals into slaughterhouses and the terrors they suffered in them. He then quit his job.

    Today, Josef Walchshofer runs the romantic “Vedahof”, a former farm near Linz which today is a sought after wedding location.

    Dr. Melanie Joy

    Dr. Melanie Joy

    Dr. Melanie Joy

    Social Psychologist

    USA

    Dr. Melanie Joy, born in 1966, is a Harvard-educated psychologist. Her research on the inconsistent nature of human-animal relations and her carnism-theory have been acclaimed well beyond the scientific community. In her award-winning book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows she explains the inherited values that cause us humans to behave so differently to different animal species. Dr. Joy is the eighth recipient of the Institute of Jainology’s Ahimsa Award, which was previously awarded to Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Her work has been featured by numerous national and international media outlets, including the BBC, ABC Australia, ARD, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Spiegel Online, NPR, and the New York Times.

    Dr. Will Tuttle

    Dr. Will Tuttle

    Dr. Will Tuttle

    Musician, Bestselling Author

    USA

    Dr. Will Tuttle, born in 1953, is an American award-winning speaker, educator, author, musician and zen-monk. The past years he spent first and foremost with propagating a new nutritional awareness. His bestseller The World Peace Diet has been translated into 18 languages.

    Benjamin Zephaniah

    Benjamin Zephaniah

    Benjamin Zephaniah

    Poet, Writer and Musician

    England

    Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah, born in 1958, is a successful British author, poet and musician with Caribbean roots. He holds a professorship at the London Brunel University teaching creative writing. In 2008 the Times put his name on the list of the 50 most important British post-war authors.

    Margarete Langerhorst

    Margarete Langerhorst

    Margarete Langerhorst

    Organic Farmer

    Austria

    Margarete Langerhorst, born in 1949, is an author, speaker and organic farmer. She and her family have been running an organic-vegan farm with mixed and perma-cultures in Waizenkirchen, Upper Austria, since 1973. The horticultural products of their 3,5 hectares farmland cultivated by manual labour only is enough to sustain the whole family and run the farm as a full-time venture. They cultivate different types of fruits and vegetables, herbs and nuts. Green manure, compost, stone powder, mulch and wood ash are used as fertilisers. Margarete Langerhorst is a mother to 5 children, all of whom were raised on a pure, plant based diet.

    Dr. Jane Goodall

    Primatologist, UN Messenger of Peace

    England

    Dr. Jane Goodall, born 1934, is one of the world’s leading primatologists. Over five decades, Dr. Goodall has revolutionized the field of comparative behavioral sciences as well as our knowledge on primates and their habitats. Over the years, she gradually expanded her research to include environmental protection as a basic requirement for wildlife conservation and the respectful treatment of all life as a prerequisite for sustainable, preventive environmental protection.

    In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation. Active in 130 countries and committed to a holistic and respectful approach towards treating human beings, animals, and the environment, the institute not only works to protect and enhance our understanding of primates, but also focuses on innovative protection and development projects. In 1991, the British behavioral scientist launched the “Roots & Shoots” Program, a global ecological and humanitarian program for children and adolescents. Jane Goodall has garnered numerous awards for her work, including the 1990 Kyoto Prize and the 2002 Konrad-Lorenz-Award. In 2002, she was also chosen as the United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2005 she was distinguished as an officer of the French Legion of Honor (Officier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur). In 2010, she received the German Media Prize Bambi. Since 2012, she has been an honorary member of the World Future Council.

    Dr. Vandana Shiva

    Physicist, Environmental Activist, Alternative Nobel Laureate

    India

    Dr. Vandana Shiva, born in 1952, is an Indian quantum physicist, environmentalist, feminist, human rights activist, and board member of the World Future Council. She also serves as a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In 1982, she converted her mother Dehra Dun’s cowshed into the independent Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which she has directed to this day.
    In 1991, Vandana Shiva founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect biodiversity and the integrity of biological resources, especially traditional seeds. To date, her organization has established 60 seed libraries in 16 countries in collaboration with local governments and grassroots initiatives. The organization aims to promote ecological agricultural practices and fair trade. Vandana Shiva received numerous awards for her commitment to a wide spectrum of causes, including the 1993 Alternative Nobel Prize. At the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Time Magazine honored her as the “Hero for the Green Century” for her fight against patenting and for the protection of free access to traditional seeds.

    Prof. Dr. T. Colin Campbell

    Nutritional Biochemist, Director of the Cornell-China-Oxford Project („China Study“)

    USA

    Prof. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, born in 1934, is Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. For more than forty years he has been at the forefront of nutrition research. He has participated in multiple deliberations on state, national and international policy matters, has lectured extensively, and has authored more than 300 research papers.

    In the 1980s and 1990s T. Colin Campbell directed the China-Cornell-Oxford Project. Entitled The China Study, its published results aroused international attention. This research project is the most comprehensive study on nutrition’s influence on health to date. In this and numerous other studies, Dr. Campbell has proven the relationship between animal-based foods and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

    Dr. Campbell was the Senior Science Advisor for the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, presently holds an Honorary Professorships at the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine and is on the Research Advisory Board of the Chinese Institute of Nutritional Sciences in the Chinese Academy of Science, the government’s leading institution responsible for nutrition research and policy in China. He is also the founder of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in Ithaca, New York, and is the recipient of several awards, both in research and citizenship.

    Through his ground-breaking scientific research and his on-going efforts to educate the public concerning the benefits of the whole food plant-based lifestyle, Dr. Campbell has positively impacted the lives of thousands of people including health professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, etc.), community advocates, caregivers, parents, health coaches, lifestyle counselors, massage therapists, policy makers, athletes, coaches, chefs, vegetarians, vegans, and others who value long-term health.

    Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.

    Surgeon, Researcher and Clinician

    USA

    Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., born in 1933, attended Yale University and Western Reserve University School of medicine. He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. Since 1968, he has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. During that time he served as President of the Staff and was a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic´s Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery.

    Dr. Esselstyn is one of the pioneers of a whole food plant based diet to prevent and reverse cardiovascular disease. In his twenty-year nutritional study, he proved the effectiveness of such a diet in arresting and reversing coronary artery diseases,  In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn served as the President of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, and in that same year he organized the first National Conference on the Elimination and Prevention of Heart Disease. He has received numerous awards, including the first Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine in 2005. He  won a gold medal in the eight oared rowing competition at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia and was awarded the Bronze Star as an Army surgeon in Vietnam.

    Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular disease prevention and reversal program at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

    Prof. Dr. Claus Leitzmann

    Biochemist, Former Director of the Institute of Nutritional Sciences at Giessen University

    Germany

    Prof. Dr. Claus Leitzmann, born in 1933, is a German chemist, microbiologist, biochemist and nutritionist. His research focuses on nutritional problems in developing countries, nutrition ecology, vegetarianism and nutrition education. He was a research fellow with the later Nobel laureate Paul Boyer, University of California in Los Angeles, and until 1974 a visiting scientist of biochemistry and nutrition as well as the head of a research laboratory for malnutrition in Thailand. He then moved to the Institute of Nutrition at the University of Giessen, which he headed from 1990 to 1995. In 1998 he became professor emeritus. Claus Leitzmann, author of numerous textbooks, is a member of the Federation of German Scientists, the German Nutrition Society and acts as a scientific advisor for professional bodies, foundations and scientific journals. He is mentor of the “Association for Independent Health Guidance” and the “Institute of Alternative and Sustainable Nutrition.”

    1988 Claus Leitzmann received the Zabel Award for Cancer Prevention and 1997 the award of the Dr. Broermann Foundation for preventive nutrition. In the 1990s, two of his books were awarded the Gold Medal and two were awarded the Silver Medal by the German Gastronomic Academy. In 2012 he received an honorary plaque in gold for his contribution to sustainable nutrition by the Hessian Ministry for Environment, Nutrition, Agriculture and Consumer Protection.

    Dr. Rüdiger Dahlke

    Physician and Psychotherapist

    Austria

    Dr. Ruediger Dahlke, born in 1951, has worked as a physician, seminar leader, author and trainer for over 30 years. His bestseller Peace Food kicked off a series of books on a healthy, animal friendly and ecologically sound diet of plant-based wholefoods and has become a source of inspiration for the vegan movement.

    He is well-known for his books on philosophy of life and on understanding disease pattern which are available in twenty-eight languages.

    Rüdiger Dahlke ist he founder of the TamanGa health resort and seminar centre in Southern Styria in Austria and has recently moved to Switzerland.

    Prof. Dr. Thomas Wendt

    Cardiologist and Rehabilitation Medicine Specialist

    Germany

    Prof. Dr. Thomas Wendt, born in 1955, is a specialist in internal medicine and cardiology, sports medicine and physical and rehabilitation medicine. He served as medical director for several rehabilitation centres and clinics. Since 2010 he has been partner to the Kardiocentrum Frankfurt and head of his private practice in Frankfurt /Main. His father Lothar Wendt (*1907) had developed the concept of the so-called protein storage disorders as early as the 40s. Together they published numerous scientific papers demonstrating that an excess in animal protein in the diet leads to protein deposits in connective and supporting tissue as well as in blood vessel walls which then will lead disorders like arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, arthrosis, gout, rheumatism or diabetes type 2. While their research could not be refuted till to date the idea of protein storage disorders has not been accepted by conventional medicine and is largely ignored in the nutritional sciences.

    Dr. Ernst Walter Henrich

    Physician and Nutrition Expert

    Switzerland

    Dr. Ernst Walter Henrich, born in 1958, added a naturopathic training to his medical training and doctor’s degree. He specialised in preventive health care with a focus on healthy nutrition and skin care. He has been teaching many trainings and seminars on these topics and is commited to and promoting a vegan lifestyle.

     

    Arthur Soteros

    Former Cardiac Patient

    USA

    Arthur Soteros, born in 1961, was diagnosed with Type II diabetes mellitus at the age of 32. By age 43 he started suffering from coronary heart disease. But inspite of eight stents and a bypass surgery his general condition was deteriorating dramatically. A breakthrough was achieved in 2010 when he met Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn and chose to change his diet to a low fat, whole foods, plant-based diet.

    Sharon Kintz

    Former Cardiac Patient

    USA

    Sharon Kintz, born in 1943, suffered a heart attack in spring of 2010. She refused surgery and opted instead for a whole food, plant-based diet as recommended by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn. Successfully so.

    Ralf Brosius

    Former Cancer Patient

    Germany

    Ralph Brosius, born in 1952, was diagnosed with lung cancer in the final stage in 2006. Half of his left lung and several affected lymph nodes were surgically removed. A chemotherapy was to follow, but Mr Brosius decided not to do it. Instead, he relied on detoxication, a vegan and gluten free raw food diet, wild herbs and a healthy life style. He recovered and did not relapse. Today he shares his experience and knowledge in lectures and seminars.

    Martin Hofstetter

    Agronomist, Agricultural Expert for Greenpeace

    Germany

    Martin Hofstetter, born in 1961, got an agricultural apprenticeship after high-school graduation and civilian service. He worked on traditional as well as organic farms while still studying agriculture, landscape planning and environmentalism. He went on to work for a health food whole sale business, an organic producer association and as research assistant at the university of Kassel, later on he joined Greenpeace, specialising on agricultural policy, biodiversity protection and genetic engineering. He has been in charge of agricultural and environmental policy for Greenpeace Berlin since 2015.

    Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth

    Former Owner of Europe‘s Largest Meat Processing Company

    Germany

    Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth, born in 1930, is a German master butcher and entrepreneur. During the 1950s he worked hard to turn his parent’s butcher shop Herta into Europe`s largest meat processing company by following the strict industrial production and rationalisation protocolls of large US abattoirs. In the end 25.000 pigs and 5000 cattle were slaughtered at Herta every week. Along with success came doubts. Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth, the meat millionaire, realized that „meat coming from such intensely bred and tortured animals can never be a nurturing source of food“. In 1984 he sold Herta to the Nestlé food conglomerate and founded the Schweisfurth Foundation in Munich. At the same time he established the Hermannsdorfer Landwerkstätten, an organic farm in Glonn.

    Dr. Hermann Focke

    Former Veterinary Director

    Germany

    Dr. Hermann Focke, born in 1940, directed the veterinary department of Südoldenburg, the region with the densest population of farm animals in Europe. Hermann Focke became known in Germany in the 1990s, when he made public scandalous conditions prevalent during international transports of slaughter animals. He also disclosed meat industry subsidy frauds amounting to several million dollars.

    Hermann Focke ranks among the most competent and vehement critics of industrial livestock farming and its effects on animals, human beings, and the environment. Among other things, he criticizes the heavy use of antibiotics in industrial-size animal plants, which has led to alarming resistances in humans as well.

    In 1994, Hermann Focke received the Animal Protection Research Prize of the Free University in Berlin. In 1995, he garnered the Moral Courage Award of the Solbach-Freise Foundation. In 2001, the Hans-Rönn-Foundation awarded him its Animal Protection Prize.

    Prof. Dr. Klaus Tröger

    Former Director of the Department of Safety and Quality of Meat

    Germany

    Prof. Dr. Klaus Tröger, born in 1949, is a German veterinarian and a renowned slaughterhouse expert. From 1994 onwards he served as Managing Director of the Institute of Technology at the “Bundesanstalt für Fleischforschung” (the Federal Office for Meat Research), now named: “Bundesforschungsanstalt für Ernährung und Lebensmittel“ (Federal Office for Nutrition and Food Research), from 2008 to 2012 he was head of the “Institut für Sicherheit und Qualität bei Fleisch” (the Institute for Safety and Quality of Meat) at the Max Rubner Institute (MRI). He mainly worked on meat hygiene and efficient stunning methods prior to slaughter. In his many international trips he gained intimate knowledge about the situation in slaughterhouses worldwide. He also was a board member of the department for food hygiene at the “Deutsche Veterinärmedizinische Gesellschaft” (the German Veterinary Society) where he was in charge of meat hygiene.

    Prof. Dr. Marc Bekoff

    Animal Behaviorist

    USA

    Prof. Dr. Marc Bekoff, born in 1945, is a former Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has written numerous fundamental works as well as best sellers. He is counted among the most eminent behavioural scientists and cognition ethologists and has done extensive and meticulous research on animals’ social life and on their emotions. He has published more than 1000 essays (popular, scientific, and book chapters) and 30 books. From the results of his research he deduced an ethical responsibility of humans towards animals and, in 2000, he and the British primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall co-founded the organisation “Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: Citizens for Responsible Animal Behaviour Studies”.

    Furthermore he is an ambassador for Jane Goodall’s Root & Shoots programme, a member of the Ethics Committee of the Jane Goodall Institute, he is on the Board of Directors of The Fauna Sanctuary and The Cougar Fund as well as on the Advisory Board  and member of several organisations for the protection of animals and of the environment such as Animal Defenders, Laboratory Primate Advocacy Group or Project Coyote. He still fights for the animals‘ right to respectful interaction and against animal cruelty writing books and articles, holding lectures and by consulting.

    For his tireless commitment he was presented, among others, with the New Zealand St. Francis of Assisi Award as well as with the Exemplar Award of the Animal Behaviour Society. His work with children, the elderly and prisoners was rewarded with The Bank One Faculty Community Service Award.

    Harold Brown

    Former Cattle and Dairy Farmer

    USA

    Harold Brown, born in 1956, grew up on a conventional cattle farm in Michigan and also worked in the dairy industry. When he like many other members of his family began to suffer from serious cardiovascular conditions he started to investigate possible dietary causes and switched to a pure, plant-based diet. His health problems disappeared. He investigated more in depth, revised all his previous ideas about agriculture and the role of animals and became a vegan activist. He founded FarmKind, a platform to educate farmers as well as consumers on the foundations of our diet, the transition to plant based agriculture, the right of animals to their own life and the prerequisites for peace and sustainability on the planet.

    Jan Gerdes

    Former Dairy Farmer and Founder of Butenland Farm

    Germany

    Jan Gerdes, born in 1954, managed the family dairy farm Hof Butenland as agricultural master, first with conventional production methods, later as Demeter farm. In the long run, however, he could not bear the amount of animal suffering still present in organic dairy farms. He decided to give up and sell his farm but when the first slaughterhouse truck drove away with his cows his heart almost broke. For his remaining cows he then founded the first retirement home for cows in Germany. Since then Hof Butenland has become an idyllic live-on farm for over hundred different animals.

    Hubert Liebertz

    Former Butcher

    Germany

    Hubert Liebertz, born in 1965, did an apprenticeship as a butcher in a small German butchery. Then he worked in several slaughterhouses as a head slaughterer. At some point in time he could not bear the animal suffering any longer and quit this job. He now works as a dog trainer and runs a dog training centre school in Cologne.

    Josef Walchshofer

    Former Butcher

    Austria

    Josef Walchshofer was born in 1954. He did an apprenticeship as a butcher in the family business in Austria and went on to work as a butcher in Switzerland, Italy and Austria. He became increasingly aware of the violence used to drive animals into slaughterhouses and the terrors they suffered in them. He then quit his job.

    Today, Josef Walchshofer runs the romantic “Vedahof”, a former farm near Linz which today is a sought after wedding location.

    Dr. Melanie Joy

    Social Psychologist

    USA

    Dr. Melanie Joy, born in 1966, is a Harvard-educated psychologist. Her research on the inconsistent nature of human-animal relations and her carnism-theory have been acclaimed well beyond the scientific community. In her award-winning book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows she explains the inherited values that cause us humans to behave so differently to different animal species. Dr. Joy is the eighth recipient of the Institute of Jainology’s Ahimsa Award, which was previously awarded to Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Her work has been featured by numerous national and international media outlets, including the BBC, ABC Australia, ARD, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Spiegel Online, NPR, and the New York Times.

    Dr. Will Tuttle

    Musician, Bestselling Author

    USA

    Dr. Will Tuttle, born in 1953, is an American award-winning speaker, educator, author, musician and zen-monk. The past years he spent first and foremost with propagating a new nutritional awareness. His bestseller The World Peace Diet has been translated into 18 languages.

    Benjamin Zephaniah

    Poet, Writer and Musician

    England

    Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah, born in 1958, is a successful British author, poet and musician with Caribbean roots. He holds a professorship at the London Brunel University teaching creative writing. In 2008 the Times put his name on the list of the 50 most important British post-war authors.

    Margarete Langerhorst

    Organic Farmer

    Austria

    Margarete Langerhorst, born in 1949, is an author, speaker and organic farmer. She and her family have been running an organic-vegan farm with mixed and perma-cultures in Waizenkirchen, Upper Austria, since 1973. The horticultural products of their 3,5 hectares farmland cultivated by manual labour only is enough to sustain the whole family and run the farm as a full-time venture. They cultivate different types of fruits and vegetables, herbs and nuts. Green manure, compost, stone powder, mulch and wood ash are used as fertilisers. Margarete Langerhorst is a mother to 5 children, all of whom were raised on a pure, plant based diet.

    Credits

    • Written and Directed by
      Nina Messinger
    • Produced by
      FME Media e.U.
    • Camera
      Andreas Zeiner
    • Anna L.
    • Herwig Niederer
    • Additional Camera
      Randy & Kathie Brown
    • Andy Graf
    • Bruce Seifert
    • Robert McWilliams Productions
    • Editor
      Sandy Kook
    • Sound
      Andreas Zeiner
    • Sound Design/Re-Recording
      Peter Utvary
    • Waveland Tonstudio
    • Animations
      Daniel Horvatits
    • Dramaturgical Consulting
      Andi Leitner
    • Music Consulting
      Heiko Maus
    • With financial support from
      Tom Nolz
    • Edeltraud & Stefan Höfler
    • Elisabeth & Josef Messinger
    • Adele Mitterhofer
    • Josefine Jagschitz
    • Ernst Erb
    Andreas Zeiner

    Andreas Zeiner

    Andi Leitner

    Andi Leitner

    Herwig Niederer

    Herwig Niederer

    Andy Graf

    Andy Graf

    Peter Utvary

    Peter Utvary

    Tom Nolz

    Tom Nolz

    Heiko Maus

    Heiko Maus

    Daniel Horvatits

    Daniel Horvatits