Keegan Kuhn, co-director of “What the Health”

Keegan Kuhn

Keegan Kuhn—half of the filmmaking duo behind the award-winning documentary, “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret,” and whose new film is “What the Health”—discusses the impact and acclaim generated by “Cowspiracy,” and how, rather than feeling intimidated by the success in approaching the next project, he and partner Kip Andersen largely viewed this new movie as an important extension of the previous one. WTH Poster ArtIn response to my marveling that the twosome has completed two feature-length documentaries within three years, Kuhn describes the way they work, which involves extremely long days, extremely long weeks, and those two wearing nearly all the filmmaking hats. He addresses what seemed to be a pivotal scene in “What the Health”: An onscreen interview Andersen conducts with Dr. Robert Ratner, the chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), which Ratner abruptly ends when Andersen raises peer-reviewed studies demonstrating that a plant-based diet can prevent Type II diabetes. Noting Ratner’s emotional reaction suggested to the duo that there was something more profound to unearth at the ADA, and perhaps comparable organizations. On a related note, Kuhn speaks to what I called the “two-tiered collusion” he and Andersen discover that exists between the ADA, the American Heart Association and comparable entities—receiving sponsorship monies from major food and fast food corporations whose products are Kip and Keeganknown to cause those illnesses, and receive funding from pharmaceutical behemoths like Merck, Pfizer, Eli Lilly. He expands on how the March 16-20 online viewing of “What the Health” works (partially benefitting Food Not Bombs), fields calls from listeners, and shares what he and Andersen envision as the ideal outcome of the film. (www.whatthehealthfilm.com)

 

pitbullsALSO: I spoke briefly with journalist Arin Greenwood—formerly the Animal Welfare Editor at The Huffington Post, now a contributor to The Washington Post Animalia blog, The Today Show website, and The Dodo—who ran down the recently-available 2016 statistics for the animal shelter PETA operates, and what they may suggest about the organization’s overall philosophy on companion animals. If you weren’t conversant with the shelter aspect of PETA’s operation, these figures would’ve been eye opening and, either way, they were grim, yielding a dog/cat combined kill rate of 71%. Greenwood noted that in Virginia, where PETA’s shelter is located, the state save rate is 83%.

COMEDY CORNER: Jim Gaffigan’s “I’m A Manatee” (excerpt) (www.jimgaffigan.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Adam & The Ants’ “Ant Music”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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