But when she emerged from the 30-minute screening (featuring clergy of many denominations discussing humankind’s moral obligation to protect and care for animals), Marisa’s life had begun to change.
And when the fresh-faced Midwestern girl who loved bacon picked up a pamphlet on the abuses of animal agriculture, the change became permanent. She had converted to veganism.
Within a year, Marisa had laced up her own tennis shoes and started hosting vegan documentaries herself. While sharing such powerful films as:
Tribe of Heart
and Earthlings, she witnessed many audience members experience their own conversions to plant-based eating. As exciting as that was, she sensed something missing from the vegan film circuit.
All the available documentaries focused on persuading people WHY they should become vegans. None, however, supplied the HOW.
She wanted to capture the emotional, physical and psychological changes that come with understanding and embracing veganism. Or, in her words, the “… day-to-day opening and transformation that happens.”
Thus was bornVegucated!
The film follows Marisa in her journey to find meat-loving New Yorkers willing to go plant-based for six weeks. The three who agreed could easily be my neighbors or co-workers:
Ellen practices emergency room psychiatrist by day and moonlights as a stand-up comedian. A single mom, she wants her two kids to eat more fruit and vegetables.
Brian, a struggling NYC actor and bartender, is the most skeptical of the three. He doesn’t know how he feels about tofu and thinks vegans are “from outer space, actually. They’re VEGANS!”
Tesla lives with her parents. Her dad Manny, a terrific cook, specializes in all things meat. She doesn’t like beans or most vegetables, so no one thinks she’ll last six weeks. She’s determined to prove otherwise.
“But,” Marisa says, “they all had the same motivation for doing the project. They wanted to lose a little bit of weight, to look good and to feel healthy.”
To ensure the three get off to the best possible start, Marisa takes them to Eat to Live author Dr. Joel Fuhrman for a health check and instructions on transitioning to vegan eating. Telling you more, however, would spoil a great story punctuated with frequent laughter and tears.
Marisa’s funny, raw and heartwarming film could not have done a better job of capturing its creator’s core message:
“The truth is, you don’t have to be famous to make a difference in the world… You can just be a regular person doing your own thing every meal every day. Because that is how conscience living is changing the world one person at a time.”