group photo
Plant-Based Advocates members (L-R) Dr. Ulka Agarwal, Lisa Wade, Shailaja Venkatsubramanyan, Kathleen Willey, Jan Liband, Karen Rubio, Anna Chico Cornel and Mohan Gurunathan at the screening. (Contributed)

Los Gatos-based nonprofit Plant-Based Advocates’ showing of environmental documentary Eating Our Way to Extinction, held Jan. 11, welcomed over 100 people to the recently-renovated Los Gatos Theatre and drew praise from community leaders.

The event featured a panel of experts who answered questions from the audience after the film, with CineLux Theaters generously donating staff and other resources to make sure it went off smoothly.

“CineLux Theaters was honored to host an enlightening screening of ‘Eating Our Way to Extinction,'” said Paul Gunsky, owner of Cinelux. “We believe in the power of cinema to educate and inspire positive change.”


A panel of local environmental and health experts answered questions from the audience. This included:

  • Anna Chico Cornel, R.N., a nurse leader with over a decade of healthcare experience and an Environmental Health Nurse Fellow with the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.
  • Mohan Gurunathan, an engineer, entrepreneur, and activist, who serves as an advisor and/or board member for numerous sustainability and animal advocacy nonprofits. He is a food systems expert who speaks widely about the environmental and societal impacts of diet choices.
  • Jan Liband, a long-time environmental activist and Silicon Valley executive, public speaker, and environmental and plant-based advocate since the 1980s. He worked with the producers of this documentary to support screenings and serve as an expert panelist.
movie audience Q&A
The documentary showing included a discussion about the global impact of personal dietary decisions. (Contributed)

The documentary was released in October 2021 and has been shown worldwide in 16 different languages. It puts the focus on several key facts: animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation and biodiversity loss, and our oceans are overfished and polluted, causing ocean dead zones. It argues that if animal agriculture (and our current consumption of animal products) continues at its current rate, climate change is expected to drive unprecedented heat waves, more intense cyclones and floods, and widespread food shortages within the next decade.

The film’s impact was evident in comments from audience members after the credits rolled.

“‘Eating Our Way to Extinction’ was incredibly moving,” said Councilmember Rob Moore, who is vegan. “The film demonstrates how desperately we need to collectively alter our diets to save our planet and our health. It was especially impactful for the screening to take place for free at the Los Gatos Theatre, which is so treasured by our town.”

One viewer expressed particularly strong support for the message of the film.

“I came out of the movie with the commitment to become vegan,” said Kristine Goldberg. “It really makes sense to maintain a vegan diet for my health, for the environment and for the planet.”

Sue Ann Lorig, who already follows a plant-based diet, pointed to the path people can embark down if they want to start changing their habits.

group photo
Plant-Based Advocates members (L-R) Dr. Ulka Agarwal, Lisa Wade, Shailaja Venkatsubramanyan, Kathleen Willey, Jan Liband, Karen Rubio, Anna Chico Cornel and Mohan Gurunathan outside the Los Gatos Theatre at the documentary event which talked about how healthy eating habits can make a world of difference. (Contributed)

“There’s no ‘right’ way,” she stressed. “What is important is that you are eating more veggies and less animal products—for the environment, your health, and the animals—and that you’re doing it in a way that works for you. We are all in this together; compassion for ourselves and all beings is paramount.”

The film aims to get everyone eating more meals and snacks with plants in them. A University of Oxford study, one of the most comprehensive research efforts to date on the effects of animal agriculture on our environment, found that plant-based diets reduce food’s emissions by up to 73%—by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and those that degrade ecosystems.

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification (air pollution), eutrophication (water pollution), land use and water use,” Joseph Poore, who led the research, said at the time.

Eating Our Way to Extinction can be streamed for free on this website (, where people can also find detailed facts and answers to common questions.

Plant-Based Advocates is a Los Gatos-based grassroots group that advocates for a shift to a plant-based lifestyle to: address the vast environmental destruction of our planet (including a rapidly-warming climate caused by greenhouse gas emissions); improve human health; repair our broken relationship with animals; and rectify social inequalities caused by a food system dependent upon animal agriculture.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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