Ultimate Guide: Vegan Documentaries to Watch

Vegan Documentaries to Watch

When it comes to veganism, there is a lot of information that you need to digest before making the lifestyle change. There are three main reasons why people go vegan, for environmental, health or ethical reasons (the animals).

If you want to learn more, or simply want to help your friends and family understand why you are vegan, we have compiled the ultimate list of vegan movies and vegan documentaries to watch. They cover all bases and have been known to switch the mindset of people and truly think about what they put in their bodies.

Last Update: 4th May 2018

Environmental

Cowspiracy

Filmmakers Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn address the effects of cattle on the environment.

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.

As Andersen approaches leaders in the environmental movement, he increasingly uncovers what appears to be an intentional refusal to discuss the issue of animal agriculture, while industry whistleblowers and watchdogs warn him of the risks to his freedom and even his life if he dares to persist.

Where to watch: Netflix

A Plastic Ocean

Craig Leeson discovers a startling amount of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

In the center of the Pacific Ocean gyre, our researchers found more plastic than plankton. A Plastic Ocean documents the newest science, proving how plastics, once they enter the oceans, break up into small particulates that enter the food chain where they attract toxins like a magnet. These toxins are stored in seafood’s fatty tissues, and eventually consumed by us.

Where to watch: Netflix

Meet your Meat

Meet Your Meat is a 2002 documentary about factory farming created by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, narrated by Alec Baldwin, and directed by Bruce Friedrich and Cem Akin.

Where to watch: PETA

Vegucated

Vegucated is a 2011 American documentary film that explores the challenges of converting to a vegan diet. It “follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks.”

Where to watch: FMTV

Before The Flood

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio meets with scientists, activists and world leaders to discuss the dangers of climate change and possible solutions.

Where to watch: Netflix

Food Inc

Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner examines how mammoth corporations have taken over all aspects of the food chain in the United States, from the farms where our food is grown to the chain restaurants and supermarkets where it’s sold. Narrated by author and activist Eric Schlosser, the film features interviews with average Americans about their dietary habits, commentary from food experts like Michael Pollan and unsettling footage shot inside large-scale animal processing plants.

Where to watch: YouTube

Health

Forks Over Knives

Researchers explore the possibility that people changing their diets from animal-based to plant-based can help eliminate or control diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Where to watch: Netflix

The Game Changers – Coming in 2018

Directed by Louie Psihoyos and executive produced by James Cameron, The Game Changers tells the story of James Wilks — elite special forces trainer and winner of The Ultimate Fighter — as he travels the world on a quest for the truth behind the world’s most dangerous myth: that meat is necessary for protein, strength and optimal health. Meeting elite athletes, special ops soldiers, visionary scientists, cultural icons, and everyday heroes, what James discovers permanently changes his relationship with food and his definition of true strength.

Where to watch: TBA

Food Matters

Food Matters is a 2008 film about nutrition. The film presents the thesis that a selective diet can play a key role in treating a range of health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and depression, often substituting for medical treatment. Furthermore, it tends to label the medical industry as a “sickness industry”, which profits more from treating the symptoms of illness than curing the illness.

Where to watch: FMTV

Fat Sick And Nearly Dead

Morbidly obese and stricken with an autoimmune disease, a man endeavors to drink only fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days in an effort to lose weight and reclaim his health.

Where to watch: Netflix

Food Choices

This documentary examines the world’s diet and points to food choices as the culprits for declining health as well as a major cause of climate change.

Where to watch: Netflix

Hungry For Change

Filmmakers James Colquhoun, Laurentine Ten Bosch and Carlo Ledesma expose the diet industry’s deceptive strategies designed to keep people from losing and keeping off weight. Not necessarily vegan, but health focussed.

Where to watch: Netflix

RAW: The Documentary

RAW. The Documentary follows Janette Murray-Wakelin and Alan Murray as they run 366 consecutive marathons over the course of one year on a raw vegan diet.

Where to watch: Raw Vegan Path ($27 for the DVD)

What The Health

Filmmaker Kip Andersen uncovers the secret to preventing and even reversing chronic diseases, and he investigates why the nation’s leading health organizations don’t want people to know about it.

Where to watch: Netflix

H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters

Released in March 2018, this film looks at the impact of a typical western diet on the lives of animals, our health, the health of the planet and our future. It features some of the great advocates of a vegan diet, including Jane Goodall, T. Colin Campbell, and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, and has been endorsed by the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Dr Neal Barnard.

Where to watch: YouTube

Ethical

Earthlings

EARTHLINGS is a 2005 American documentary film about humankind’s total dependence on animals for economic purposes.  Presented in five chapters (pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research) the film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, featuring music by Moby, and was written, produced and directed by Shaun Monson.

Where to watch: Nationearth

Dominion

‘Dominion’ is the feature-length documentary sequel to 2014’s Lucent.

While Lucent focused mostly on the Australian pig farming industry, Dominion has a much broader scope as a comprehensive account of the numerous ways animals are used and abused in Australia. By exploring six primary facets of our interaction with animals – Companion Animals, Wildlife, Scientific Research, Entertainment, Clothing, and Food – the film will question the morality and validity of our dominion over the animal kingdom.

Drawing heavily from the Aussie Farms Repository so as to contain the most recent, highest-quality footage from across the country, Dominion will also make use of emerging technologies, such as aerial drones, to capture new perspectives and examine the wider context of animal exploitation upon our landscape and within our society.

Where to watch: Find a screening

Live and Let Live

Six people who have switched to veganism, including former butchers and factory farmers, share their stories to examine the relationship between animals and people.

Where to watch: Netflix

A Land Of Hope And Glory

In 2005, a film called Earthlings became the most pivotal documentary of the animal rights movement. Here in the UK however, we found the phrase “that doesn’t happen in our country” coming up far too much. We wanted to set the record straight. Through Land of Hope and Glory we aim to show the truth behind UK land animal farming by featuring the most up to date investigations as well as never before seen undercover footage, with a total of approximately 100 UK facilities featured throughout the film.

Land of Hope and Glory is made by the founders of the animal rights organisation Surge.

Where to watch: YouTube

Lucent

Lucent is a feature-length documentary which explores the darker side of Australia’s pig farming industry through a combination of hand-held and hidden camera footage, highlighting the day-to-day cruelty accepted by the industry as standard practice.

Lucent is the result of a successful crowdfunding campaign initiated in late 2013. Narrated by Lindsay McDougall (The Doctor from Triple J), the film contains footage from over 50 farms and slaughterhouses across Australia – much of this footage has never been seen before.

The documentary screened in Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane in October-November 2014, and preordered DVDs were sent in late December 2014.

Where to watch: Animals Australia ($14 for the DVD)

Speciesism

Modern farms are struggling to keep a secret. Most of the animals used for food in the United States are raised in giant, bizarre “factory farms,” hidden deep in remote areas of the countryside. Speciesism: The Movie director Mark Devries set out to investigate.  The documentary takes viewers on a sometimes funny, sometimes frightening adventure, crawling through the bushes that hide these factories, flying in airplanes above their toxic “manure lagoons,” and coming face-to-face with their owners.

Where to watch: Vimeo (Rent or buy)

Blackfish

The story of Tilikum, a captive killer whale that has taken the lives of several people, underscores problems within the sea-park industry, man’s relationship to nature, and how little has been learned about these highly intelligent mammals.

Where to watch: Netflix

Okja (Science fiction)

For 10 idyllic years, young Mija has been caretaker and constant companion to Okja – a massive animal and an even bigger friend – at her home in the mountains of South Korea. But that changes when family-owned, multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation takes Okja for themselves and transports her to New York, where an image-obsessed and self-promoting CEO has big plans for Mija’s dearest friend. With no particular plan but single-minded in intent, Mija sets out on a rescue mission.

Where to watch: Netflix

The Cove

In Taiji, Japan, local fishermen hide a gruesome secret: the capture and slaughter of dolphins. Activist Ric O’Barry, who trained dolphins for the “Flipper” TV series, joins forces with filmmaker Louis Psihoyos and the Ocean Preservation Society to expose the brutal practice, risking life and limb in the process.

Where to watch: The Cove Movie (Rent or buy)

Peaceable Kingdom

A riveting story of transformation and healing, PEACEABLE KINGDOM: THE JOURNEY HOME explores the awakening conscience of several people who grew up in traditional farming culture and who have now come to question the basic assumptions of their way of life.

Presented through a woven tapestry of memories, music, and breathtaking accounts of life-altering moments, the film provides insight into the farmers’ sometimes amazing connections with the animals under their care, while also making clear the complex web of social, psychological and economic forces that have led them to their present dilemma.

Where to watch: Tribe of Heart ($15 for the DVD)

This list of vegan documentaries to watch was created in April 2018 and will be continually updated.

Email us if you want more information or have other films you believe we should add.

Jaime Hall
Jaime Hall

Co-Founder

Jaime is a designer, writer, and co-founder of messy veggies.

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