Many people have experienced several critical moments in their journeys while watching documentaries on the vegan lifestyle, animal rights, and animal welfare issues. This should not come as a surprise, given that there are so many reasons to go vegan — from the human health benefits to the environment to the benefits for the animals themselves, these 13 must-watch vegan documentaries will show you why the vegan diet, ethic, and ideology are so important for humanity’s future.
13 Must-Watch Vegan Documentaries
Now that it’s well into the 21st century, mainstream society has accepted that taking care of the planet is a good idea. There has never been a better time to draw attention to the inconvenient link between animal agriculture and ecological crises such as climate change, ocean dead zones, and water shortages.
“Cowspiracy” manages to do exactly that, while simultaneously calling out several environmentalist organizations for ignoring –or even obscuring– the truth about animal agriculture’s impact on the planet.
2. “What the Health”
Following the success of “Cowspiracy,” filmmakers Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn took it upon themselves to show that veganism is good for our bodies, as well as the planet. “What the Health” explores the many benefits of a vegan diet and exposes the reluctance of health and nutrition organizations to point out the negative health effects of consuming animal products.
Because “Earthlings” is packed with graphic footage of violence against animals, many vegans refuse to watch it. At the same time, most will still consider it to be essential viewing for anyone who might use or consume animal products.
For curious meat-eaters who seek the truth about the industries they support, or vegans who wish to know (and feel) the full reality of humanity’s brutality toward the other animals, “Earthlings” is required viewing. In this sense, it may be the number one must-watch vegan documentary.
4. “Forks Over Knives”
Before “What the Health” began veganizing the world, “Forks Over Knives” was promoting the benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet. Among several other prominent experts in vegan nutrition, “Forks Over Knives” features T. Colin Campbell, author of “The China Study,” the comprehensive scientific resource on the health benefits of the vegan diet.
5. “Maximum Tolerated Dose”
Do you ever wonder what kind of suffering laboratory animals endure, and why? In “Maximum Tolerated Dose,” scientists, technicians, and undercover investigators examine the dark reality behind animal testing.
6. “Live and Let Live”
Most vegan documentaries examine one or more different reasons to go vegan. “Live and Let Live” takes a slightly different approach by examining the people who are going vegan. If you are looking for vegan documentaries with a markedly human story, this is the film for you.
7. “Called to Rescue”
Anyone looking for happy vegan documentaries should become familiar with “Called to Rescue.” These are the stories of the animals who found themselves living out peaceful lives in sanctuaries and how they got there.
8. “The Ghosts in Our Machine”
In “The Ghosts in Our Machine,” award-winning filmmaker Liz Marshall tells the inspiring and heartbreaking story of photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur, who has dedicated her life to documenting the sad lives of exploited animals.
9. “Eating Animals”
Vegan superstar Natalie Portman produced and narrated this adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same name. “Eating Animals” explores the evolution of animal agriculture into the industrial process it has become today.
10. “The Game Changers”
Even though it has yet to be released, there is enough hype surrounding the James Cameron produced and Louis Psihoyos directed “The Game Changers” that practically every vegan is already committed to watching it. “The Game Changers” serves to inspire people by showing the power of a vegan diet in elite athletes.
“The Game Changers” is not the only highly-anticipated upcoming vegan documentary. 2018 will also feature “Dominion,” which showcases the most current information and footage of animal agriculture in Australia.
Before working on “Dominion,” director Chris Delforce released “Lucent,” which exposed the horrors of standard practice in Australian pig farms.
13. “The Cove”
This Academy Award winner made quite the splash when it took on the Japanese dolphin hunt as told through the story of former dolphin trainer, Ric O’Barry. “The Cove” follows along in part thriller part action film and all documentary as it reveals the horrific and tragic end for the thousands of dolphins killed for their flesh each year.
14. “Vegan: Everyday Stories”
Think you know what vegans are like? The feature-length documentary “Vegan: Everyday Stories” will have you thinking again as it follows four people on their vegan diet journey. The movie follows ultrarunner Yassine Diboun, animal sanctuary owner Renee King-Sonnen, Jerri Hastey owner of food truck Seed On The Go, and young Genesis Butler the articulate 11-year-old vegan taking the world by storm.
2013’s “Blackfish,” tells the gripping story of SeaWorld’s captive whales and the trainers who participated in their suffering. The film has had a lasting impact on the marine park, leading to a steady decline in ticket sales and boycotts. It was even responsible for “Finding Dory” creators to re-do the film’s ending to one that’s more positive and supportive of marine animals.