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Vegan documentaries attribute to the rise in veganism across the globe. They remind us how animals are being treated, the health implications, and the environmental impact of the meat industry.
We have picked the best vegan documentaries to watch. They look at ecological issues, such as loss of biodiversity and the extinction of species, but some are entertaining works of cinema art that carry the same message.
Read on to find out more about award-winning vegan movies.
It's undeniable at this point how much of an impact on the vegan community Cowspiracy by Keegan Khun made when it was first released. This award-winning masterpiece is at the top of our list for numerous reasons besides explaining the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Cowspiracy is a documentary that takes an eco-focused attitude. It examines animal agriculture, the meat industry, and overall animal products from a critical lens, highlighting the terrible effect they have on our planet.
Criticism has been lobbied against this documentary, with different people saying it twists some of the information to suit its narrative. Still, vegan diet or not, many believe this backlash pales in comparison when you look at the entire argument.
Because it is focused on the facts and science of the environmental aspect of the industry, it doesn't have the preachy or morally superior tone that a documentary that focuses on the animals sometimes adopts.
Focusing on the plant-based diet and the effect it can have on the health and performance of the world's top vegan athletes, this documentary debunks the myth that you have to eat animals to be the best.
It has James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jackie Chan as executive producers, including interviews with celebrity vegan athletes, such as Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovich, and Patrik Baboumian.
The film is a must-watch for athletes looking to go on full veganism.
Using drones and hidden cameras, this documentary exposes the truth of the meat industries in Australia.
Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Sia, and Kat Von D, the documentary brings together famous vegans to help shape and communicate its message.
Some critics claim it is too graphic and violent. This documentary takes a bleak look at how the world treats animals.
If you're in doubt to go vegan, this movie might convince you to change your food choices to something more plant-based.
What The Health is the follow up to Cowspiracy that goes further on the effect the meat industry has on food consumption and human health.
It looks at the corruption and collusion of the government with health organizations. It presents a valid and well-researched counter-argument to the current accepted "truth" on the issue.
We are led through a shocking and terrifying maze of interviews and revelations about things in the United States.
Food Inc is a documentary that shone a light on the side of animal agriculture that we perhaps have not seen before.
Robert Kenner takes a look at how big food corporations have taken over the entire food chain in the United States.
It explores the inner workings of animal agriculture and the increasingly concerning methods they use to keep up with demand.
The film's takeaway message is that we can change the demand by changing our diets and food choices.
There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Now there are tomatoes all year round, grown halfway around the world, picked when it was green, and ripened with ethylene gas.
Earthlings is a distressing and eye-opening look into all aspects of the abuses performed against animals. Including animal cultivation, clothing, entertainment, scientific research, and even the mistreatment of the pet industry.
This film provides a look into the secrets behind the meat industry.
A psychological thriller that looks into the tragic death of a trainer at Seaworld.
It is widely considered to be heavily responsible for the changing public perspective of Seaworld and animal rights at attractions like it.
When you know the animal and have a relationship with it. You know, that he's not killing, because he's a savage. He's not killing because he's crazy or because he doesn't know what he's doing.
Christopher Porter, Former Trainer, Sealand
Forks Over Knives exposes the link between the animal industry and the obesity epidemic in America.
It pays a specific focus and investigation into The China Study. This was the rise of heart disease and other meat and dairy-related illnesses that took place after the country began to adopt a more western diet.
Truly, it's a strong and compelling argument for adopting a plant-based diet and thus battling heart disease. Forks Over Knives is built on a solid foundation - a definite must-see for vegans and non-vegans alike.
One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keep your doctor alive.
Ancient Egyptian Proverb
Maximum Tolerated Dose is a documentary by filmmaker Karol Orzechowski.
This vegan documentary focuses on the closed doors of animal testing behind many cosmetic and health products.
Through interviews and never before seen footage, we are shown the level of cruelty these animals go through.
It's as eye-opening as it is shocking, and the large proportion of the testing and data that is ultimately unusable, not fit for purpose, or just pointless is heartbreaking.
Vegucated has a far more relatable and accessible premise.
It's a hand-held journey into how easy it is to make the switch. We also get to see the amazing benefits of plant based diet.
We follow along as it tells the story and shows the truth that lies behind the closed barn doors. We're there watching as they start to feel better in their diet and reap the benefits.
It's the most honest look at the vegan journey and is recommended for those that are curious about the plant-based diet.
This documentary is real people, real issues, and real emotions.
Okja award-winning mainstream success challenges the idea of animal products for consumption.
Its career-best performances from both Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal represent the deliberate and misguided cruelty animals face in the real world.
It has received a cult following for being the first "vegan action movie" and is responsible for turning director Bong Joon Ho vegan himself.
Where to watch: The film can be streamed on Netflix
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 86% tomato meter, 81% audience score
Run time: 118 minutes
John Wick is my pick for an action movie for vegans. It's not perfect, that's true, but at its heart, it tells the story of a hero going to bat for the animal he loves.
You might not think it's a strictly plant-based movie, but I'm a vegan, and it's my favorite movie.
Where to watch: The film can be found on Fandango NOW, VUDU, and Prime Video
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 87% tomato meter, 81% audience score
Run time: 96 minutes
Watching this film in my youth had a big impact on my relationship with meat farms and animal products.
When we children make the connection between meat and the animals it comes from, nine times out of 10, they won't want to be a part of the slaughter. Also, can we appreciate that the special effects for 1995 were amazing!
Where to watch: The film can be found on Fandango NOW, VUDU, and Amazon Prime.
IMDB Rating: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97% tomato meter, 67% audience score
Run time: 91 minutes
Raw is as visceral and disturbing as a horror movie gets. The moral of this horror story is how disgusting and hypocritical it is to eat meat.
It follows a veterinary student who slowly abandons her vegetarianism and begins to crave for flesh.
If you can sit through to the end, you'll be richly rewarded by its twists, turns, and a dark message in the end.
Where to watch: The film can be found on Fandango NOW, VUDU, and Prime Video
IMDB rating: 7/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 92% tomato meter, 76% audience score
Run time: 98 minutes
All of the documentaries on this list are worth their run times in terms of the information and inspiration they provide. The Game Changers, Live and Let Live, the Ghosts in our Machine, Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead - each takes different directions but have one unifying message; Go vegan.
Out of all the movies though, it is the documentary Cowspiracy which tells the story in the most eye-opening way.
It's a documentary that focuses on the health benefits of a plant based diet, and the positive environmental impact it has.
Which of the documentaries have you seen and what did you think? Was there one that inspired your adoption of a vegan diet and lifestyle? Let us know in the comments below.
You can also check out our list of vegan blogs to read in your spare time.