9 Documentaries That Could Turn Anyone Vegan

Recently there have been more and more films and documentaries that focus on the environment, animal rights and veganism. This is fantastic because documentaries and films have such strong impressions on people that they can really drive change, so make sure you share them with friends and family for maximum impact.

This post will list some of the most effective and popular films and documentaries so you don’t end up scrolling through Netflix for hours on end unable to decide what to watch. I will try to add both the popular films for people who are completely new to these ideas, and some more obscure but interesting pieces for existing environmentalists that are looking for more. As usual I won’t list them in any particular order:

Image credit goes to Cowspiracy.com

One of the most well known documentaries about the effects of animal agriculture on the environment, this film, directed and produced by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, is charged with facts and logic that people have a very hard time arguing against. Leonardo DiCaprio became executive producer for a new cut version released to Netflix in 2015, and since its creation it has become something of a symbol for vegans around the world.

The good thing about this documentary is the way in which it lays out all the facts in an easy to understand and thought provoking way (even though the figures are astounding). It focuses on the environmental impact of animal agriculture, but doesn’t ignore the ethical and health factors, and doesn’t rely on shocking or horrific imagery so it can be watched by anyone.

Here is the trailer:

Don’t forget to visit cowspiracy.com for more information.

Image credit goes to peaceablekingdomfilm.org

This is an award winning documentary that tells the story of several traditional farmers who re-examine their relationships with animals. In doing so, their consciences show them that the only way to live is by going vegan. After realising their mistakes they set up sanctuaries for farm animals, it’s a truly touching story.

There is a newer version title, Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home  created by the same producer (James LaVeck) and director (Jenny Stein) in 2009 with a different star cast.

Here is the trailer:

Don’t forget to visit peaceablekingdomfilm.org for more information.

Image credit goes to letlivefilm.com

A wonderful documentary directed by Marc Pierschel that explores the ethical, environmental and health reasons for adopting a vegan lifestyle. Six different individuals are interviewed about their vow to remain vegan for life including a vegan chef who used to be a butcher, and a farm sanctuary owner who used to be a factory farmer.

‘Live and Let Live’ shows how veganism has evolved from its origins in 1944 London to one of the fastest growing movements worldwide, with increasing numbers of people realising what’s on their plates matters to animals, the environment and ultimately themselves.

Here is the trailer:

Don’t forget to visit letlivefilm.com for more information.

Image credit goes to forksoverknives.com

‘Forks Over Knives’ is a documentary that focuses on the health aspect of modern diets; the damage caused by animal products and the benefits of plant-based diets. Solid correlations are made between animal products and degenerative diseases that are so problematic (especially in the west) today, all of which is presented and backed by strong scientific and medical evidence.

The major story line in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. The filmmakers also document several real patients suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and reveal how plant based diets help them to recover.

Here is the trailer:

Don’t forget to visit forksoverknives.com for more information.

 

Image credit goes to getvegucated.com

A socio-comical documentary, ‘Vegucated’ follows three meat and cheese loving New Yorkers who agree to go vegan for six weeks. This journey starts as a method of weight loss, but they soon start to uncover the dark truth of animal agriculture, and turns them against the industry they had so recently patronised.

Here is the trailer:

Don’t forget to visit getvegucated.com for more information.

Image credit goes to mayibefrankmovie.com

‘May I Be Frank’ is a documentary about the moving story of an unhealthy and overweight, middle-aged, Italian-American man who discovers that a plant-based diet can help him feel and look better after he visits the vegan restaurant ‘Café Gratitude’ in Berkeley, California. The Café Gratitude employees suggest an experiment, which he accepts and undergoes a life-changing transformation that you don’t want to miss.

Here is the trailer:

Don’t forget to visit mayibefrankmovie.com for more information.

Image credit goes to nationearth.com

‘Earthlings’ is one of the most talked about documentaries around, and for good reason. Directed by Shaun Monson, music by Moby and (the English version) narrated by actor Joaquin Phoenix, this film pulls no punches, and has been responsible for an awful lot of change. Not for the faint hearted, earthlings reveals the truth about the horrific way we treat animals without omitting the actual evidence, so many people have a hard time watching it (although if you can’t watch it, then you need to reconsider your consumption of animal products!).

The documentary is split into five parts that deal with different aspects of animal exploitation: pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research. The use of hidden cameras reveals the true horrors that occur on a daily basis and provide a very real, and very disturbing picture of the way humans treat fellow earthlings.

The sequel to ‘Earthlings’ is called ‘Unity’ and was released in 2015, but also look out for the third part ‘Beings’ which will arrive in 2020.

Here is the trailer (WARNING This trailer contains disturbing material):

Don’t forget to visit nationearth.com for more information

Image credit goes to theghostsinourmachine.com

Photographer Jo-Anne McArthur challenges our view of animals as food and clothing as well as animal-tested goods and animal entertainment in this award winning documentary. Throughout the film Jo-Anne photographs animals on fur farms and at Farm Sanctuary, among other places, and seeks to publish her work. One of the core messages of this film is to re-evaluate how we look at animals; to start looking at animals as individuals instead of objects. The film as a whole is a plea for animal rights.

Here is the trailer:

Don’t forget to visit theghostsinourmachine.com for more information.

Image credit goes to speciesismthemovie.com

Director Mark Devries sets out to investigate the world of of factory farms and reveal their secrets, as well as exploring the idea of speciesism, which is essentially the way humans assume superiority over other animals. Sometimes funny, sometimes frightening, this documentary sets out to make you rethink the way in which we treat animals and why we feel so high and mighty in an attempt to dispel the illusion of human superiority and look at animals in a new light.

Here is the trailer:

Don’t forget to visit speciesismthemovie.com for more information.

Thank you for reading this list, I hope you found something new to watch and share! With that in mind please remember that sharing these documentaries is just as important as watching them, it is essential that the information and ideas they express is distributed so that people will start seeing the truth. Animal lives, the environment and even your personal health are affected by the exploitation of animals, but people simply do not know enough to change. Going vegan is the only way we can ensure our planet avoids destruction, the only way to avoid unimaginable suffering on an unprecedented scale and the only way we can progress as an ethical, intelligent species.

Please like and share this list to help your friends and followers discover new documentaries, and consider following me on Twitter and Google+, and liking my page on Facebook, thank you.

Image Credit:
Cowspiracy – Visit cowspiracy.com for more
Peaceable Kingdom – Visit peaceablekingdomfilm.org for more
Live and Let Live (featured image) – Visit letlivefilm.com for more
Forks Over Knives – Visit forksoverknives.com for more
Vegucated – Visit getvegucated.com for more
May I Be Frank – Visit mayibefrankmovie.com for more
Earthlings – Visit nationearth.com for more
The Ghosts in Our Machine – Visit theghostsinourmachine.com for more
Speciesism: The Movie – Visit speciesismthemovie.com for more

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Nausicaa: Ghibli’s Environmentalist Masterpiece?

‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind’ (風の谷のナウシカ – Kaze no Tani no Naushika), written and directed by Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki, was released in 1984 and was based on Miyazaki’s own manga of the same name released in 1982. The film has been a huge success, catching the hearts and minds of people all over the world (that is ignoring the terrible ‘Warriors of the Wind’ re-release by New World Pictures!), with it’s beautiful animation and amazing score, composed by Joe Hisaishi, it truly is one of Miyazaki’s best works (and although produced before the establishment of Studio Ghibli, remains a shining star on their profile). *For the sake of character accessibility of some users I will use Nausicaa for this article instead of the original  Nausicaä*

*Please be aware that this article contains spoilers*

For those of you who have not (yet) seen the movie: The story focuses on the young princess Nausicaa, who lives in a dystopian future set 1000 years after an apocalyptic war called ‘The Seven Days of Fire’ ended most of civilisation. The world she lives in is now dominated by massive toxic forests, filled with giant insects that were able to adapt to the noxious spores and gases, and have since become it’s protectors. The forest is constantly growing and threatens to consume the remaining pockets of humanity, one of which has settled in the ‘Valley of the Wind’ which is protected from the encroaching forest by ocean winds that repel the spores.

The people are constantly threatened by the toxic forest, but live peacefully in the valley. However, whilst Nausicaa is trying to find out how the people can live safely with nature, other nations are at war with each other and with the forest. Nausicaa must help the people understand the value of the environment and avoid humanity from completely destroying its relationship with nature, but a dark shadow from the past may become the ruin of mankind…

Well, with the theatrics over, lets get to the point. ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind’ actually holds a very poignant ecological, anti-nuclear and anti-war message that is as powerful today as it was in 1984. The film portrays nature as a formidable entity that is dangerous and unpredictable, yet shows us that it is also restorative and spiritual when approached peacefully, and this is the message that Nausicaa wants to reveal. She also later reveals that the forest is actually cleansing the land, removing the poisons left behind by the ‘Seven Days of Fire’, and the toxins are just a by-product of this process. It highlights the restorative powers of nature and reminds us how important environmental processes are in maintaining a healthy planet.

Nausicaa 1

However, the ignorance of the empire states leads to unnecessary and foolish conflicts which do more harm than good; they strive to assert their dominance over nature and establish a world where humans are in charge (sounds familiar right?). It is true that in this film, the actions of the empire states are mainly driven by their fear; they are not evil, just misguided. The awakening of the Giant Warrior (an ancient, living biological weapon) is a reference to nuclear arms, and the ‘Seven Days of Fire’ could be seen as a nuclear war that destroyed civilisations and poisoned the earth.

Despite the militaristic actions of the empire states, Nausicaa remains a pacifist who values life, regardless of what form it takes. This is obvious from her attempts to stop the fighting between the Ohmu and humans, and far from being cowardly, she bravely faces the rampaging Ohmu to calm them. It is only when the Ohmu are calmed, and the people see them revive Nausicaa, that peace is established.

So the message of this film is simple, nature is a very powerful thing, but if we are respectful, we can live in harmony. War is never the answer, it only serves to create more problems and awakens the darker side of the human condition. Nuclear power is dangerous and shouldn’t be tampered with, lest we get burned.

If you think you would like to watch this film (which I wholeheartedly recommend as one of Studio Ghibli’s best productions) then you can find it here on Amazon:

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind [DVD]

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[Image credit: Featured – Watercolour Ohmu | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/feline_dacat/4921641686/in/photolist-8uUGB9-5Zwayr-giZ8ai-f6yM4M-m3DUrw-oY2hBH-7RQseS-rRPpTb-4eT3zb-xetW9A-8Vtsi5-sd2Xqh-vSyuN6-bAG57-bsQqj2-6psu4YAuthor: Feline DaCat https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Nausicaa 6716 vu0 2 unfilt  Flickr – Photo Sharing!  taken from – httpswww.flickr.comphotostheprofileth5350653484inphotolist-99PuSh-6gB2g-ewUEZS-e7Py2o-99MgGp-99PzYC-99PvAd-rYLw6A-4gqGgM-hY5WPv-kvD3b-7t9z8c-6gB63-6gB2Z-6fWvq-eDxdc2-tKtgZk-7aKv63-fQqGUY-97AG6y-7gt7yu-aHrbnt-t55ZNZ-7gpbKT-d74ce9-6SesPL-6SanKt-97xRQi-eFobN6-eFobbM-ckP8yf-sdJmY3-5qdL1N-4sE2PK-4VUqY8-sTh2hw-gcUTjg-5oCwZA-nAZrAX-5oyfhD-sTr5Nx-sTimfF-qKJw9x-9j883r-ass2Kw-6v3WGA-nxNbz-96Pif-2ffig-8jSSpjAuthor TheProfileth httpscreativecommons.orglicensesby2.0]

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