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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emissions carbon footprint travel Iceland stupid ecological facts ethics wtf animal agriculture top 10 winter raw problematic ovo-sexing ethical victory loss grinder industry geothermal culling male chicks eggs money nature anime studio manga ghibli miyazaki rights animal rights future animal funny government change plant based free meat suffering environmental sustainability education food health veganism environment vegan

Victory or Loss? – Culling of Male Chicks to End by 2020

You may have heard the news that the practice of chick culling (gassing or grinding up day old male chicks) may be stopped, or at least be phased out by 95% of US farms, by the year 2020 which sounds like a major step forward, but is it as good as we think?

Why are male chicks culled?

Chicks are bred by hatcheries and sorted by sex before the females are sent to farmers for a life (of around 80 weeks) producing eggs for human consumption. However, the male chicks are economically useless since they are bred to be small framed unlike muscular meat chickens, and this means the hatcheries must dispose of millions of day old chicks by grinding them alive or gassing them. This is largely kept quiet by egg companies since it poses an unbelievable ethical issue, and letting people know the truth behind egg production would obviously be bad for business.

*Warning this video contains footage that is upsetting, but I do recommend watching if you don’t know the truth behind the egg industry.*

So how is this going to be stopped?

New technologies and procedures have been discovered that can determine the sex of chicks before they are hatched, which could effectively end the culling of male chicks since they would never be allowed to hatch. By placing a fluorescent protein gene onto the male chromosome via micro-injection into a male chick embryo, the genetically modified birds can then be bred so that when the females lay their eggs. The male embryos could then be identified by a laser that picks up the fluoro mark, a process called ovo-sexing. Eggs containing female chicks would be incubated, hatched and sent to egg farms, whilst eggs containing male chicks would not be incubated, instead being used for vaccine research and pet food.

But how is this problematic?

Taken at face value this seems like a winning situation. However, we know that taking things at face value is never a wise thing to do, and examining the situation further reveals numerous worrying implications. I’m not arguing that stopping the culling of male chicks is bad, after all countless lives could be saved and horrific pain avoided, all I’m saying is that as intelligent, rational thinkers we need to consider what the effects of this discovery will be before we count it as a victory.

The first and most obvious issue is the fact that the egg industry will be very much alive, and indeed will be better off because of these discoveries. Workers and machines that sort and kill the male chicks will be replaced by laser identifiers and money will be saved. This of course means that the suffering of egg laying female hens will continue.

Secondly, the ethical problems of culling male chicks faced by egg producers will no longer be present, allowing both producers and consumers to forget about the suffering and pain that remain within the industry. Eggs will be considered ethical products since the methods used to produce them would not include gassing or grinding up day old chicks. As a way of convincing people that veganism is the only compassionate way of life, this could actually be considered a big step backwards, since non-vegans would consider the egg industry less problematic.

male chicks - battery hens

The suffering of egg laying hens would continue regardless

Not to mention the fact this method of identifying male chicks is reliant on genetic modification, altering the genetic makeup of the male line to produce modified young. This is a major concern for many consumers, but the details regarding genetic modification seem to be mysteriously left unsaid by many media outlets covering the story.

What should we think?

Personally I believe that we cannot completely dismiss this as a loss, since massive pain and suffering can be avoided. HOWEVER, this should be considered simply as a step towards the dismantling of egg production companies and the movement away from the consumption of eggs. We can’t celebrate yet, but we are moving in the right direction.

But what do you think, should we consider this a victory, or is this just a way for egg companies to justify their practices and keep consumers on their side? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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Featured Image: ‘chick‘ by apsande is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Battery Hens: ‘Industrial-Chicken-Coop‘ by איתמר ק. via Wikimedia Commons.

Featured Video: Undercover Investigation at Hy-Line Hatchery by mercyforanimals

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emissions carbon footprint travel Iceland stupid ecological facts ethics wtf animal agriculture top 10 winter raw problematic ovo-sexing ethical victory loss grinder industry geothermal culling male chicks eggs money nature anime studio manga ghibli miyazaki rights animal rights future animal funny government change plant based free meat suffering environmental sustainability education food health veganism environment vegan