Updated: Mar 15, 2021
Okay, I know, 23 is a lot of films to watch, but these are really good and you don't have to watch all of them. Vegan films and documentaries have played a huge and important part in the last decade in sharing the truth of veganism. That veganism isn't just about hugging trees and stroking pigs. It's about not exploiting others, living in a way that causes the least harm possible. It's not about being perfect, it's not about judging others, it's about doing the best that you can, being the best that you can and living in a way that is loving and selfless.
Some of these films are well known for converting people to veganism, many celebrities have said that they watched Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy or What The Health and decided that they had to make a change. This is also true for a lot of people, people that believed that yogurt was good for you or that you have to eat as much protein as possible to lose weight and that good protein only comes from eating animals. People that believed in "humane slaughter" and that cows just make milk all of the time, they don't need to have babies like humans do. Some of these films are a good way to remind ourselves of how animals are being treated and the harm being done to our planet and our health.
Vegan Films Suitable For Younger Viewers
These films aren't necessarily films for kids or teens but they are films that don't show the more brutal side of animal agriculture. They explain the truth about climate change and the devastating impact that eating animals can have on our bodies.
Cowspiracy is a film that focuses on the environmental impact of eating meat. It uses a lot of facts with simple and clear graphics to show that the best thing that you can do to cut your carbon footprint, to reduce the damage that you, as an individual, cause to the planet is to remove all animal products from your life.
What the Health
What The Health is made by the same people that made Cowspiracy, however, What The Health is focused on the effect that eating animals products has on our bodies and our health.
Forks Over Knives
Forks Over Knives has converted thousands of people to veganism. The film shows that a whole food plant-based diet is the best diet for our bodies. It makes us stronger, fitter, happier and live longer. With doctors and researchers the film uses science to show how you truly are what you eat.
Vegan: Everyday Stories
Vegan: Everyday Stories shows what happens to people after they've gone vegan. It follows the lives of four people, living very different lifestyles, as they move to a vegan way of living. The film also includes interviews with people like Dr. Neal Barnard, Russel Simmons, and former NFL defensive end David Carter.
Food Choices is another film that focuses on eating in the healthiest way possible. Filmmaker Michal Siewierski decided to find out what the best diet is for a human. He interviewed many experts from different fields and dispels many myths and false beliefs to get the truth about food.
Live and Let Live
Live and Let Live is similar to Vegan: Everyday Stories. The film follows six people from different walks of life, from a butcher to a dairy farmer to a cyclist, as they begin a vegan lifestyle. Its a great look at how different and similar perceptions can be.
Adult Only Vegan Films
These films can be incredibly hard to watch, for a start there's bad language, not suitable for small ears. But, it's what they show that is truly not okay for young eyes and many older eyes, too. The images of slaughter houses, the way that animals are abused on farms, the sound of pigs screaming from their crates in the dark at night, mother cows crying for their babies. It is awful. If you don't feel that you can watch these films don't. You won't gain anything positive from them. If you can watch them then use what you see and what you hear to motivate you to advocate for the animals, to get these "practices" to stop, watch them and get all of the ammunition that you need. These films give you so much information that you can use to help people to learn about the truth of where meat, dairy, feathers, leather and wool come from.
Dominion is, without a doubt, the hardest film to watch that I have ever seen. It is a graphic display of how truly awful the animal agriculture industry is. If you are going to watch the film be ready to have your heart torn in two.
The Game Changers
Game Changers is a film that is co-produced by big names such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan and Novak Djokovic. The documentary challenges the assumptions about meat, protein, power and strength while showing how athletes from many different sports thrive on plants alone.
Blackfish isn't a vegan film, using interviews and old footage as well as news reports it looks into the lives of orcas at SeaWorld. It shows the pain that the whales suffer from being captured from the wild, being kept in small and unnatural tanks and being made to perform. It also shows what happens to the people attempting to look after them.
Earthling, like Dominion is a no-holds-barred look at animal agriculture. Hard to watch, full of brutal truth. It shows how we treat non-human earthlings.
Land of Hope and Glory
Land of Hope and Glory is one of the few vegan films that is based on UK agriculture. It uses undercover footage with hidden cameras as well as other investigative techniques to show how bad the situation is, how many lies the UK public are told and also looks into the global problems underlying meat production.
Speciesism: The Movie
What begins as an expose of the meat industry ends with a profound questioning of why we feel that we’re so superior to other species that we can literally eat their flesh. In the film meat-eater and factory farm owners are confronted with pratical and ethical questions about the way the think of and treat animals to help them re-evaluate the choices that they make.
In Vegucated three people are followed as they cut all animal products out of their lives for six weeks. They are taken to visit different farms, they experience slaughter and see what animals go through to end up as something on a plate. The journey isn't an easy one for them, but it definitely shows them that there is far more to food then they thought. This film isn't a recent release and a lot of things have changed since it was made. If the film were to be made again today the participants would have a far easier time adjusting to not eating meat as the number of options has exploded in recent years.
Eating You Alive
Eating You Alive is a film that shows how changing your diet can not only improve your health but cure diseases. Illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and hypertension can be completely reversed by moving to a plant-based diet.
This film has the same message as Eating You Alive, that eating a Western diet, a diet heavy in meat, eggs, and milk might seem normal, but it is far from healthy. Cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer can be directly linked to the consumption of meat and as long as people continue to eat in a Western way these diseases will increase in the human population. Leading experts in nutrition, science, medicine, and agriculture are all involved, making this film both informative and interesting.
Meat the Truth
The film Meat The Truth looks into the environmental consequences of meat production. People from different fields are included in the film, from PETA members to scientist as well as current and former ranchers that turned vegan. It shows how even small changes in your life can add up to big results for the planet.
Eating Animals is a film that looks at what it means to eat meat, from the environmental impacts to workers problems in the meat-production industry. The film covers many different topics and will give you a lot to think about.
Unity is considered by many to be the spiritual sequal to Earthings and looks at the age-old question of “Why can’t we all just get along?” The film involves a diverse collection of celebrities, from Ellen DeGeneres to Dr. Dre to attempt to provide a wide overview of how humanity has Earth's resources to take over the planet.
The makers of the film PlantPure Nation attempt to introduce a pilot program in the Kentucky legislature documenting the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Unsurprisingly their attempt does not succeed, however the filmmakers go on to get a group of people to participate in a 10 day “vegan challenge.” Biometrics tests are performed before and after the ten days, you'll have to watch the film to find out what happened.
73 Cows is an award-winning documentary that follows Jay and Katja Wilde, two farmers who gave up their herd of beef cows to take up organic vegan farming. The film is only 15 minutes long, but manages to condense the process that Jay and Katja went through to transition away from exploiting animals to living in a way that is happier, healthier and more holistic.
Carnage: Swallowing the Past
Carnage is a mockumentary that imagines what a vegan future might look like. It is a comiedic look at just how silly the arguments for meat eating may sound in the future. The film is made by comedian Simon Amstell and follows the imagined history of the death of factory farming and the meat industry.
From the Ground Up
This is another film about the relationship between veganism and athleticism, debunking the “meat myth” that animal flesh is necessary for protein. College football player Santino Panico talks to vegan athletes and sports professionals about how veganism has shaped their lives and kept them in peak physical shape.
Maximum Tolerated Dose
This is a documentary made by Karol Orzechowski about testing on animals. The film includes interviews with animal rights advocate, scientists as well as people that used to perform tests on the animals. Looking into how animal testing is both cruel and unnecessary, there are stories of animals that were saved from testing and experiments that went on to live happy lives. The film also shows how performing these tests affects the people taking care of the animals, how they, too, suffer and the lies that they are told to keep them working.