The following article was written by guest writer Sean Collander.
I love movies. I always have. I minored in cinema studies in college and have always been innately drawn to them. I am intrigued by everything from the stories to the subtleties in camera angles and movements. So naturally, when I first became vegan, I sought out all the movies I could that dealt with cruelty to animals and the food industry. Below, I have compiled a short list of some of my favorites that I think are worth viewing by everyone (vegan or otherwise). All these movies are available through Netflix, and you can even add some of them to your instant queue!
Available for instant streaming on Netflix
Ric O'Barry's life with dolphins took off in the 1960s when he was hired to capture and train five dolphins for the TV show Flipper. In 1970, Ric realized that these social animals were being denied everything that is natural and important to them, and he subsequently founded The Dolphin Project in order to educate people about the cruelty of dolphin captivity. This Academy Award–winning 2009 documentary follows Ric and his team as they fight against fishers, police, and the Japanese government to uncover a secret annual "dolphin drive hunt" in which more than 2,000 dolphins are netted and slaughtered in Taiji, Wakayama, Japan.
Rotten Tomatoes (96%)
The Internet Movie Database (8.5/10)
for instant streaming on Netflix
Directed by Emmy Award–winner Robert
Kenner, Food, Inc. shines a harrowing spotlight on America's corporate food industry. Broken into segments, the film focuses on cruelty to animals, human welfare, and the economic and environmental impact that the corporate food industry has on our lives.
Rotten Tomatoes (96%)
Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix and
featuring a soundtrack written by Moby, this film is by far the most graphic film on this list. Not for the faint of heart (or stomach), Earthlings
unabashedly showcases people's horrific treatment of animals for meat, clothing, entertainment, and experiments. While this film's extremely graphic nature can make it difficult to watch, it is also why I think it is probably the most important. If you don't believe me, check out the trailer below and then watch the full film online for free.
Rotten Tomatoes (93%)
Released in 2007 and directed by Matthew Galkin, I Am an Animal is an HBO documentary about the life and passion of PETA's cofounder and president, Ingrid E. Newkirk. Through interviews with various PETA employees (and Newkirk herself), Galkin gets down to the experiences and ideals that led Newkirk to start PETA and help it grow to be the largest animal rights organization on the planet.
Rotten Tomatoes (76%)
While this family-friendly movie is not commonly seen as an animal rights film, you would be hard-pressed to convince me otherwise. The plot is this: Ginger is a chicken who is constantly trying to escape her cooped-up (get it?) life on the farm. When Mr. and Ms. Tweedy (the evil farmers) decide to start producing chicken pies instead of eggs, the chickens gang up to devise an escape plan. Come on, folks—it doesn't get any clearer than that!
Rotten Tomatoes (96%)IMDB (7.2/10)
So those are some of my recommendations when it comes to movies about cruelty to animals. What would you recommend?
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.