Warning: These Movies Could Change Your Life
The following article was written by guest writer Sean Collander.
I love movies. I have always been innately drawn to them and even minored in cinema studies in college. I’m intrigued by everything from the storylines to the camera angles and movements. So when I went vegan, I naturally sought out movies that dealt with the food industry and cruelty to animals. Below, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites that I think everyone (vegan or otherwise) should watch. All these films are available through Netflix, Hulu, HBO, or Amazon:
The Beautiful Truth (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
This documentary takes a fascinating look at a man who goes on a cross-country journey to learn about Gerson Therapy, a plant-based therapy that proposes a dietary cure for cancer.
Blackfish (available to stream on Netflix)
This groundbreaking documentary tells the story of Tilikum, a captive orca at SeaWorld, and provides an in-depth look at marine-animal parks. The film resulted in a backlash against SeaWorld, which continues today.
Change Your Food, Change Your Life (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
Nutrition expert Jill Ovnik explains the benefits of a plant-based diet, including a reduced risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and other diseases as well as an increase in energy and weight loss.
The Cove (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
This powerful documentary turns a critical eye on dolphin-hunting traditions in Japan.
Crazy Sexy Cancer (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
This documentary tells the moving story of a 31-year-old woman who finds out that she has an incurable form of cancer and goes on a quest to discover alternative treatments, meeting and talking to other cancer patients and survivors along the way.
The Elephant in the Living Room (available to stream on Amazon)
This is a fascinating documentary about a subculture of Americans who keep exotic animals captive and the law-enforcement authorities who deal with these cases.
Fast Food Nation (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
Taking a critical view of the fast-food industry, this award-winning movie examines everything that goes into making a hamburger—including the fecal matter, marketing schemes, cruelty to animals on factory farms, and treatment of their employees—all to the fast-food lover’s dismay.
This inspirational documentary starts with a road trip across the United States to spread the word about juicing and then turns to focus on an overweight truck driver and his subsequent journey to lose weight by drinking plant-based juices.
Fed Up (available to stream on Netflix)
This documentary explains that at the rate at which the U.S. is currently eating, one out of every three Americans will have diabetes by 2050. It focuses on the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and the negative effects of fast food and sugar.
Food, Inc. (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
If you’ve ever wondered what’s in your food or how it’s made, this documentary is for you. Scratch that—this movie is for everyone, because we all eat food! You’ll learn why corn finds its way into even the most unlikely foods, about the cruel practice of fattening chickens with hormones to speed their growth, and how current laws exonerate corporations and companies, such as factory farms, from being held accountable for their methods of production.
Food Matters (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
One quotation succinctly describes the contents of this film: “One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive, and three-quarters of what you eat keeps your doctor alive.” This documentary explores the food industry, from GMOs to pesticides, in an attempt to discover what’s causing us to get sick.
Forks Over Knives (available to stream on Netflix)
This documentary compares the Western diet with that of other countries, which have lower rates of cancer and heart disease. It challenges authorities who seem to be ignoring the link between meat and dairy consumption and disease in order to protect the status quo in the U.S. and touts the benefits of plant-based foods. Also check out Forks Over Knives—The Extended Interviews.
Forks Over Knives Presents: The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
The Ghosts in Our Machine (available to stream on Netflix)
The subject of this award-winning documentary is photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, whose photographs challenge our view of animals as food and clothing as well as animal-tested goods and animal entertainment. It may be a wake-up call for the viewer, who might be seeing animals as individuals rather than objects for the first time.
Meet Ingrid Newkirk, the woman who cofounded PETA. Find out what makes her tick, see how far she’s willing to go to help animals, hear what her detractors say, and meet some of the animals who’ve benefited from her work. Watch the trailer here.
May I Be Frank (available to stream on Hulu)
This documentary tells the moving story of an unhealthy and overweight middle-aged man who visits vegan restaurant Café Gratitude in Berkeley, California, and discovers that a plant-based diet can help him feel and look better. With the assistance of Café Gratitude employees, he undergoes a life-changing transformation that you don’t want to miss.
Meat the Truth (available to stream or order here)
This documentary explains the toll that the meat industry is taking on the planet’s environment.
Paul McCartney & Friends: The PETA Concert for Party Animals (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
If you’re looking for some entertainment in the name of animals, watch this concert that Paul McCartney played for PETA. It’s pretty great—he is a Beatle after all.
Super Size Me (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
This documentary tells the tale of a man who subsists entirely on McDonald’s food for one month and all the disturbing effects that his experiment has on his body and mind.
Vegan Cooking for Animal Lovers (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
In this cooking show, chef Kerry Weber makes vegan recipes that are absolutely, undeniably delicious.
Vegucated (DVD available to rent on Netflix)
Vegucated follows three people who go vegan for six weeks as an experiment. In the process, they discover the truth behind the meat they so recently enjoyed, including the cruelty to animals and environmental destruction that it causes. The effects are powerful, and they’re forced to re-evaluate their life and diet.
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