Documentaries That Will Make You Go Vegan (Guest Post)

Maria Ramos contacted me awhile back about writing a guest post summarizing some of the recent documentaries that exist regarding eating a plant-based diet and living a vegan lifestyle. Enjoy!

Many people do not pay very close attention to what they eat. In fact, it seems that most Americans would rather not know anything about where their food comes from. This is no accident. The factory farm industry would rather you not know about the abuse and murder that animals suffer and how instead of treating animals humanely, they treat animals as disposable property. Many people have dedicated their lives to showing how the factory farm industry is harmful to both animals and people. The industry has responded by sponsoring many “ag-gag” laws across the country and trying to criminalize people reporting the truth about the conditions that exist inside these farms.

Despite this effort to silence those who would speak the truth, many important documentaries have been made to show people the conditions inside these farms. Many also are made to explain why going vegan is an important way that they can help stop the way farm animals are treated by industry. This list is by no means complete, but these are some of the most important works that have been done in recent time.

Food Inc. (2008)

Food Inc. is probably one of the most well-known documentaries around. This film looks inside America’s corporate-owned food industry and how it is unsustainable (both economically and environmentally) and inhumane. While filmmaker Robert Kenner does not expressly advocate going vegan or even vegetarian, his film shows a lot of the negative consequences that our factory farms have had on people, animals, and the environment. Food Inc. can be found on Netflix.

Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home (2012)

We explore the horrible conditions of the factory farms that “food animals” are forced to live in in Peaceable Kingdom. This documentary follows several people who have been in the farming industry all their lives as they find peace through going vegan and seeing the animals as more than just sources of profit. You can buy the DVD with bonus material here.

Vegucated (2011)

Three New Yorkers give up meat and cheese for six weeks in this documentary. We follow them as they become influenced by what they learn about the meat industry and modern factory farms. By the end of the film, we find they have (mostly) kept up with their vegan diet, proving that by simply being open to what others have to say, you can make a difference. You can stream Vegucated on Netflix.

Cock Fight (2015)

One farmer became a whistleblower against the chicken industry and was set on showing not only the awful conditions that the chickens “live” in, but the dire poverty and suffering that the people who work on the farms endure as well. This documentary shows how big agri-business has developed virtual monopolies in each of their areas, preventing both humane conditions for the animals and the people that work the farms. You can watch Cock Fight on DirecTV’s Fusion channel.

Farm to Fridge (2011)

With undercover, graphic footage, this documentary shows what life is like for the animals that die for our food. Narrated by the actor James Cromwell, who played the farmer in the movie “Babe,” the film shows the work of the group Mercy For Animals. MFA’s groundbreaking undercover investigations have sparked legislation, both to help protect farm animals and to prevent the “ag-gag” laws that the large factory farms want to pass. Farm to Fridge has been uploaded to YouTube.

I’ll add to this great list Cowspiracy (2014), Speciesism (2013), The Ghosts in Our Machine (2013) and the classic Earthlings (2005). -Sam