The power of documentary filmmaking is undeniable. Documentaries inform, inspire, and can truly change lives. And today, thanks to Netflix and other streaming platforms, they’re extremely popular and easy to watch.
If your friends and family are curious about veganism, first expose them to all the AMAZING food! But second, have them watch a documentary or two so they can learn more. I can’t tell you how many people over the years told me they went vegan because of a documentary. Your best friend could be next, sis!
Here are seven solid documentaries that you can stream with them right now.
1. Cowspiracy (2014)
Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, this film largely focuses on animal agriculture’s detrimental effects on the environment. With study after study confirming that meat production is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions, this film is eye-opening and more relevant than ever. It can be streamed on Netflix.
2. What The Health (2017)
The directing team behind Cowspiracy collaborated again in this follow up documentary. While their first film focused on the environment, this one takes a close look at how the consumption of animal products has led to a public health crisis. Produced by longtime vegan and actorvist Joaquin Phoenix, this doc is responsible for countless celebrities going plant-based from Tom Ford to Ne-Yo. You can rent it on Netflix.
3. Vegucated (2011)
Don’t let the lower-production feel of this film fool you, Vegucated is one powerful little doc. Written and directed by activist Marisa Miller Wolfson, this film follows the journey of three people as they go vegan for six weeks. Unexpectedly emotional and raw, this doc will move you. It is perfect for people who are considering going vegan. It’s available on Netflix.
4. The Witness (2000)
The first time I saw this film was in a hotel room in New York City and it blew me away. Like Vegucated, its got lower production value than some of the newer films, but don’t dismiss it because it’s truly astonishing. The Witness follows the activism of Eddie Lama, a Brooklyn construction worker turned animal advocate. Some of the moments in this film will stay with you for years. Best part: it’s available to stream for free on Vimeo.
5. The Invisible Vegan (2019)
The newest documentary in this lineup, The Invisible Vegan is already a classic. The film stars and is co-directed by LA-based actress Jasmine Leyva. It focuses on spotlighting people of color who are doing spectacular things in the vegan movement. Covering topics from environmental racism to food deserts to Black identity and the cultural significance of vegetarianism, this film is a must-watch! Check out our review of it here. You can rent or purchase The Invisible Vegan on Vimeo.
6. Forks Over Knives (2011)
Largely following the work of T. Colin Campbell and his groundbreaking book, The China Study, Forks Over Knives takes a deep dive into the devastating effects the standard American diet has on our health. This film resonated so well it spawned an empire. There’s been Forks Over Knives cookbooks, a magazine, a meal planner, etc. You can watch it on Netflix.
7. Earthlings (2005)
I really debated whether or not to include this doc because it’s so graphic but as Gretchen Wyler eloquently stated, “We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.” Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix and dubbed “the vegan-maker,” Earthlings utilizes undercover investigative footage to give us an unflinching look at animal exploitation across the board. You can watch it for free on YouTube.