It took me twenty one years to stop eating meat. After being vegetarian for about 6 months, I watched the following documentaries, and it didn’t take long for me to decide after watching them that transitioning to a vegan lifestyle was the only true way to be happy and make a difference in the world. The following 5 documentaries inspired me to go vegan, and I think they just might inspire you too! Either way, I highly recommend you at least give them a try. Each film is extremely educational and truly eye-opening. Your life will never quite be the same.
1.) “Earthlings” Directed by: Shaun Monson
“Earthlings” is an award winning documentary film directed by Shaun Monson and narrated by actor and vegan advocate, Joaquin Phoenix. It is one of the few vegan documentaries that you can actually watch entirely, for free online. Probably because its message is more important than anything else. Going far beyond just the food industry, this film uses hidden cameras to capture some of the most eye-opening, powerful, and vegan inspiring footage I have ever seen, including what really goes on in slaughterhouses and the torture and abuse countless factory farm animals experience on a day to day basis. Watch (if you can stand it) as “Earthlings” reveals the dark and painful truth about factory farming and animals being used as entertainment. This documentary features scientific research and valuable knowledge for all. Narrator, Joaquin Phoenix describes the documentary as being one of the most influential films he has ever done. For me, it was the most influential film I have seen thus far, and the main component that inspired me to go completely vegan.
2.) “Supersize Me”
Directed by: Morgan Spurlock
“Supersize Me” was actually one of the first documentaries I watched that made me want to reconsider the way I eat. Already vegetarian at the time, it made me look back on my meat eating/fast food loving past and cringe. Director Spurlock became widely known after the release of this documentary, as it was one of the first mainstream food documentaries ever released. “Supersize Me” follows Spurlock as he unravels the American obesity epidemic by interviewing experts nationwide and subjecting himself as an experiment, as he chooses embark on a journey, eating nothing but McDonald’s everyday for a month. By the end of the film, Spurlock develops many health issues associated to his new diet of epic portions, including increased cholesterol level and gaining 25 lbs. This documentary can also be watched online from beginning to end, for free.
Directed by: Marisa Miller Wolfson
“Vegucated” is bound to inspire even the most stubborn meat eater to reconsider their diet and lifestyle choices. One of the more comical and light-hearted documentaries concerning veganism, watch as it follows three New Yorker’s who agree to go vegan for six weeks on their remarkable and sometimes difficult journey. As many of them become convinced that being vegan is the right thing to do, they face challenges that make it more difficult to maintain. Most surprising to many who are not vegan and watch this film, however, are the scenes where the three New Yorker’s go shopping for vegan items. You the viewer will be just as surprised as they were to find out that there are many items on the market today that are already accidentally vegan. (Gasp, you mean being vegan isn’t as hard as it seems?) Think, snack foods like Oreos, and many canned frostings, all vegan. Perhaps one of the most memorable moments in this film for me, was when one of the participants involved in the vegan challenge, Ellen Mausner, calls a well known organic company and asks them all sorts of questions that most would not be willing to answer. Surprisingly, the company was willing to share all the gory details, loud and clear on speaker phone. For those individuals who insist that cage-free eggs, etc. are a wise choice, this scene is a must see! It is yet, another scene in a documentary film that made me decide to transition from vegetarian to completely vegan. It wasn’t even a question anymore after seeing this film.
4.) “Food, Inc.”
Directed by: Robert Kenner
“Food, Inc.” is another eye-opening documentary that showcases some of the most inhumane and environmentally unsustainable practices prevalent in the food industry, today. This documentary thoroughly examines food production and sheds some serious light on what its like to be an animal in a factory farm. After the release of this eye opening documentary, many larger food companies responded on their websites by refuting claims made by the film. Looks like this documentary struck a guilt chord… or several. America’s food industry is making a killing– and this film is out to prove it.
5.) “Forks Over Knives”
Directed by: Lee Fulkerson
“Forks Over Knives” links many ailments directly to the consumption of meat. Nothing inspires veganism like the proven conclusion that in order to reduce the number of illnesses and reverse the damage to one’s health one must switch to whole foods and a vegan diet. This film can save your life — literally.
Be On The Look Out: “Earthlings” director, Shaun Monson to release second film, “Unity”, for Nation Earth. Unity will pick up where “Earthlings” left off. Written and produced over the past six years, it is set to be released this year, 2014. The subject of the film will focus on “humanity’s propensity for apathy and empathy”. Rather than focusing on animals, the film instead explores “man’s dualistic relationships with each other”.