Documentaries are meant to be eye opening, thought provoking, educational, and to offer a new perspective that we may have not considered before.
One of the most ironic things about those who continue to consume meat and dairy is that many refuse to watch footage that show how animals are abused and mistreated on a mass scale. They, seemingly, find the imagery too disturbing and traumatic, and yet they continue to support the suffering by the choices they make each and every day.
Therefore, I have listed five documentaries that I believe would make the majority of carnivores think twice—if they are willing to bear witness to the barbaric reality of the meat and dairy industries with open, compassionate, and empathetic hearts and minds.
(Please note, only the trailers have been included here; to see the full documentaries please click on the title.)
“If I could make everyone in the world see one film, I’d make them see ‘Earthlings.'” ~ Peter Singer
I think most vegans agree that “Earthlings” is one of the most informative, powerful, and influential documentaries they have ever watched. The film, which is so chilling and brutal that it is often dubbed the “vegan changer” covers five separate categories, including, pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research. It also details our overall economic dependence on the animal kingdom.
Hidden cameras are used to bring to light the shocking and horrific treatment that goes on behind the closed doors of meat and dairy industries.
“Cowspiracy” is a shocking and groundbreaking feature-length documentary following filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the single most destructive industry on the planet.
Anderson, like a majority of Americans, considered himself an environmentalist and made a heartfelt attempt to recycle and reduce waste. After carrying out his research, Anderson found his efforts were only minimally effective as the rainforest deforestation, huge amounts of greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions, and the extinction of many species had a direct link to animal agriculture.
Ultimately, the film shows that you cannot be an environmentalist if you continue to consume fish and animals.
The documentary, which Anderson made with Keegan Kuhn, investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations have remained silent and unwilling to disclose the devastating environmental impact that large-scale cattle farming has on our planet. The film also investigates environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network and their perplexing lack of initiative, or willingness, to address this pressing issue.
Following their success with Cowspiracy, Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn made “What the Health.” Anderson talks to a variety of doctors and researchers about the growing evidence of the health impacts of consuming animal products and how they contribute to our leading causes of death. The documentary also looks at why leading health industries seem to keep information from us about how certain foods cause chronic disease. As stated on their website, the documentary reveals, “possibly the largest health cover-up of our time.”
“What the Health” trailer:
This documentary mostly covers the health benefits of a plant-based diet. It examines the careers of Caldwell Esselstyn, an American physician, and T. Colin Campbell, a professor of nutritional biochemistry, who both grew up on farms that reared animals, and offers factual and informative data about the positive impacts a plant–based diet has on our health.
“Forks Over Knives” trailer:
“Vegucated” is a documentary about three initially skeptical guys from New York who plan to turn to veganism for a six-week challenge to lose weight, and gain other health benefits. However, they soon discover that there is a side to the animal industry they had not previously been aware of, and although they had been patronizing the industry previously, they quickly find out how wrong they were.
For many vegans or vegetarians, documentaries about the meat and dairy industries were the main factor that encouraged them to change not only the way they ate but also which household, clothing, and products they purchased.
The reason for this is that once they are aware that when we buy into the meat and dairy industry, we are likely directly supporting animal cruelty and abuse, it is extremely difficult for those who are compassionate and empathetic toward animals to continue as they did before.
Once our eyes have been opened, we can try to eradicate the images from our mind, but to do nothing tragically means that millions of animals will continue to exist in what I can only describe as hell on earth.
Many people spend weeks, months, or even years considering whether becoming vegan, or even vegetarian, would suit them. There is only one way to find out, but be warned: the vast majority of vegans adore their new conscious and compassionate lifestyle so much, they never turn back!
Click here for a simple, but comprehensive, “Go Vegan” starter kit.
To order a free vegetarian starter guide, please click here.
For a guide to dairy-free, please click here.
For those who do not want to choose the option of vegan or vegetarian diets, they can still make a difference by reducing meat consumption and raising awareness.
Bonus 5-Minute Documentary:
Author: Alex Myles
Image: “Earthlings” Instagram
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis