5 Must Watch Documentaries


I don’t know about your personal journey but watching documentaries about animal welfare is what ultimately brought me to my vegan lifestyle. These five documentaries touch upon animal welfare, health, and environmental effects of factory farming, corporate farming, and more.


Photo from Earthlings

1. Earthlings
This powerful and emotionally driven documentary covers how animals suffer for food, fashion, pets, entertainment, and medical research.ย 

2 (of Many) Main Takeaways:
1. Our actions have a direct impact on all earthlings, not just fellow humans.
2. There’s a connection between racism, sexism, and speciesism.

2. Forks Over Knives
This film features interviews from key doctors and explores howย eating a low-fat, plant-based diet helps combat many health issues.

2 Main Takeaways:
1. A low fat, whole food plant-based diet = a healthier body.
2. Diabetes, cancers and other diseases are linked to diets full of processed and animal-based foods.


Photo from Vegucated

3. Vegucated
This film documents three meat- and cheese-loving Americans as they adopt a plant-based lifestyle and shows the emotional, health, and physical changes each goes through.

2 Main Takeaways:
1. A whole-foods plant-based diet = good.
2. An animal product-based diet = bad.


Photo from Food Inc.

4. Food, Inc.
Delving into the world of corporate farming and agriculture business, Food, Inc. takes a stance against factory farming deeming it inhumane, unsustainable, and environmentally destructive.

2 Main Takeaways:
1. Factory farming is damaging our oceans, soil, and health.
2. Corporate farming serves corporate interests and only corporate interests.


Photo from Blackfish.

5. Blackfishย 
This documentary covers animals in the entertainment industry, namely orcas and their experience in captivity.

2 Main Takeaways:
1. Captivity causes orcas to experience deep emotional and psychological pain.
2. Many humans are completely unaware of the damage they cause to nonhuman animals by supporting companies like Sea World.

What documentaries would you add to our vegan-making arsenal? Tell us in the comments below.


  1. nicole starrett

    Food Matters and Fat, sick and nearly dead

  2. Cindy

    MUST MUST MUST see Cowspiracy!!! Wow is it good, and shares a lot of info about enviro organizations that even I didn’t know… And I used to lobby for them!!

  3. Another critical takeaway from Forks over Knives: Health damages from animal protein diet are reversible with the introduction of a non-animal diet.

  4. I finally saw Earthlings on their website and I cried my eyes out. The treatment of animals in slaughterhouses is outrageous and more people need to understand that they’re encouraging that kind of behaviour by buying their products. People always say, “I know what they say happens, I don’t need to watch it.” Yes you do, because it makes it more real.

  5. Cathy

    I’ve watched all of these movies except for Earthlings – I’ve been meaning to watch it with my fiancee though (rather than just by myself) so I gotta order that DVD….

  6. Ali

    I think this list is a little off. Speciesism was a million times more informative and just overall better than Vegucated. There are so many great films, though, that limiting it to 5 is pretty tough!

    • Laura

      Hey Ali,

      We agree that there are way more than 5 must-see documentaries! Cowspiracy, for one. What others do you recommend we see?

      Thanks for sharing!


  7. Tae

    Sharkwater, The Cove ..
    and even Dive! Because I think food waste is also a huge issue that can be fought with a vegan diet (and I think it’s important to see just how much of our animal products are discarded…and how wasteful it is).

  8. Great list! Thanks for the synopsis :)

  9. Jenny Fry

    Please watch “Poisoning Paradise” this is horrifying and insane what New Zealand is doing to its flora and fauna

  10. I’ve heard of most of these documentaries but I’m always terrified to watch them because I know they are going to be hard to watch, but I must! Thanks for sharing!



  12. Nicole Schaefer

    Please, please include Cowspiracy on this list! Hands downs able to convince the most meat eaters to eat more vegan foods or become vegan with that documentary (if they care about the environment and their health).

  13. Meggan

    “What the health” is a GREAT one in addition to cowspiracy

  14. Makoto Cole

    Thanks for sharing about these documentaries. I’ve also found some great videos on Youtube as well on the subject matter. Additionally, I’d like to mention as others have already Cowspiracy and Food Inc.

  15. Jordan

    Check out “Eating You Alive” too :D

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