3 Great Documentaries To Begin Your Vegan Journey With!

July 17, 2015 Ani Sanyal

I think we are all guilty of choosing television over a book on a regular basis. But is that such a bad thing? In today's world, movies can be an educational platform - in particular, documentaries. Personally, watching a few documentaries is what propelled me to go vegan in the first place. For someone who is struggling to go vegan, watching these key documentaries may be all it takes to give you the final push.

Forks Over Knives

Forks Over Knives is a feature documentary that was launched in 2011. The documentary talks about two highly revered doctors in the medical field, T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn. Rather than following conventional medical practices, the two doctors came to the same conclusion after years of research: that a whole foods, plant based vegan diet is the number one way to reverse all the top medical problems in the United States, namely heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Forks Over Knives doesn't simply make claims; it provides an immense amount of scientific evidence to back every one of its claims. The documentary goes through just how horrendous and harmful to our health the standard American diet of meat, dairy, and processed food has become, and also provides personal anecdotes about people who changed their diet, and quite literally changed their life. My conclusion: watch it. A documentary full of scientific facts may not seem like the ideal thing to watch on a movie night, but Forks Over Knives is an absolutely essential documentary to watch if you are looking to understand the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
*Forks Over Knives is on Netflix!


I was vegan for several months before I even knew that I was doing something that benefited the environment. Many people do not realize the detrimental effects that eating meat, dairy, and eggs has on our environment, and Cowspiracy is the perfect documentary to shed some light on that. In the film, Kip Anderson, an avid environmentalist, attempts to figure out why leading environmental organizations, such as Greenpeace or Sierra Club, refuse to mention animal agriculture as one of the leading causes of environmental devastation. The documentary reveals a lot of surprising facts; animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, rainforest destruction, species extinction, and greenhouse gases, to name a few. I would absolutely recommend this documentary to anyone who considers themselves to be an environmentalist or even environmentally-friendly. Cowspiracy may have been the best documentary I have ever watched; it is shocking, but also allows you to understand what is really going on. (Did you know  that it requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef? That is equivalent to showering for about 2 months!) If you want to be informed, definitely watch Cowspiracy.
*You can download Cowspiracy at for $9.95.


Out of these three documentaries, Earthlings is by far the hardest to watch. Earthling delves into a huge reason why people become vegan and stick to a vegan diet; to prevent animal cruelty. Earthlings is an undercover documentary that was released in 2005. It was directed by Shaun Monson and was narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. In the film, undercover cameras film the cruel practices towards animals that go on daily in the United States. Earthlings covers pet breeding, the meat, dairy, and egg industries, and animal abuse in cosmetics and fashion. Earthlings is a documentary that is very confrontational, and therefore, hard to watch. That being said, it also gives people the final push to completely transform their lifestyle. I recommend watching Earthlings if and when you feel ready to. In the meantime, some less confrontational videos that are available on YouTube which highlight animal abuse include "The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear" by Gary Yourofsky, and "101 Reasons to go Vegan."
*Earthlings is available for free on YouTube!

Overall, these 3 documentaries really help to cover the health benefits, environmental impacts, and ethical reasons as to why people implement vegan lifestyles. Watching all 3 of these documentaries will definitely allow you to understand the full picture, and therefore make an informed decision.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published