Whenever I watch a new vegan documentary or a plant-based diet documentary, I get that fired up feeling and I want to share it with everyone I know just to start a conversation. Many people won’t watch these types of films because it tends to make viewers question their daily choices and what they have learned growing up.
I know a documentary is put together in a way to support the topic at hand and that is why I highly recommend doing your own research and not taking everything you watch as truth.. But the following Netflix plant-based diet documentaries are full of great information for someone curious about the nutritional, environmental, and ethical benefits of veganism and eating a plant-based diet.
If you are curious about what plant-based diet documentaries Netflix has to offer, here they are as of January 2020. I have also included a few that are not on Netflix, but are free documentaries to watch online.
Be aware that there is graphic content showing animal cruelty. While it is extremely difficult to watch, more individuals need to see this to be aware of what really goes into the food they eat.
Forks Over Knives (2011)
“Eat to live, don’t live to eat.” — San’Dera Nation
Having studied Nutritional Science in college, this documentary really sparked my interest because it focuses mainly on the health benefits of a diet that eliminates refined, processed, animal based foods and replaces them with plant-based, whole foods. Forks Over Knives follows Lee Fulkerson in his journey to better health following a plant-based diet. Not only does he share his experience in this documentary, but he also shares many interviews with several professionals in the scientific and clinical field of diet study. I enjoyed this film because it includes facts, studies, and history, as well as true success stories. Lee introduces viewers to several other over-medicated individuals struggling with their health and quality of life. Throughout the film, viewers see the improvements these individuals experience when they make the switch to a fully plant-based diet.
“You can’t call yourself an environmentalist and eat animal products. Period.” –– Howard Lyman
In this documentary, Kip Anderson begs the question about animal agriculture’s impact on the environment. Cowspiracy sheds light on environmental organizations unwillingness to discuss animal agriculture. I find this film to be investigative and informational. Filled with comparisons amongst animal agriculture and other environmental dangers. Kip and pro-plant-based individuals share the affect animal agriculture has on water consumption, water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, rainforest destruction, climate change, and more. I learned a lot from this film about the environmental impacts of animal agriculture and about organizations that I would have hoped would do all things needed to protect and improve the environment, but seem to avoid this one major topic.
What The Health (2017)
“Something being less toxic doesn’t make it healthy, it just makes it less toxic.” — Dr. Alan Goldhamer
Kip Anderson is at it again with this investigative and informational documentary that focuses on the relationship between diet and disease. In this documentary, Kip discusses the major corruption, greed, disease, and abuse that is happening all around us, but that no one is talking about. As Kip experienced with environmental agencies when filming Cowspiracy, he also found that many health industry leaders refused to discuss the correlation between an animal product based diet and disease. I really enjoy learning about the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet, and this documentary definitely gave me a lot of information to follow up and do more research on, not only for my own health, but for my loved ones struggling with disease.
The Game Changers (2018)
“Fifty years ago no one talked about ‘Hey maybe you should just get your protein from vegetables’. But now, there are many professional athletes that have done extremely well staying away from animal foods.” — Arnold Schwarsenegger
All I want to do after finishing this film is go crush a delicious plant-based breakfast burrito and then dominate a workout. This documentary has a slightly different spin on it, focusing on nutritional science and athletic gain from eating a plant-based diet. I finished this film feeling motivated, empowered, and confident in the plant-based movement. With some of the other films, I finish them with tears in my eyes and filled with sadness. The tears I had from this film were with a full heart and gratitude. The Game Changers provides plenty of educational value, statistics, and nutritional studies. The film mostly focuses on the health benefits of a plant-based diet, but does share several studies and statistics on the environmental benefits of folks eating a more plant-based diet. It is not pushy, it is not shoving veganism in anyone’s face, it is simply relaying benefits and several success stories. Hear it from several Olympians, professional football players, ultimate fighters, families, and the Terminator himself.
A Couple More…
“Since we all inhabit the earth, we are all considered earthlings. There is no sexism, racism, or speciesism in the term ‘earthling’. It encompasses each and every one of us: warm- or cold-blooded, mammal, vertebrate or invertebrate, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish and human alike.” — Earthlings
I recommend this film with my whole saddened heart. Watching this film hurts. Watching this film is one of the hardest things you may do. You may continuously want to look away, skip ahead, or stop watching altogether. But watching this film is watching the truth. Earthlings explains and displays speciesism and shares how humankind has exploited animals for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research. Be prepared when sitting down to watch, you will learn things you hadn’t thought of, you will see things you never expected, and you may feel things you never felt before on your journey.
Watch it online here: http://www.nationearth.com/earthlings
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” — Albert Einstein
This may be my favorite vegan diet/lifestyle documentary yet. Marisa Miller Wolfson put together a great film following three volunteers during a six week vegan lifestyle challenge. This documentary is available on YouTube and I recommend checking it out. It is a bit more relatable than the other documentaries, especially for someone just starting out on their vegan journey. The participants are just like you and me and the experiences they have during this six week challenge are similar to things that we may experience when making the switch. The documentary mostly focuses on diet, but Marisa does educate the participants on how animals are treated and exploited for human consumption. I truly enjoyed watching the participants journey and was happy to see that Marisa had posted some “Where are they now?” videos of the participants a few years later.
Watch it online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrWx_e1wuZQ&t=1361s