Wanting to move towards veganism but not 100% sure? Looking for guidance on your vegan lifestyle? Maybe you just want to become more aware of plant-based diets, the dairy and meat industry? These vegan documentaries have the answers!
You’re probably fairly aware that we at Veggie Vagabonds are pretty passionate vegans. In our eyes, it’s the simplest step you can take towards a more compassionate lifestyle and reducing your environmental impact.
As outdoor lovers, the incredible environments and animals we walk past are just too awesome to harm and so a sustainable vegan diet became our obvious path.
Still, going vegan didn’t happen overnight.
It was a steady process which was massively aided by awesome plant-based documentaries and movies about veganism. It opened our eyes to many shocking things that were happening behind the scenes and also gave us the knowledge needed to lead a healthy and passionate vegan lifestyle.
We’re not saying ‘EVERYONE SHOULD GO VEGAN!!!!’
Things in life aren’t black and white and switching your diet or the products you buy is a big change. BUT, even cutting down the meat you consume is a brilliant step for many reasons and so getting informed on the topics revolving around veganism is an ace starting point.
Whether you’re curious about vegan diets and food production, want some tips on vegan nutrition or you’re already meat-free and looking for some inspired watching… these documentaries on veganism were pivotal for us making the switch all those years ago and so we’d like to share some of our favourites with you!
Our selection of the best vegan documentaries… oh, and if you want to watch trailers on YouTube just click on the titles!
- Released 2020
- Documentary series
- BBC documentaries
- Where to watch Veganville? YouTube or BBC iPlayer
A group of vegans head to the Welsh valleys to try and sway the locals towards veganism. You can imagine how it might go.
Besides the public reactions, it’s really interesting as each of the vegans has a different idea of how their message should be put across. Some opt for baby steps whilst others go for shock tactics.
Sarah and I are always debating the best way to encourage veganism and so it sparks a lot of hot conversations!
- Released 2017
- 22 mins
- Where to watch Infinity and Back? YouTube
If you’re looking for a seriously inspiring vegan, look no further than Kuntal Joisher. Veganism + adventure – the perfect combo!
He is a HUGE vegan activist and became the first person to climb Everest and a number of other 8,000+ metre peaks with 100% vegan outdoor gear and food. Within the mountaineering community this was thought not possible not so long ago.
Check out the short film on Kuntal’s website or take a read of our awesome interview with him here.
- Released 2014
- 1 hr 31m
- Directed by Kip Andersen & Keegan Kuhn
- Where to watch Cowspiracy? Netflix & YouTube
One of the first documentaries that really opened our eyes to the cruelty of factory farming and its massive addition to climate change. Thought-provoking and a really shocking insight into the impacts of animal agriculture and factory farming.
Vegan outdoor lover? Check out our guides to cruelty-free adventure gear!
- Released 2004
- 1 hr 40m
- Directed by Morgan Spurlock
- Where to watch Super Size Me? Netflix & YouTube
So, this isn’t exactly a vegan documentary but if you’re looking for motivation to move away from junk food, this is your ticket.
It’s one of the first times the real horrors of McDonald’s came to light, showing that the food, and particularly the meat, sold in fast food places is far from what you think it is.
If you’re interested in the health impacts of a meat-based diet you should also watch:
- Released 2011
- 3 part series
- Directed by Will Anderson & Hugh Fearnley Whittingstal
- Where to watch The Big Fish Fight? 4OD
A 3-part series from Channel 4 that was actually the reason we stopped eating fish. Sometimes fish or seafood is sold as the ‘sustainable’ or ‘ethical’ option but after watching this you’ll know otherwise.
The Big Fish Fight touches on the ethical issues but also the scary quality of fish sold and the impact of overfishing on marine ecosystems.
- Released 2017
- 2 hr
- Directed by Bong Joon-Ho
- Where to watch Okja? Netflix
A beautifully-shot film that’s pretty action-packed and shows the reality of the meat industry from the eyes of a young girl who becomes friends with a lab-made and incredibly large super pig. It turned the director vegan and really makes you think about the relationship between humans and animals.
- Released 2005
- 1 hr 30
- Directed by Shaun Monson & narrated by Joaquin Phoenix
- Where to watch Earthlings? YouTube
Jeez, where to start with Earthlings. This is one of the vegan movies I’d always recommend to friends to highlight the darkness of the meat industry. It’s incredibly graphic, with lots of insider footage from abattoirs and factory farms. Some of it is really pretty tough to watch but I’ve always thought ‘if it’s so bad you can’t watch it, it definitely shouldn’t be happening’. Not for the faint-hearted!
Oh, and if you like the sound of Joaquin Phoenix, you might want to check out Dominion as he narrates that too!
Vegan adventure food doesn’t have to be bland OR hard work!
- Released 2018
- 1 hr 26
- Directed by James Cameron
- Where to watch Game Changers? Netflix & YouTube
When the director of Avatar and Titanic makes a plant-based documentary, you know it’s going to be good.
The Game Changers documentary has a pretty star-studded cast and focuses on the possibilities of a plant-based diet in sports. It’s pretty revolutionary and answers a lot of vegan questions about sports, helping to get rid of this silly ‘you need meat to be strong’ idea. It blows it out the water actually!
This really spurred us to push harder with outdoor pursuits and sports.
- Released 2011
- 1 hr 36
- Directed by Lee Fulkerson
- Where to watch Forks Over Knives? Info
A shocking look at the health epidemic in the US and how much of it is caused by a diet of mainly meat and dairy. It was also fascinating to see how our perception of food is massively swayed by carefully designed marketing that promotes animal products.
This is another plant-based documentary that doesn’t really touch on the animal welfare side to veganism but really shows the health benefits of a vegan diet instead.
- Released 2013
- 1 hr 20
- Directed by Michael Pirschel
- Where to watch Live and Let Live? YouTube
A really nice vegan docufilm telling the everyday stories of six people who have switched to veganism.
It really covers all bases, showing activists who release farmed animals and people who have switched for environmental reasons to vegan athletes and butchers who have completely changed their lifestyles.
- Released 2013
- 1 hr 30
- Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite
- Where to watch Blackfish? Netflix & YouTube
Blackfish shows the brutal reality of the captive animals at Seaworld and follows the story of Killer Whale Tilikum. It’s pretty heartbreaking but sparked such a big reaction that Sea World were pressured to phase out their live orca shows.
This is more of an animal documentary than a vegan one but it’s powerful none-the-less.
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- Released 2018
- 1 hr 14
- Directed by Keegan Kuhn
- Where to watch Funning For Good? Website
A seriously epic documentary following the vegan runner and ultra athlete, Fiona Oakes. Despite being told she might never walk again as a child, Fiona went on to smash multiple world records, including the fastest women to run a marathon on every continent.
This film closely follows her training and attempt of the Marathon des Sables along with the motivation behind everything she does.
This gets bonus points because we always love it when documentaries about veganism have some outdoor element!
Prefer to read? Check out our interview with Fiona here!
- Released 2009
- 1 hr 32
- Directed by Louie Psihoyos
- Where to watch The Cove? YouTube
Another pretty harrowing wildlife documentary which showed the world the mass culling of wild dolphins in Japan.
The film crew faced serious dangers from locals, organisations and the fishing industry, it’s pretty scary to watch and many aspect were filmed covertly.
Again, this doesn’t really touch on veganism but is a big driving force behind a cruelty-free lifesyle.
Want to watch more wildlife documentaries? We’d also recommend:
- Released 2016
- 1 hr 36
- Directed by Fisher Stephens & narrate by Leonardo di Caprio
- Where to watch Before the Flood? YouTube
In our eyes, veganism and environmentalism go hand in hand. Watching vegan documentaries motivates an eco-friendly lifestyle and watching sustainable documentaries like Before the Flood massively inspires a sustainable vegan diet.
This doc is amazingly shot and it’s narrated by Leo. Who doesn’t love a bit of Leo!?
Have we missed any of the best vegan documentaries? Drop us a comment and we’ll add them to this part of the list!
- The Invisible Vegan
Where can you watch vegan documentaries and films?
We’ve listed a few options but there are plenty of other places you can find more…
- YouTube has a huge selection you can rent but there are also lots of free vegan documentaries to watch too
- There are plenty of vegan documentaries on Amazon Prime
- Netflix shows a good variety of new vegan documentaries and older options
- Documentary Heaven & Watch Documentaries also have plenty of options!
25 Eye-Opening Vegan Documentaries You NEED to Watch!
These are the documentaries and films which have inspired a major part of the lives we lead. It’s why we’ll happily spend hours researching and finding vegan outdoor gear, why we love creating nutritious plant-based outdoor recipes and why we were inspired to put this website together in the first place.
I hope they can also be inspirational for you and encourage plenty more ethical adventures!