Top 25 Must-See Vegan Documentaries That Will Change You

Here are the most powerful, important, and perspective-shifting vegan documentaries that everyone needs to see. They cover health, athletics, environment, ethics, animal welfare, and more.
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Covers of the best plant-based, health, animal rights, and vegan documentaries, films, and movies.
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Vegan documentaries offer a captivating window into diverse topics and global issues, all from the comfort of your own couch. In just a few hours, you can gain fresh perspectives on subjects that matter most, from the environment to animal rights.

Fortunately, there has been an upsurge in the creation of powerful documentaries that shed light on the significance of living a compassionate and eco-conscious life. There are health documentaries about how to prevent and reverse disease, movies about vegetarianism, films uncovering the horrors of animal farming, and filmmakers who take the audience underwater to an entirely new world. And the list grows with each passing year as documentary filmmakers dedicate themselves to spreading awareness about many world issues that would otherwise continue unseen.

Without further ado, here are the most compelling, enlightening, and life-altering vegan documentaries to explore. This list is based on years of experience and a deep passion for the subject matter. Many of these documentaries are readily available on platforms like Netflix, making it easier than ever to embark on your journey of discovery.

So, are you ready to broaden your horizons, tap into expert knowledge, become a more informed advocate for veganism, and unwind on the couch for an hour or two? If the answer is yes, then let’s dive right in! And remember, popcorn is entirely optional.

“The capacity to learn is a gift. The ability to learn is a skill. The willingness to learn is a choice.” – Brian Herbert

Vegan comic illustrating Dumbo the elephant from a kids movie that says "if you cried watching Dumbo, you're already vegan."

The Game Changers Documentary (Netflix)

Think you need meat to bulk up and become a top performing athlete? Think again! Even if you’re not interested in building muscle or trying out a triathlon, this documentary will leave you with a massive dose of knowledge and inspiration.

Produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan, it’s a must-see. You’ll learn the science behind the protein myth and be blown away by the plant-based success of these world-renowned athletes in action.

Vegan athlete documentary called The Game Changers poster.

You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment (Netflix)

This newly released groundbreaking Netflix documentary focuses on the health benefits of switching to a plant-based diet. It follows identical twins in a well-conducted study, having them adopt different lifestyles for 8 weeks to see how their diets impact health markers like visceral fat, cholesterol, risk of heart disease, and more.

The movie poster for the vegan documentary "You Are What You Eat."

What The Health Documentary (Netflix)

One of the best vegan documentaries for anyone interested in health and wellness. This movie will open your eyes to the collusion and corruption of government establishments concerning food, health and nutrition. Although at times amusing and entertaining, it’s still a serious and solid look at what is happening with our nation’s health.

What the Health vegan food documentary movie poster.

Forks Over Knives

An inspiring, inside look at how “diseases of affluence” can be easily controlled and even reversed through diet alone. If you know anyone with Type II diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension, this film is for them. It may even save their life. Incredibly down-to-earth and practical, this movie will empower you to reclaim your health and will greatly influence your next grocery list! You’ll be rooting for Forks (for eating fresh, whole foods) over Knives (for performing open heart surgery) for sure!

Forks Over Knives documentary poster.

Cowspiracy (Netflix)

Environmentalist Kip Anderson embarks on a mission to find answers and solutions to our world’s greatest environmental problems. He does an incredible job documenting the factory farming industry and how it is so destructive to our environment.

You’ll see interviews with the leaders of major environmental groups that largely ignore these issues and the well hidden reasons why. It’s one of the best movies revealing how detrimental factory farms are to the health of our world and to all those who live in it.

Cowspiracy environmental documentary film poster.

Seaspiracy (Netflix)

This groundbreaking documentary, produced by the same team from Cowspiracy, exposes the fishing industry and its damaging impact on our oceans. What starts with documenting the harm that humans do to marine species quickly evolves to uncovering the alarming global corruption, sustainability issues, and a scary path to environmental destruction. This eyeopening documentary exposes how the global industrial fishing industries are killing our oceans, out of sight.

Documentary poster for Seaspiracy with a large fishing net holding fish and the world.

Blackfish (Netflix)

A movie that delves into the complex and complicated issue concerning the behavior of killer whales, both in and out of captivity. Although killer whales are sometimes known to be gentle giants in the wild, they also have the capability to be quite vicious.

This documentary takes a deeper look into the performing whale, Tilikum, and the lives he has taken while captive. You’ll leave with a newfound respect for animal sanctuaries and disdain for theme parks (like SeaWorld) that use these majestic animals for entertainment and profit.

If creatures of the sea are as important to you as they are to us, make sure to learn more about the practices of shark finning and its impact on our oceans.

Blackfish documentary movie poster about SeaWorld and orcas and captive animals.

The Cove (Netflix)

A dolphin lover’s worst nightmare captured in real life, this important film is not for the faint of heart. This documentary expands its story to include a passionate plea for all people to help our oceans and sea creatures. An electrifying movie that will leave you breathless and also committed to making a difference for our precious ocean life.

Movie poster for The Cove film about dolphin slaughter in Japan.

Dominion

A dark, undercover Australian documentary that presents modern agricultural practices through the lens of drones, hidden and handheld cameras. Often considered the new Earthlings, the movie explores the horrible conditions that animals have to suffer through and questions the validity and morality concerning the dominion of humans over animals.

This film is a must watch—but bring a friend to hold and a box of tissues.

Dominion animal rights documentary featuring Joaquin Phoenix.

Earthlings

A heartbreaking and highly sensitive documentary for anyone who wants the honest truth about society’s treatment of animals. Although extremely painful to experience, it’s almost a necessary undertaking to absorb the fullest extent of an animal’s experience in the world at the present. If you are on the fence about becoming vegan, this movie narrated by Joaquin Phoenix will change your mind in minutes.

Movie poster for Earthlings documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix about animal exploitation.

Vegucated

A simple, but satisfying movie that attempts to alter the appetites of three meat-and-cheese loving, native New Yorkers. This documentary follows these vegan hopefuls over a six week period and shares their progress, as well as their pitfalls. Entertaining and slightly educational, it’s well worth watching.

Vegucated vegan documentary movie poster.

Sharkwater

The Winner of 22 International Awards, this electrifying movie narrated by Rob Stewart takes a deep dive into the shark filled waters of our oceans. This documentary explores the lives of sharks first hand, while also exposing the shark finning industry and the ruthless exploitation and corruption of the shark population. A must see for all sea creature loving humans.

Poster for the documentary Sharkwater.

Fat Sick & Nearly Dead

Joe Cross takes us on his 60 day juice-only journey to optimal health. This documentary is not only enormously inspiring, but also addicting to watch with its positive vibe and down-to-earth approach. You’ll find yourself yearning for your own fresh fruit juices and glowing health by the end of it.

Movie poster for the juicing documentary Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead.

The Ghosts In Our Machine

An illuminating photojournalistic journey into the lives of animals in all sectors of industry throughout the world. This compassionate vegan documentary follows JoAnn McArthur’s entire year of capturing the behind the scenes stories of several animals in all parts of the world. Through food, fashion, research and entertainment, you will experience what it might be like for an animal stuck in the machine of our modern world.

Movie poster for the documentary The Ghosts In Our Machine.

The Witness

A gripping and painful story of Eddie Lama, whose violent and difficult life growing up in Brooklyn, NY caused an epiphany concerning the plight of animals. Because of his own experiences with exploitation and trauma, he could much easily sympathize with the suffering of animals, who also have no one advocating on their behalf. An inspiring story of creative animal advocacy that will leave you motivated to take action.

Poster for The Witness documentary.

Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home

An emotional, intense and groundbreaking documentary about farmers, farming life and the animals that they care for. This movie takes you behind the scenes of small farm owners and explores how various social, economical and psychological issues impact their everyday existence. An honest and candid look at the complex relationship between animals viewed as commodities, while also having an incredible loving bond with their caretakers at the same time.

Documentary poster for Peaceable Kingdom.

The Smell Of Money

This documentary follows Elsie Herring and her community in eastern North Carolina, where they battle a powerful hog industry’s pollution and encroachment on their land. Through a nine-year legal fight, they strive for clean air, pure water, and freedom from the stench of pig waste. This powerful film underscores the strength of love for family and community against overwhelming odds, urging viewers to consider their food choices and join the fight for a better future.

Cover art for The Smell of Money vegan documentary.

Food, Inc.

Explore the hidden truths of the food industry and its impact on our health, the environment, and animal welfare in this 2008 documentary.

Poster for Food, Inc. documentary with barcode stamped on the side of a cow.

Eating Animals

Based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s bestselling book, this documentary investigates the ethical and environmental consequences of factory farming.

Grassy hills with cows and text overlay "Eating Animals."

The True Cost

While not strictly vegan, this documentary explores the fashion industry’s impact on the environment and highlights the importance of sustainable, cruelty-free fashion choices.

Three people with bags over their heads standing next to full shopping bags and text overlay "The True Cost."

Rotten

A docu-series that dives deep into the global food industry, examining issues like honey fraud, the avocado trade, and the challenges faced by small-scale farmers.

The poster for "Rotten" docuseries.

Eating You Alive

Renowned doctors and nutritionists discuss the profound health benefits of a plant-based diet in preventing and reversing chronic diseases.

Poster for "Eating You Alive" documentary showing a scale with an apple and donut on either side.

The Last Pig

Follow the poignant journey of a pig farmer who confronts the emotional and ethical complexities of his profession as he transitions to a more compassionate way of life.

A man kneeling next to a pig with text overlay "The Last Pig."

Eating Our Way to Extinction

Explore the interconnectedness of our food choices, climate change, and the future of our planet in this thought-provoking documentary.

A skull that looks like Earth with text overlay "Eating Our Way To Extinction."

7 Days Mini-Documentary

Finally, don’t miss our own mini-documentary about what 7 days of plant-based eating did for this man’s health. We guarantee you’ll be amazed. You can watch right now in just 15 minutes! 

A short and satisfying mini-documentary following one man’s seven-day journey from fast food to plant food. You’ll be amazed at how only one week of eating vegan can transform Raul’s entire lifestyle. And with just a few simple swaps, inexpensive ingredients, and friendly support. His blood pressure plummeted, his fear of diabetes diminished, and he felt better than he had in years. A must see for anyone looking for inspiration to take the plunge into a plant-based way of eating.

“It’s not the strongest of species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

More Vegan Resources

If you’ve made your way through those documentaries and are wanting to dive into learning more about a vegan lifestyle, we have vegan guides on every topic! Here are some additional resources to start with:

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5 comments
  1. Martha Staton says:

    Thank You For providing Vegan Information!

  2. Lisa Smith says:

    Thanks for the post.

    • Great list! Can you add Seaspriacy to the list? It breaks through the myth that eating seafood is eco friendly, sustainable and less cruel than eating cows.

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