As with the books, I’m working my way through various documentaries about the plant-based diet, animal rights, activism and our current state of food processing and distribution. Many of these films are available on Netflix, YouTube or via the film’s website.
- PlantPure Nation (2015)
Director: Nelson Campbell
Nelson Campbell, activist and son of Dr. T. Colin Campbell who wrote the extraordinary book, The China Study linking nutrition to chronic disease, carries on his father’s work but with his own voice and approach to it. This film follows Nelson as he develops a pilot program demonstrating the health benefits of a whole, plant-based diet and then works with Kentucky State Representative Tom Riner to present this evidence into the state legislature. A fascinating look at how politics and lobbyists have played a role in preventing this information from reaching most of the population but also an inspiring film for demonstrating the power of the people.
- Tyke, Elephant Outlaw (2015)
Directors: Susan Lambert, Stefan Moore
The story of Tyke, a female elephant taken from her home in Mozambique in 1973 and shipped to the U.S. to perform in circuses. In 1994, while the circus is performing in Honolulu, Tyke breaks free, kills her trainer and runs into the street where she is eventually killed with 87 bullets. A well-balanced account of the years and months leading up to the last day of her life, including the aftermath of this preventable tragedy.
- Buck (2011)
Director: Cindy Meehl
This isn’t an animal rights film by any means, but it’s still an important example of how we can – and should – learn to view animals differently so we change how we treat them. Buck is the story of the original “horse whisperer” Buck Brannaman. This man broke the mold of what makes a real cowboy and is living proof that using punishment and brute force is not only cruel when training horses but completely unnecessary. To put it in his own words: “Rather than helping people with horse problems, I’m helping horses with people problems.”
- The Witness (2000)
Director: Jenny Stein
A film about a man named Eddie Lama who never thought much of animals until he looked after a kitten one day. It was the first time he ever viewed an animal as a living being and he made the connection: fur-bearing animals like cats are no different from foxes and minks except one is seen as a pet, the other as fashion. This film documents his simple but powerful actions to educate people on the cruelty of the fur industry. Proof that one person can make a difference.
- Cowspiracy (2014)
Directors: Kip Andersen, Keegan Kuhn
It all started when filmmaker Kip Andersen wanted to do everything he could to stop the environmental damage that is currently happening to our planet by changing his life as much as possible. During the course of his research, he discovered something shocking: most environmental groups fail to mention the leading cause of global warming, species extinction, ocean “dead zones” and deforestation: the agricultural industry. This film is his journey to that truth. One of the most relevant films of our time.
- Forks Over Knives (2011)
Director: Lee Fulkerson
This documentary follows several people, including the director himself, as they switch to a plant-based diet in an effort to take control of their declining health. The film features lengthy interviews with Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, both giants in the field of nutrition, medicine, bio-chemistry and plant-based living.
- Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (2010)
Directors: Joe Cross & Kurt Engfehr
The film follows Australian Joe Cross for 60 days as he travels across America in a quest to regain his health. Along the way he meets a truck driver named Phil who is, “one cheeseburger away from a heart attack.” One of the most inspiring films I’ve ever seen.
- The Ghosts in Our Machine (2013)
Director: Liz Marshall
The film follows photographer and activist Jo-Anne McArthur for a year as she travels all over the world documenting through her lens how animals are treated across the globe.
- Blackfish (2013)
Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
The documentary that has caused SeaWorld’s stock to drop consistently since its release. Proof that human cruelty isn’t always because humans are mean – it’s because they are misinformed and deliberately misled.
- I Am An Animal (2007)
Director: Matthew Galkin
The story of Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder and President of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). A fascinating view of a tireless activist.
- Speciesism (2013)
Director: Mark Devries
A look at how and why humans are raised to think of animals as “less than” which has led us to justify our deplorable treatment of them, in particular for food.
- The Emotional World of Farm Animals (2004)
A Film By: Earthviews Productions & Animal Place
The film that accompanies author Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s book, “The Pig Who Sang to the Moon” (the film was made as he was researching it). A tender and touching look on a subject that isn’t covered very often.
- Vegucated (2011)
Director: Marisa Miller Wolfson
The film about “three meat and cheese loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks.” It motivated me to do the same and I’ve been a vegan ever since!