5 Netflix documentaries that will turn you vegan

5 Netflix documentaries that will turn you vegan

Veganism is on the rise. Quorn has just released their first vegan products, Follow Your Heart have announced they’ve invented some vegan scrambled eggs, and a few supermarkets are even stocking vegan options that aren’t falafel and hummus wraps.

The chances are, then, that you know someone, or know someone who knows someone, who’s gone vegan, and unless you’re the kind of person who thinks “BACON!!!!” is both a comprehensive and hilarious response to such a person’s every move, you might even have thought about whether you should adopt a plant-based diet yourself. Thankfully, in this digital age, it’s easier than ever to do your own research and find out why, when and how you can make the transition yourself, and one website-thing-a-bobby has a lot of interesting and entertaining documentaries on the subject: Netflix.

So, whether you’re already thinking of going vegan, or it’s never crossed your mind, or it’s just 5AM and she hasn’t texted back and you need something to keep you going ‘til dawn, these five documentaries will make you think long and hard about how you spend your time on this planet.

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, 2014


Premise: The often overlooked relationship between animal agriculture and climate change is laid bare in Kip Anderson’s crowd-funded documentary. Cowspiracy often makes for troubling viewing, whether it’s exploring meat’s effects on global hunger, confronting the reality of slaughter, or questioning the wall of silence from environmental activists held literally at gun-point by the industries they should be rallying against. However, the real (albeit slightly contrived) pleasure at the heart of this documentary is joining Kip on his journey from concerned environmentalist to animal rights activist.

“You can’t be an environmentalist and eat animal products. Period!”

 – Howard Lyman, former fourth-generation cattle farmer of forty years

Vegucated, 2011


Premise: Three meat and cheese-loving New Yorkers adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Along with director and presenter Marisa Miller Wolfson, the trio explore the vegan lifestyle and its effects on their health, social life, and ultimately their worldview. Filmed on a minimal budget, Vegucated explores every nook and cranny of veganism, and its charming blend of humour and solemnity, as well as the real-life struggles and triumphs of its participants, make it an accessible truth-bomb for those beginning to explore veganism.

“I’m not crazy, this issue is real, this is a real f*cking issue.”

– Brian Flegel, vegan for just two weeks

Blackfish, 2013


Premise: In August 2015, SeaWorld announced that its net income had declined 84% compared to the second quarter of 2014, and many have attributed this to Blackfish. The documentary pulls no punches as it explores the captivity of Tilikum, an orca at SeaWorld responsible for the deaths of three individuals, and the corporate interests responsible for his exploitation. Through interviews with former SeaWorld trainers and those responsible for his capture as an infant, Blackfish paints a deeply unsettling portrait of a psychologically traumatised individual, who just happens to weigh 12,000 pounds.

“I think that in 50 years we’ll look back and go, ‘My God, what a barbaric time.’”

– John Jett, former SeaWorld Orlando trainer

Fed Up, 2014


Premise: “Congress says pizza is a vegetable”, reads Fed Up’s poster, which gives you some indication of the documentary’s flabbergasted and politically-charged tone. Fed Up examines the obesity pandemic affecting the children of America who, for the first time, are growing up fatter than their parents. Under particular scrutiny is the prevalence of processed foods high in sugar and saturated fat in the school meals system. The movie also examines the on-going battle between American families, physicians, and healthcare experts and large corporations intent on concealing the growing body of evidence that links a high-sugar diet to poor health. Before the end credits, Fed Up lists twenty companies, industry groups and politicians who refused to be interviewed by the filmmakers.

“In a recent study, forty-three cocaine-addicted laboratory rats were given the choice of cocaine or sugar water over a fifteen-day period. Forty out of the forty-three chose the sugar.”

– Katie Couric (narrator)

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, 2010


Premise: Joe Cross, a fat and Australian man, spends 60 days consuming nothing but juice, and becomes a not-so-fat man. He stays Australian, though. Whilst it’s been called an infomercial disguised as a documentary, there’s no denying that Cross’ transformation, and the empowering effect he has on other victims of junk food, provides impressive evidence of a plant-based diet’s medicinal qualities, preventing and even reversing the onset of illnesses like diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Watching Joe abandon his medication and heal himself with food is truly remarkable, as long as you can stand mediocre animation.

“70% of the diseases that affect us now are caused by our life choices: how we exercise, if we smoke and what we eat.”

-Dr Joel Fuhrman



  1. It’s frustrating that Netflix STILL doesn’t have “Cowspiracy” available for their DVD subscription users, but only for streaming. I would personally add ‘Forks Over Knives’ to this list, as well as 2008’s “Healing Cancer” by Mike Anderson, and 2009’s “Processed People”.

  2. I believe this movie should be on the list: “Le Syndrome du Titanic” It’s from France.
    It follows the eponymous book published in 2004: The Titanic Syndrome where Nicolas Hulot develops the themes around the changing environment and the erosion of biodiversity.

  3. blackfish should not be on that list. It has been proven, that they falsified and manipulated the footage to make it say and do what they want. if you watch black fish take the time to learn the facts before suddenly jumping all over sea world. as i say fight the disease not the symtems, sea world and zoos are a symtem the people killing the oceans are the disease like fisheries.

  4. I can’t believe Earthlings wasn’t #1 on this list. It’s the best, crudest explanation of why many choose to go vegan.

    • I agree it’s a strong contender – but sadly it’s not yet available on Netflix. At least here in the UK.

  5. Some people need to see these to turn to veganism others like myself it’s more of a natural shift by listening to your body and connecting with animals. What made me go vegan was more internal than any external source like videos and pictures, I haven’t seen these and they sound gruesome so more than likely never will see them.

    • Cowspiracy is not gruesome, in fact many of the ones listed are NOT…Earthlings is the only one and it is the number one vegan maker for those who have no clue

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