From the heart-wrenching tale of Mija and her super pig in Okja to What the Health’s exposé on how big businesses are influencing the nation’s health — 2017 has certainly seen its fair share of eye-opening vegan documentaries.
While an interesting documentary may be your go-to option for a night in (cue Netflix on repeat), that’s not all a documentary film is good for. Through the use of storytelling and by including a wealth of information, documentaries can also lead to some much needed societal change. If my boyfriend going vegan after watching What the Health isn’t proof enough, Super Size Me, which followed Morgan Spurlock and his quest to eat nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days, caused quite a stir and eventually led to McDonald’s phasing out their extra-large portions altogether. Franny Armstrong’s 2009 documentary The Age of Stupid also made major strides in fighting climate change after it helped further the 10:10 carbon emissions reduction campaign in 46 different countries!
Thankfully, vegan documentaries have the potential to be just as impactful and are helping to raise awareness for animal rights and the need to end animal exploitation. So, whether you’re simply looking to learn more about the issues surrounding factory farming or are desiring an entertaining film for your evening of binge-watching, here are four must-see vegan documentaries that are set for release in 2018.
1. Eating Animals
Based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same name, Eating Animals discusses the grim reality of factory farming in the United States. Although the documentary (which is narrated by environmental activist Natalie Portman) already made its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival earlier this fall, it has since been acquired by Sundance Selects who plan on releasing it next year. Produced by Foer and Portman and directed by Christopher Quinn, the feature-length documentary gives the narratives of various farmers around the country in an effort to bring awareness to today’s inhumane and highly destructive farming practices. This film will undoubtedly be a wake-up call to not only the food industries but to the consumers as well!
2. The Game Changers
Finally solving the age-old question of “but where do you get your protein from?”, The Game Changers is not only a documentary but a movement aimed at dispelling the notion that you need protein from animals to thrive. And by highlighting top athletes, celebrities, special op soldiers, and scientists who are all proponents of plant-based lifestyles, the film will certainly do just that! James Cameron (yes, the James Cameron behind such films as Titanic and Avatar), is the executive producer of the film, with The Cove’s Louis Psihoyos directing and MMA champion James Wilks producing this must-see documentary. Having previously been set to release at the end of this year, you can now expect to see this film on screen at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in January of next year.
3. Eating Our Way To Extinction
One of the most anticipated vegan documentaries of 2018, Eating Our Way To Extinction aims to expose the often overlooked repercussions of consuming animals. Written and produced by brothers Ludo and Otto Brockway, the feature-length documentary first started out as a short film that went viral on Facebook, garnering over 27 million views to date. Endorsed and heavily promoted by actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, the film presents a comprehensive look into the dangers of a traditional Western diet, the economics behind the dairy and meat industries, and the environmental degradation caused by factory farming. By exposing these correlations, the Brockways hope the film inspires audiences to make the switch to a plant-based diet — for their health, the animals, and the planet!
Dubbed the Australian version of the 2005 American documentary Earthlings, Dominion is the sequel to 2014’s Lucent, which investigated the perils of Australia’s pig farming industry. Written and directed by Chris Delforce, the documentary examines the many ways in which animals are mistreated in Australia. Aptly questioning animal exploitation at the hands of humans, the film follows six ways in which humans abuse animals: for food, clothing, entertainment, scientific research, wildlife, and as pets. Displaying gut-wrenching scenes of what life is like for animals in factory farms, Dominion may just be the film to make your meat-eating friend or family member question their outlook on animals and the ways in which they interact with them. The film is set to debut at the Astor Theatre in Australia early next year.
Which vegan documentaries will you be adding to your queue?
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Photo: Pexels, Eating Animals, The Game Changers, broxstarproductions via Instagram, Dominion