Embarking on a plant-based lifestyle is a transformative journey, but maintaining motivation can sometimes be challenging. Fortunately, plant-based documentaries offer a compelling way to stay informed, inspired, and connected to the principles that underpin this lifestyle. Last year, we delved into the “MUST SEE BIG 3” PLANT-BASED DOCUMENTARIES that laid the foundation for many individuals considering or already living a plant-based life. This year, let’s expand our documentary queue with four additional films, while also revisiting the classics.

Let’s Start At The Beginning, What Are the “Big 3” Plant-Based Documentaries?

Forks Over Knives (2011):

A cornerstone in the plant-based documentary genre, “Forks Over Knives” explores the profound link between a plant-based diet and the prevention and reversal of chronic diseases. It emphasizes the wisdom of Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This documentary underscores the importance of adopting a whole food, plant-based diet and provides practical guidance for making the transition.

It encourages viewers to adopt a whole food plant-based diet (aka “WFPB” Diet – little to no prepackaged plant-based foods from store shelves) and provides practical tips and advice for making the transition. You can find it free online via the FORKS OVER KNIVES website or on YouTube.

What the Health (2017):

Offering a critical examination of the food industry’s influence on public health, “What the Health” investigates the connections between animal product consumption and chronic diseases. It sheds light on the role of governmental agencies and advocacy organizations, exposing the influence of corporate interests. While advocating for plant-based living, it prompts viewers to question the sources of nutritional information and the agendas behind them.

This is all not to say that these organizations are bad in any way, but rather the viewpoint to understand why they may or may not make certain claims. You can find “What the Health” streaming on Netflix and more on their website WHATTHEHEALTHFILM.COM.

Game Changers (2018):

Challenging the conventional belief that animal products are essential for peak athletic performance, “Game Changers” showcases the achievements of vegan athletes across various sports. By presenting scientific evidence and personal anecdotes, it dismantles myths surrounding plant-based diets and athleticism, encouraging viewers to rethink their dietary choices.

By their own admission these are in the early stage of the studies but showing promising outcomes. It is both engaging and interesting to watch, even for those just skimming the possibility of a plant based lifestyle. You can find “Game Changers” streaming on Netflix and more information on their website GAMECHANGERSMOVIE.COM.

    Now, let’s introduce four new plant-based documentaries to enrich your understanding of plant-based living:

    Live to 100 Secrets of the Blue Zones (2023):

    Explore the lifestyles of people living in Blue Zones, regions known for longevity and vitality. This documentary examines the factors contributing to their exceptional health, including diet, community, and physical activity. By highlighting the habits of centenarians, it offers valuable insights into promoting longevity through plant-based nutrition.

    Stream on Netflix to learn more about these communities and explore how you can increase your lifespan by weaving these principles into your life.

    You Are What You Eat (2024):

    This documentary studies the effects of plant-based eating on identical twins. By comparing the health outcomes of twins following different diets, this documentary underscores the impact of nutrition on overall well-being. Through compelling storytelling, it illuminates the potential benefits of embracing a plant-centric lifestyle.

    The reviews are mixed on this one (as they are for many!) with most dieticians agreeing that the concept of more plants in the diet is good, but the “experts” highlighted went unchallenged and were biased toward the plant based outcomes. Understanding this perspective You can watch this series on Netflix.

    Earthlings (2005):

    Prepare for an emotionally challenging yet eye-opening experience with “Earthlings.” This documentary, narrated by lifelong vegan Joaquin Phoenix, exposes the harsh realities of animal exploitation across various industries from food production to animal entertainment, urging viewers to consider the ethical implications of their food choices. While difficult to watch, it fosters a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all living beings.

    Personal Perspective: Watching “Earthlings” was an arduous experience, yet ultimately I am glad that I did. I struggled through its unsettling scenes, and indeed, it was too much for my husband, who couldn’t endure past the initial 15 minutes. However, this documentary provided an insight into the mistreatment of animals on a scale I never wanted to acknowledge. Reflecting on my days as an omnivore, I realize I lived in a world where I chose not to confront these realities. Perhaps this avoidance is why laws like ag-gag exist, prohibiting the recording and exposure of animal slaughter — perhaps to maintain consumer habits. As a former omnivore turned plant-based eater, I now question these practices deeply. “Earthlings” forced me to confront uncomfortable truths about the source of our food, leaving a lasting impact that resonated with me long after viewing. Proceed with caution and a box of tissues, but if you can, watch.

    Kiss the Ground:

    While not exclusively focused on plant-based eating, “Kiss the Ground” explores the crucial role of soil health in mitigating climate change. By showcasing regenerative agriculture practices, it emphasizes the importance of sustainable food production and environmental stewardship. Recognizing the symbiotic relationship between soil, plants, and the planet, this documentary underscores the interconnectedness of our food system.

    Narrated by Woody Harrelson, this documentary is available on Netflix and you won’t ever look at a farmfield the same way again.

      Ok, I’ve Watched – How Accurate Are These Plant-Based Documentaries?

      It’s essential to approach these plant-based documentaries with a critical mindset. While they offer valuable insights and perspectives on plant-based living, they represent one piece of the puzzle. Recognize that plant-based documentaries, like any form of media, may present information through a particular lens or agenda. Therefore, it’s up to each viewer to discern the information presented, conduct further research, and make informed decisions aligned with their values and beliefs. Consult with your doctor and move forward with the eating plan that works for you.

      Expanding your plant-based documentaries queue can enrich your journey toward a plant-based lifestyle. These films offer inspiration, education, and thought-provoking content to support your commitment to health, sustainability, and compassion. Remember, the power to transform your life and the world around you lies in your hands. Keep exploring, stay curious, and embrace the path that resonates with your heart and values.