7 Movie Nights In Exploring the Plant-Based Alternative
Whether it turns out to be a classic or just the most recent well made film and hence the most popular, it's definitely one to check out
I love movie nights in!
Curled up with a bowlful of tasty food and a good film set ready to play, it's one of my favourite ways to spend an evening, especially after a long day at work. But it's also a great (and easy) way to learn more about something that I care about.
Below are 7 movie night suggestions on living plant-based, veganism, animal rights, and the plant-based movement - as well as a little sneaky something extra at the end (don't skip ahead!). I've only included films that I've actually watched, as then I am able to recommend them. So, FYI, still on my TBW list are Vegucated, Earthlings, Blackfish, the Ghost in our Machine, The Cove, Speciesism and Virguna, which means by default they can't be considered in my list below.
So here goes...
7. Food Choices
Food Choices (2016) was my very first documentary on veganism and the plant-based way of living (and therefore a personal favourite) is available on iTunes or via Netflix or online to be shipped to you. Because it was so instrumental for me right at the beginning of my journey into a plant-based way of living, I'm incredibly biased towards it and as such, I'm not actually sure how to fairly rate it against the others! So while it automatically becomes #7 on this list, it is definitely well worth watching!
6. More Than Honey
More than Honey (2013) is available online, to be shipped to you, or via iTunes, Google Play or Amazon Instant Video. It's not specifically about a plant-based or vegan way of living, but it does address the ever so slightly concerning question of what is happening to all the bees - you know, the 50-90% (depending on region) of local bees that have disappeared of late.. Given that 80% of all plants on earth require bees for pollination, and that human labour to pollinate by hand has already begun to be implemented in some parts of the world, surely this is a question worth addressing? I admittedly found this film a little slow (but that could just be me.. I'm working on my focus) and so for that reason, it's #6.
5. Food Inc
Food Inc (2008) actually looks at the industrialisation of food production, particularly the meat industry in the USA, rather than the plant-based conversation specifically. It's available online, to be shipped out to you or via Netflix. I remember watching this almost 10 years ago when it first came out, and it made a sufficiently significant impact on me then to stretch to buy local, free range or organic meat as much as possible. While it might not have led me directly towards veganism, it has an important story to tell of there being something seriously wrong in our food system, how we approach food production, and how we treat "farm" animals. It caused my compassion towards non-human creatures to begin to rise up. It's well made, and points you in a good direction, so it's #5 on this list.
4. Vegan 2017
Vegan 2017 (no image!) (2017) is freely available to watch on YouTube and provides a great reel of highlights of the rise of the plant-based/vegan movement in 2017 and reminders as to why people are increasingly 'turning vegan'. It's #4 because it's a great catch up to see where the movement is currently at, but its' purpose isn't specifically to explore the reasons for the movement itself.
Cowspiracy (2014) is available to buy online, buy direct from the filmmakers or via Netflix and is stunning. Made by the same brilliant crew as What the Health, it takes its investigation to the critical ecological ramifications of our species following an omnivorous way of life, and the reasons we don't hear about it. Particularly good as it explores the argument for organic, grass fed or otherwise well treated animals compared to mass factory farming. Well worth watching, coming in at #3.
2. Forks Over Knives
Forks Over Knives (2011) is available online, to be shipped out to you, or via Netflix. It examines how a plant-based diet can combat degenerative diseases that plague our contemporary world. Plus, you can get a second DVD sent out to you with extended interviews on various topics with the experts from the original film, if you'd like to learn more. This is a great examination of the health benefits for individuals when adopting a plant-based diet, and is especially important to watch if you have been diagnosed or have a family history of diagnosis for any number of degenerative diseases. It isn't as engaging for contemporary viewers as some of the other films listed here.. but it does offer interviews with key leaders, give solid evidence and yet is easy to understand for the average viewer. And so, it comes in at #2.
1. What the Health
What the Health (2017) is available to purchase online or shipped out to you - and is the golden child plant-based/vegan film that everyone seems to reference when entering the conversation these days. Whether it turns out to be a classic or just the most recent well made film and hence the most popular, it's definitely one to check out. It's well paced and well shot, and brings some ugly truths to the surface. It investigates the systems that keep the public in the dark in regards to knowing the the negative health consequences of living as an omnivore. While focused on the systems in the USA, it is still likely to be relevant and resonate globally, including wherever you live. It's #1 on this list.
And the sneaky extra... ?
Brownble Library of Resources!
One more resource to mention - but since it's a library of films rather than a single film, it's not included in the list above. The good crew over at Brownble offer a free online library of resources (!) on veganism. Within this library are a selection of ready-to-watch videos with speakers Alicia Silverstone, Coleen Patrick-Goudreau, Kathy Freston, Victoria Moran, Kris Carr, Phillip Wollen, Melanie Joy and Dr. Michael Greger. Only about a quarter of these, I've actually watched so far, so I can't recommend them all yet. But I can recommend checking out the site, their videos, their other resources, and their blog.