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From our social interactions to our daily routines, this coronavirus shutdown has altered many aspects of our lives.
Some of the changes you’ve made may feel welcome – others, maybe not so much. Nevertheless, adapting and making the best of your new reality may have sparked curiosity about other lifestyle changes that you could make.
On June 28, popstar Lizzo announced to her 1.9 million Instagram followers her new lifestyle decision to go fully raw vegan. Other celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Natalie Portman frequently share vegan tips and recipes on their social media streams.
Perhaps you want to try a new behavior change, or you want to become more like Lizzo – which, don’t we all? Maybe you’ve already made the change and currently live a vegan lifestyle.
Either way, we’ve compiled a list of five of the best pro-vegan films out on Netflix that will inspire you.
If you are looking for inspiration to change your diet, a sci-fi film might not be the first source to cross your mind. However, the film “Okja” is a cinematically beautiful story that has converted even die-hard meat-eaters into vegetarians. The film is about a little girl named Mija who lives on a farm in South Korea with her grandfather and beloved super-pig named Okja.
Because Mija’s super-pig, her best friend, is owned by a multinational corporation, the animal is fated to go to the slaughterhouse. That condemnation prompts intense drama and life-risking action because Mija and an animal rights group (dubbed the Animal Liberation Front) want nothing more than to intervene and boldly safeguard the lovable super-pig.
“Okja” points out the hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance some people practice when they dote on their pets, yet have no qualms about eating other animals. Ultimately, this film invites viewers to engage in critical thought, not only with the animal rights argument but also with the film’s captivating energy. It blends the vibrancy of a fairy-tale with the dread of a horror show. Plus, Jake Gyllenhaal stars – need we say more?
The documentary “Blackfish,” also makes a pro-vegan argument without explicitly spelling it out.
“Blackfish” is a focused criticism of SeaWorld, and by extension, animal entertainment practices. The film suggests that orca captivity is inhumane by presenting evidence to support the theory that whales have a significant emotional capacity, and that captivity causes the creatures to suffer immense psychological trauma.
“Blackfish” certainly strives to make viewers question the morality of any animal captivity. Especially those animals trapped in close confines – which is so prevalent in industrialized livestock agriculture. Maybe it’s not always best to “just keep swimming” – especially if that means swimming past a real issue.
The Game Changers
“The Game Changers," before it was made available on Netflix, became the bestselling documentary of all time on iTunes. The film features James Wilks, a former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter. Wilks embarks on a mission to discern the optimal diet for athletic performance and health. That mission culminates in a pro-vegan narrative that focuses on Olympic-level athletes who saw notable gains after switching to a plant-based diet.
There’s even a direct endorsement of plant-based nutrition from Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is mostly vegan. Along with advocacy from other elite athletes, “The Game Changers," combats the nutritional myth fed to us that meat consumption is necessary for a muscular physique.
If you are looking for drama, the documentary “Cowspiracy” might be for you. The “Cowspiracy” website describes their project as “the film that environmental organizations don’t want you to see!”
That is fitting because the film exposes how animal agriculture is a primary mover in climate change. Yet, many environmental groups noticeably offer no official advocacy for a plant-based lifestyle. Animal agriculture is also a leading cause of deforestation, and it produces more greenhouse gasses than the entire transportation industry combined, which the documentary discusses.
“Cowspiracy” has effectively ignited awareness about threats to safety activists have faced in Brazil for speaking out about the harmful impacts of cattle ranching. However, the tendency of “Cowspiracy” to cherry-pick their facts, seemingly for the sake of sensationalism, dilutes their otherwise persuasive argument.
What the Health
The “Cowspiracy” follow-up Netflix documentary “What the Health" falls into a similar trap as its predecessor. There’s a sacrifice of the film’s real message due to a tendency to sensationalize through misleading claims. For example, they mention a widely debunked claim that eggs are as detrimental to you as cigarettes.
However, what the film does well is expose the incentives the pharmaceutical industry may have to keep Americans unwell. It also reveals conflicts of interest in the United States concerning health organizations that receive funding from major companies in the meat and dairy industry. The film also explains how antibiotic usage in livestock poses a significant public health threat in a way that will capture your attention.
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