Looking for a Vegan-ish movie to watch this season? Here’s a few recommendations.
Are you looking for a movie with a vegan-ish friendly vibe about it? I’ve accumulated some of my recent watches for you. Of course they’re my personal preference, and I’d love to know what your favourites are, and why you find them relevant to your vegan / vegetarian views. Just a little spoiler alert, you know, just in case.
Let’s start with an uplifting one. I watched this film just last night, not having seen it before, but with loads of recommendations. It tells the story of a wild Mustang horse, who is captured and forced into labour, though whom never gives up on his mission of returning home to his family.
Why do I think this is vegan-ish friendly? – Because it really portrays the message of animal labour in a meaningful way, and how powerful animals like wild horses, are still subject to the interfering methods of humanity. Plus the amazing Brain Adams, a vegan we can all be proud of, sings the film’s beautiful soundtrack.
8. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The story of the apes’ intelligent uprising, spurred on by humanity’s goal of developing a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Although controversial, I find this movie to have a really interesting concept.
Animal testing I find, is never really shown in movies. It might be put there now and then, but I rarely find it’s the centre of the plot, and this movie really shows the drastic consequences of what animal testing can lead to. Sure it’s a little outlandish, but it focuses well on portraying our reliance on animals, and what it can lead to.
7. War Horse
I was in two minds about having this movie in this list, purely because it shows animals used for human need throughout most of the film. It tells the story of how a Bay Thoroughbred horse is passed between several individuals and factions throughout Europe during the First World War. It’s an interesting look into this genre, as it focuses on the impact an animal can make during one of the harshest times in history.
But what makes this film so message driven, is how it shows our reliance on animals, for both domestic and conflict purposes, and how we should learn to respect fully the importance and brilliance other species have that we do not. But what I found most incredible about this film is the barbed wire scene. *Mild Spoiler – It shows how animals can indeed bring the most unlikely people together. Utterly brilliant.
6. Free Willy
If you haven’t yet seen this classic, then you must right away. Telling the story of a young boy, who through his vandalising actions, gets him a job at a water park, wherein he befriends an Orca whale, who over time realises is missing the family he was taken from. Utterly heart wrenching, this movie has the important messages of Orca Captivity and the cruelty of keeping them from their natural habitat.
In my personal opinion, it was really the start of the whole Black Fish debate, in how Sea World Florida treats its orcas, and how their captivity is merely a business venture for the greedy, masked as an educationally entertaining spectacle. If the film doesn’t sound like your thing, it’s worth purely for the ending, which holds one of Hollywood’s most iconic, most liberating scenes.
5. Happy Feet
So I love penguins anyway, so this was right up my alley. It tells the story of a young Emperor penguin, who through his lack of a singing voice, attempts to woo his fellow penguins by dancing instead. So what does this movie have to do with veganism?
Well, this film, although very fantastical, has a strong message about how we as humans, not only pollute our oceans with plastic waste, but how our obsessive need to overfish has changed the environment for animals all over the Antarctic, and how it has created a real-world imbalance. It’s interesting, as it takes a real life issue, not just a metaphor, and really rides with it, with its own art and theme.
4. How To Train Your Dragon
A tale in which a young man tries to prove himself by slaying a dragon, only for a forbidden connection to flourish between them. It’s a classic story, with an awesome message about friendship, and the way humans treat animals they yet to fully understand.
If you’re looking at this movie as a vegan, then it’s hard not to see the points this film makes about how humanity can learn to respect and live with animals, instead of mistreating them. In a film where the entire experience is worth it, there’s nothing like the trusting hand scene, which has your breath clutched. And it’s great fun too. In a market now saturated with 3D animated movies, this really is one to kick back and enjoy the ride with.
Let’s face it, it had to make this list. I’m a self confessed lover of this movie. For those few who haven’t seen it I’m sure, it tells the story of a human, blinded by the polluted nature of Earth, who is given the opportunity to experience life in the genetically grown body of an alien, only to fall in love with the planet the humans intended on harvesting.
It’s a little overdone the plot, I’ll admit, but the movie is so rich in messages about the lack of respect we have for nature and the imbalance caused by man’s greed, that I just had to include it in this list. Not to mention the heart injected into this masterpiece by director James Cameron, a well known vegan, and an amazing talent.
2. Chicken Run
Probably the first movie I ever watched that really made me think about what I had on my plate. Done in such a light hearted way, it tells the story of a young chicken, whose life goal is to break herself and her friends out of their ‘prisoner of war’ style chicken pen. It tastefully (pardon the pun) deals with animal slaughter for food, and even the consequences chickens face when they are no longer fit to lay eggs.
Created so well with Ardman’s classic stop motion techniques, this is a super fun movie, wherein you can’t help route for good guys, and consider what and what not to eat.
No vegan-ish friendly movie list would be complete without Okja. This movie blew me – and I’m sure many other vegans – away with its Netflix release this year. I can safely say it has to be the first Vegan action movie out there, something I myself have waited for since I turned vegetarian many years ago.
If you haven’t seen this, I highly recommend it, since it’s so unlike anything else out there, and it holds so many valuable messages, like animal abuse, animal factory farming, animal testing, genetic modification, pollution, all of it crammed in with a fast paced, well acted, awesomely directed flair.
Not only that, it stars Tilda Swinton, and that woman can make me hate her and love her simultaneously! A great talent! Paul Dano also has a major role in this film, which makes sense as he is vegan also, which fits his role magnificently.
So there you have it. I must admit there are many more out there, such as Babe, The Fox and the Hound and Bambi for example, but to tell the truth, it’s been so long since I’ve seen them. May have to dig out the old VHS player.