Best Plant Based Diet Documentaries to Inspire You


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Wow, ‘social distancing’ has really taken hold. What is there to do when you can’t spend time with people, aren’t traveling as much and eating out is not an option? Well, you can always work out from your home or go for a trail run! But when you are somewhat housebound, we also suggest getting your fix of healthy living inspiration by watching one or more of these documentaries, which we consider to be the best plant based diet documentaries available online. We have watched all of these films and know you’ll find them interesting and thought-provoking too. This best plant based diet documentaries guide is regularly updated so bookmark this post ready for the next time you need some plant-based lifestyle inspiration.

1. The Game Changers

the game changers

Directed by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Louie Psihoyos and executive produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic, and Chris Paul, The Game Changers is a plant based diet documentary that tells the story of James Wilks — elite Special Forces trainer and The Ultimate Fighter winner — as he travels the world on a quest to uncover the optimal diet for human performance.

Showcasing elite athletes, special ops soldiers, visionary scientists, cultural icons, and everyday heroes, what James discovers permanently changes his understanding of food and his definition of true strength.

“What I discovered was so revolutionary, with such profound implications for human performance and health — and even the future of the planet itself — that I had to share it with the world.”

James Wilks – Elite Special Forces Trainer and Game Changers filmmaker

2. Forks Over Knives

Forks Over Knives Documentary trail and kale

Forks Over Knives was one of the first plant-based diet documentaries that we watched and played a huge part in us switching to a plant-based diet. This plant-based diet documentary examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the chronic diseases that afflict us, can be controlled or even reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.

The major storyline traces the personal journeys of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a nutritional biochemist from Cornell University, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a former top surgeon at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic.

On separate paths, their discoveries and groundbreaking research led them to the same startling conclusion: Chronic diseases including heart disease and type 2 diabetes can almost always be prevented—and in many cases reversed—by adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet. What a powerful statement!

The idea of food as medicine is put to the test. The film follows everyday Americans with chronic conditions as they seek to reduce their dependence on medications and learn to use a whole-food, plant-based diet to regain control over their health and their lives.

“Heart disease as far as I’m concerned is an absolutely toothless paper tiger, that need ever ever exist. And if it does exist, it need ever ever progress.”

Caldwell Esselstyn Jr.

3. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

In Defense Of Food Trail and Kale

In Defense of Food tackles a question more and more people around the world have been asking: What should I eat to be healthy?

Based on award-winning journalist Michael Pollan’s best-selling book, this plant based diet documentary explores how the modern diet has been making us sick and what we can do to change it.

This is a seriously thought-provoking film that will have you rethinking everything you put in your shopping basket the next time you’re at the supermarket.

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Michael Pollan – #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

4. Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

Cowspiracy best plant based diet documentaries trail and kale

No list of the best plant-based diet documentaries would be complete without the Big One. Cowspiracy is a documentary with the environment at its heart, and one that had the biggest impact on me. It’s also one of the first plant-based diet documentaries that I watched, and the one that started my plant-based journey.

If you haven’t heard of it or watched it before, I challenge you to watch it and not be inspired to reduce, or cut out altogether, the number of animal products you consume. Cowspiracy will totally change how you think about food and what you eat. You can watch it on Netflix via the button above.

“So much attention is given to lowering our home water-use, yet domestic use is only 5% of what is consumed in the U.S. vs. 55% for animal agriculture. That’s because it takes upwards of 2500 gallons water to produce one pound of beef.”

Kip Anderson – Co-Director / Co-Writer

5. What the Health

What the health Best plant based diet documentaries trail and kale

What the Health is the follow-up film by the people behind Cowspiracy, and takes a deep dive into the human health effects of an animal product-heavy diet.

This plant based diet documentary also exposes collusion in how government and big pharma, health and food companies are not exactly doing their best to educate and encourage people to change the way they eat. This plant-based diet documentary is available on Netflix.

6. The Biggest Little Farm

The biggest little farm Best plant based diet documentaries trail and kale

The Biggest Little Farm is not a film about what to eat, or even necessarily a plant-based diet documentary. It is more of an inspiring insight into how sustainable farming can be made possible.

The Biggest Little Farm follows a couple and their dog, who move from an apartment in Los Angeles to a 200-acre farm and embark on a quest to develop a sustainable, biologically-diverse farm, by restoring the ecosystem on their dilapidated property.

It’s a beautifully filmed documentary that’s a real emotional rollercoaster to follow. It will leave you feeling touched and inspired to do something similar yourself, that’s how we felt anyway.

“This all started with a promise that we would leave the big city and build a life in perfect harmony with nature.”

John Chester – Director / Writer

I really hope you enjoyed this list of the best plant based diet documentaries, and that watching them keeps you busy during self-isolation and beyond.

If you need some guidance on where to begin when it comes to trying out a plant-based diet, read our simple 1-day plant-based diet meal plan for runners. If you have a question, or just want to say hello and introduce yourself, drop us a note in the comments below.

As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.


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