You don’t need to have circled all your desired TV viewing in the Christmas TV guide to get sofa-ready. There’s something for everyone in these top vegan-friendly movies
A large part of Christmas is about spending time with your loved ones, a glass of your favourite festive tipple in hand, watching good films. We’ve shortlisted our favourite consciousness-raising vegan movies to enjoy with your non-vegan family and friends – and they might not even notice themselves agreeing with you…
For the Little Ones: Babe
The super-cute piglet, who charms himself away from the slaughterhouse with his prize-winning shepherding skills, is a winner with little ones and adults alike. The story so inspired the vegetarian actor James Cromwell, who starred in the 1995 film as Farmer Hoggett, that he decided to become vegan, and is now a staunch animal rights advocate – particularly on the treatment of pigs. It would be very difficult for non-vegans to consider adding a helping of pigs in blankets to Christmas dinner having watched this moving and heartwarming pig adventure about friendship and triumph in the face of adversity.
Further viewing: If you like Babe, you might also enjoy Chicken Run or Bee Movie.
For Older Kids: Okja
A young girl, Mija, fights to protect her best friend, Okja, who is in fact a specially bred kind of ‘super-pig’ created for consumption. Though most of the film only alludes to the fate of her friend, the vivid and visceral slaughterhouse scene is not for the faint-hearted. Mija’s bond with her beloved friend takes her on an adventure from the beautiful South Korean mountains, in which both grow up, and across the world in a bid to secure Okja’s freedom from corporate greed and consumers hungry for abundant meat, with assistance and interruption from animal rights activists along the way.
Further viewing: If you like Okja you might also enjoy Charlotte’s Web
For Lovers of Satire: Carnage
Simon Amstell’s mocumentary premiered on BBC iPlayer at the beginning of last year. It describes a future vegan world in which older generations are grappling with the guilt and horror of their own meat-eating past. It hits all the right notes, balancing the realism of the reactionary defender of meat with absurdity of the winning Eurovision song ‘Vegan’, and inspired more effective reflection even than some of the harder-hitting documentaries, which many instinctively want to avoid. Vegans can have fun spotting how many times life actually imitates art as there is more than one moment that will bring to mind news stories of the last couple of years, while non vegans will find it hard not to consider that a potential meat-free world might not be too bad.
Further viewing: If you like Carnage you might also enjoy Ricky Gervais’ Animals
For the Documentary Fans: What the Health
Other than through an awakening in compassion, another common route into veganism is consideration of health. While Christmas is the time when many of us turn to the variety tin and tuck into our favourite indulgences, January is surely the month of tackling some of the feasting season’s ravages. There is no shortage of vegan documentaries out there, but for the newcomer who perhaps isn’t ready for powerfully upsetting documentaries, health-focused viewing such as What the Health allows the viewer to engage with the health-based advantages of choosing a plant-based lifestyle over one that is dependent on animal agriculture.
Further viewing: If you like these documentaries you might also enjoy Forks Over Knives; Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and Vegucated.
Many of these films can be streamed via Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime
If your choice of film has sparked an interest among friends and family in what an animal-free lifestyle might look like, why not encourage them to take the Veganuary pledge this January?