November 1st is World Vegan Day!
The amount of vegans in the UK has quadrupled in the last five years and it’s estimated that more than 1 in 5 Brits will be meat-free by 2020. And with the Green New Deal banning the sale of beef products on campus here at Goldsmiths, it’s time for everyone to think seriously about the devastating environmental cost of animal products.
Here’s a list of resources, from documentaries to films to critical theory, to check out for those interested in finding out more.
No list of vegan documentaries would be complete without mentioning Earthlings. One of the most graphic exposes of humanity’s exploitation of other living beings, this is a deeply unpleasant eye-opener for anyone who consumes animal products.
Forks Over Knives
Rather than approaching veganism from an ethical standpoint, this documentary focuses on the damage animal products do to the body, particularly their relationship to the obesity epidemic and skyrocketing rates of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A must-watch for anyone concerned about healthy eating.
Super informative for those interested in the environmental impact of meat and dairy, this crowdfunded Netflix documentary examines the impact of animal agriculture on global ecosystems and the ways in which it exacerbates global warming and deforestation.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Naive, entitled teenagers meet deranged former slaughterhouse workers… you know the rest. When asked to explain his masterpiece, director Tobe Hooper said simply, ‘It’s about meat.’ One of the most brilliantly executed and iconic horror films ever made, it’s also one of the most vegan.
When veterinary student and strict vegetarian Justine is forced to eat a rabbit’s kidney as part of a fresher hazing ritual, she develops a taste for flesh. Julie Ducournau’s coming-of-age cannibalism story is one of the best ecofeminist films of the decade.
In this biopunk dystopia, South Korean girl Mija and her grandfather are chosen to raise Okja, one of 26 genetically engineered ‘super pigs’ designed to revitalise the meat industry. Mija must fight to rescue her friend from forced insemination, mutilation and slaughter at the hands of the exploitative Mirando Corporation.
The Sexual Politics of Meat
An ecofeminist manifesto and one of the most influential vegan texts of all time, Carol J. Adams’ book discusses how our willingness to view animals as non-sentient commodities perpetuates the objectification and abuse of women.
Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry.
This terrifying piece of journalism exposes the brutal and degrading treatment faced by animals and slaughterhouse employees alike. It also reveals the public death toll caused by the meat industry’s shockingly lax hygiene standards.
Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialised Slaughter and the Politics of Sight
A combination of philosophy, critical theory and first-hand account written by political scientist Timothy Pachirat, who worked undercover in a slaughterhouse for five months, examines the psychological, spatial and economic factors that enable and perpetuate killing on an industrial scale.