10 Animal Welfare Documentaries to Add to Your Netflix Queue

Looking for some inspiration? Here are some of the best animal welfare documentaries currently available on Netflix. Since they will undoubtedly motivate you to make the world a better place for animals, you’ll also find some tips for taking action.

1. Blackfish

Thanks in large part to this 2013 documentary that takes a disturbing look at the sad life of performing killer whale Tilikum, attendance plunged at SeaWorld amusement parks — and the company ended its killer whale show at its San Diego location.

Take action! If you know anyone planning to visit SeaWorld or another amusement park with captive animals, be sure to share this documentary with them first. And sign and share this Care2 petition telling SeaWorld to release its captive animals to sanctuaries.

2. The Champions

This inspiring documentary follows the lives of pit bulls rescued from Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation in 2007. It’s not just about the dogs, but the film also covers — as the official website notes – ”prejudice, being misunderstood, the power of resilience, and the significance of the relationship we as humans have with animals.”

Take action! Support nonprofit organizations like BAD RAP and Best Friends Animal Society that are working to rehabilitate pit bulls and advocating on behalf of this misunderstood breed.

3. Virunga

Virunga National Park in the Congo is home to some of the last mountain gorillas remaining on Earth. Nominated for an Oscar, this 2014 documentary offers a look at the heroes who protect these gorillas from poachers, armed militia and other villains.

Take action! Help protect the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park.

4. The Ivory Game

As African elephants come dangerously close to extinction, this 2016 documentary infiltrates the disgusting world of illegal ivory trafficking, exposing poachers as well as dealers in Africa and China.

Take action! Join the fight to end poaching.

5. Terra

Described as “visually stunning” — it is — this 2015 French documentary explores the historical connection between humans and animals, noting how it evolved from mystical to economic. The film was co-produced by the GoodPlanet Foundation, an organization that inspires people to take positive action to respect Earth and its inhabitants.

Take action! Support the GoodPlanet Foundation in its efforts to increase environmental awareness and help vulnerable communities.

6. Tyke Elephant Outlaw

A circus elephant named Tyke killed her trainer in 1994 and then ran loose in the streets of Honolulu. This documentary tells her tragic story and describes how the incident raised awareness of animal cruelty in circuses.

Take action! Don’t go to any circuses, fairs or other events that use performing animals. Sign and share this petition urging Nosey the elephant to be retired from the Florida State Family Circus and sent to a sanctuary.

7. More Than Honey

All around the world, honey bees are disappearing at an alarming rate. Without them, there is no there is no pollination, so fruits and vegetables could literally disappear. This 2013 documentary, available only on DVD, explores this phenomenon. Using macrophotography, the film provides amazing close-ups of bees in flight and in their hives.

Take action! Here are five ways you canhelp save the lives of honey bees.

8. Second Chance Dogs

This 2016 documentary shows how, with patience and innovation, several dogs rescued from puppy millshoarders and other terrible situations are socialized at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center. This facility, the first and only of its kind, works with fearful dogs so they can be adopted and enjoy a second chance in loving forever homes.

Take action! Help the ASPCA save more animals by supporting its Behavioral Rehabilitation Center and other programs.

9. Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

This 2014 documentary examines the negative effects of animal agriculture on the environment, including greenhouse gases and deforestation. The film also investigates why the industry seems to be unchallenged by many environmental groups. Cowpiracy’s official website describes the movie as ”as eye-opening as ‘Blackfish’ and as inspiring as ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’”

Take action! To demonstrate your compassion for animals and to help the environment, the filmmakers challenge viewers to take a 30-day vegan challenge.

10. Food, Inc.

Nominated for an Oscar, this 2008 documentary exposes abusive and corrupt practices in the U.S. food industry. Among those interviewed are chicken farmer Carole Morison, who was under contract with Perdue Farms during filming. She reveals her henhouse that’s overcrowded with forcibly fattened and sick chickens wedged into filthy coops.

Take action! When Morison was asked a few years later to make a statement to consumers, she said, “Know where your food comes from and how it got to your table. Know your farmer!” Morison left the factory farming industry and now runs a free-range chicken farm.

Photo credit: Andy Blackledge

66 comments

Carole R
Carole R14 days ago

Thanks for the heads up.

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Dr. Jan H
Dr. Jan H18 days ago

Thanks

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Carl R
Carl R19 days ago

Thanks!!!

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Sandra V
Sandra V20 days ago

Thanks

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Peggy B
Peggy B20 days ago

TYFS

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Misss D
Misss D20 days ago

Blood Lions might be another interesting one. It's about lions bred in South Africa for canned hunting.

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Misss D
Misss D20 days ago

I have watched Food, Inc. OMG, it is a very informative film and pretty shocking in places. I've got on DVD and will watch it again.
I also want to watch Sonic Sea, about industrial noise pollution in the oceans which makes whales beach and makes it hard for them to forage for food, communicate or breed. It's been nominated for 3 Emmys.

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Louise A
Louise A20 days ago

thank you for this

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Marc P
Marc P21 days ago

Thank you for sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W21 days ago

Very informative Thank you for caring and sharing

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