An inspiring 45-minute Czech documentary directed by Michaela Vicourová and Lukáš Vincour, and produced by FILMY ČESKY, shows the life of several Czech vegan activists who happen to be young teenagers. Released in November 2023, it gives a glimpse into the world of these teenagers, as they go along their everyday life (in school, at home, practising sports, and even in the doctor’s offices for ordinary checkouts) and during their activism, which includes attending animal vigils, doing vegan outreach in the streets of Czechia’s cities, investigating farms, staging poignant protests, and even open rescue.

Being members of Generation Z, these young activists look very proficient in the way they use Google Earth to locate targets, and record footage using mobile phones instead of traditional video cameras. 

One of the teenagers, Anička, explains why she is a vegan activist: “I’ve been vegan for less than 2 years. I heard about veganism through social media, specifically through the organisation Zvířata nejíme. Before that, I was a vegetarian for about 2 years, thinking it wasn’t cool to eat someone. It occurred to me the animal had to die. Later, I read their web and found out what was behind the dairy and egg industry. I realised that the only compassionate option is to go vegan…I’m an animal rights activist because I feel a moral obligation to fight against what’s happening to them.”

Another activist, Tom, says, “I’m a vegan, mainly for those innocent animals who cannot fight back. My classmates responded negatively to veganism at first. They didn’t even know what veganism was. After a while, when I began eating my own lunch at school, got better in sports, and so on, they noticed that veganism wasn’t bullshit or some sham.”

The documentary also shows the testimony of adults who are part of the lives of these activists (teachers, parents, doctors, councillors, etc.) explaining the difficulties these young people have to overcome. Through conversations between the activist, we can feel their frustrations. One activist says, “I kept it a secret for a while that I was vegan because they say vegans ram it down everybody’s throat and show off. Yet, I tried to hide it as much as I could just because of the spurious innuendos and comments and stuff.”

One of the most striking things about this documentary is that it shows the very high commitment these activists already have to the vegan cause. One of them seeing cooking says, “This pan belongs to me, so to speak. It’s used only for vegan stuff, veggies and stuff. I don’t live in a vegan household, but I have my own cutlery even the utensil I used for coating is mine. Even the plate is mine because I feel if someone eats a dead body off of it and washes it, death still permeates the plate. How can one eat a compassionate meal off of it? I just don’t think that’s possible.”  Another activist recorded at her school says, “I’m sitting here by myself because I made a Liberation Pledge. By making this commitment, one refuses to sit at a table with anyone eating carcasses and other animal products. It translates into Czech as ‘Slib Svobody’. I have a fork, and that’s kind of a symbol, and I got it tattooed. So that’s why I’m eating here alone in the hallway.”

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.