I'm not quite sure when I made the transition from shameless-Gossip-Girl-addict to a full-fledged documentary junkie. Perhaps it can be accredited to my sudden desire to jump into adulthood, or maybe because of a deep rooted craving to discover existential truths. Whatever the reason, I'm tremendously grateful. Documentaries are an ideal culmination of entertainment and a meticulously planned assault of unpleasant truths. They keep you intrigued with doom-esque music and riveting characters and story lines, while simultaneously decimating your naivety and ignorance. It's not often something can elicit giggles, tears, indignation, expansion of knowledge, and a desire to evoke change.

Through my newfound obsession with documentaries, I have developed interests in topics I once disregarded or was unaware of. I have tapped into anger I never knew existed. I have cried harder than I ever have before. I have even made changes to my own way of life, but most importantly, I have forced myself to acknowledge hideous truths-- I have learned, and I continue to learn.

Here are 10 documentaries that particularly resonated with me, and will hopefully inspire you, as they've inspired me.

1. "The Champions"

The Champions poignantly portrays the lives of the pit-bulls confiscated from Michael Vick's dog compound. With the help of one animal right's attorney, or case guardian, all the dogs were able to be retained by rescues, instead of being euthanized. The Champions follows the rehabilitation of these beautiful dogs and shows that love can inspire gentility from even the toughest of fighters. These dogs were victims of a brutal criminal enterprise-- their destiny chosen for them, however, with love, compassion, and patience these dogs were able to recover from the criminality that had marred their precious lives. They were able to be loved, and love right back. They were able to be a child's favored companion. They were able to become therapy dogs to terminally ill children. They proved to the world that every dog is capable of love-- that a pit-bull, a breed wrongfully associated with unwarranted aggression, is capable of love. It was certainly a heartwarming story, one that had me in tears from start to conclusion. Every dog deserves a second chance, every dog deserves love-- no matter the breed, no matter the background.

Where can I watch it? Netflix.

The lesson to be learned: Every dog deserves a second chance, every dog deserves love-- no matter the breed, no matter the background.

Emotional response: A tinge of sadness intermingled with an abundance of exultation and joy.

Warning label: Be prepared to fall in love with these dogs. It may even leave you wanting to quit your day job and open up a dog rescue.

2. "Food, Inc."

This investigative documentary explores the hidden horrors behind the American food industry. From the exploitation of cooperate owned farms, to the adverse effects this industry presents to the environment and economy, to the lies American consumers are fed-- this documentary encapsulates it all. Food, Inc. unashamedly exploits the consequences of entrusting power-hungry cooperations with the role of putting food on our tables. Consideration of the consumer is instead replaced with a merciless need for efficiency, and maximized profits. To keep consumers forever shrouded by this veil of fallacy, cooperations have put fourth millions of dollars propagating the false belief that the food they consume is healthy and sustainable. This documentary is even so bold as to question whether the foods we consume are even nourishing, consumable "food". Food, Inc.

will forever tarnish how you view the foods you consume through its riveting portrayal of the American food industry.

Where can I watch it? Hulu.

The lesson to be learned: The American food industry is motivated by greed and does not care about you as a consumer, therefore should not be trusted.

Emotional response: Anger, shock, and disbelief.

Warning label: Graphic but powerful images. Will probably inspire you to take up gardening and veganism.

3. "It's a Girl."

It's a Girl startlingly reveals the gendercide that coexists among us and exploits the deadly consequences of being a woman in countries such as China and India. Women who birth girls are expected to murder their own children simply because of its gender, and women do so effortlessly and mercilessly. For me, this film was particularly hard to grasp because of the certain enumerated privileges I am guaranteed as an American-- however, my lack of comprehension made it all the more gripping. Gendercide is so rarely discussed because of our disconnect as American citizens, but this documentary forces its viewers to conceive these horrors. It's a Girl is as shocking as it is enlightening, and is an essential watch for anyone thinking gender issues do not resonate within society and culture.

Where can I watch it? Amazon Prime and iTunes.

The lesson to be learned: Gender issues are very much prevalent throughout the world.

Emotional response: Sadness, horror, disgust. Relief that I was born in America.

Warning label: Be prepared to get real angry at the Indian woman who killed eight of her daughters.

4. "Fed Up.

Fed Up explores the reasons behind obesity in America, and places the blame entirely on the food industry-- an industry whose only concern is attaining profit. Fed Up proves that obesity is a growing problem that will only increase in momentum if the government does not do something about it. Diet and exercise is no longer enough, and willing away obesity with quaint warnings is no longer an option. America needs a change, and this documentary is ready to alight the flame of change. It's time we get angry, and it's time we stop placing the blames on victims.

Where can I watch it? Netflix.

The lesson to be learned: You cannot simply blame the obese person for their obesity, because it really is outside their control.

Emotional response: An intense bubbling of anger because of the complete disregard for humanity that the food industry harbors.

Warning label: Be prepared to laugh when they deem tomato paste as a "vegetable."

5. "Prescription Thugs."

"Welcome to the United States of addiction" is the opening remark for this tumultuously, dismaying documentary-- a dramatic statement, for a dramatic film. Prescription Thugs initially details the fixation with prescription medications in the athletic community, however, the film then effectively transitions to a portrayal of an addicted nation-- exploiting even the most innocent of culprits. However, it never vilifies the addicts themselves, or the industries they belonged to-- instead, it places the blame on big pharmaceutical companies. Prescription Thugs spins a tale of multi-faceted greed, where everyone but the consumer benefits. It leaves its viewers pondering whether they're also a pawn in this game of greed, and perhaps, maybe a doctor's prescription pad is the equivalent of a heroin needle.

Where can I watch it? Netflix.

The lesson to be learned: Prescription medications are just as deadly, if not more deadly, then illegal street drugs-- and the government doesn't care that you're hooked on them.

Emotional response: Dismay, horror, disbelief, betrayal, deception.

Warning label: Prepare to fear even your bedside bottle of Advil.

6. "Sugar Coated."

Sugar Coated daringly exploits the sheath of secrecy encompassing sugar, and it's a physiological effects on the human body. For decades, the withstanding debate on whether sugar is linked to certain diseases and health-risks has raged on without eliciting a definitive response on either side. Sugar Coated portrays the PR campaigns, the money, and the deception that surrounds the sugar industry-- leaving viewers with the most bitter of tastes. Science may be able to be paid off, but the director of Sugar Coated is going to ensure that the veil of deception be lifted at last.

Where can I watch it? Netflix.

The lesson to be learned: Despite the "science" saying otherwise, sugar consumption is not healthy, and effects everyone-- not just the obese.

Emotional response: Bitter deception and overall mistrust of alleged "scientific reports" and "evidence."

Warning label: Prepare to feel the sting of deception by the American food industry once more.

7. "Blackfish."

Blackfish demonstrates the risks of placing Killer Whales in captivity, and provocatively divulges the many scandals SeaWorld has suppressed over the years-- including death. And while the whales may have been the tool used in these vicious murders, they are not to blame for these acts of violence, as the documentary expertly remarks. Blackfish is an award-winning documentary that has gained much deserved media attention, and can even be accredited for an intensely powerful anti-SeaWorld mentality. Blackfish will make you cry, it will make you despise mankind, but more than that, it'll make you mad as all hell.

Where can I watch it? Netflix.

The lesson to be learned: Captivity is incredibly detrimental to a wild animal. Mankind should leave wild animals in the wild.

Emotional response: Who wants to take a trip to Orlando and release some Orcas? Anyone?

Warning label: There are a few disturbing scenes, but without them, the documentary would hold little merit.

8. "Kids for Cash."

Kids for Cash follows one of those most notorious justice system scandals, and proves to its viewers that even children are not exempt from the aftermath of corruption and greed. The American criminal justice stands for justice and fairness, but for 3,000 kids, fairness is not what they received-- instead they received lengthy prison sentences to most minor of crimes. Kids for Cash is just another harsh reminder that greed is found everywhere, and touches the lives of all of us.

Where can I watch it? Netflix.

The lesson to be learned: Don't let anyone deny you your right to counsel.

Emotional response: Despair and rage for the 3,000 kids who lost their innocence and youth to prison sentences.

Warning label: Don't mess with an angry mama.

9. "She's Beautiful When She's Angry."

She's Beautiful When She's Angry paints a picture of the women's liberation movement in the 60's-70's that paved the way for women today, while artfully demonstrating that a feminist's fight must rage on. We often forgot what it was like for women before women's liberation, yet we're just as forgetful of the many issues that impede gender equality today. This documentary reminds us of the fight back then, and the strong-willed women who propelled this issue forward, and of the fight we must continue to fight today.

Where can I watch it? Netflix.

The lesson to be learned: Our fight and our will to secure complete gender equality cannot and shall not remain the 60's and 70's-- we must drag this issue to the present and fight just as hard as we did back then.

Emotional response: A newfound urge to fight like hell for gender equality, and a deep sadness that the issue was never rectified through all the years.

Warning label: Prepare to see women who just don't give a single damn.

10. "Miss Represented."

Miss Represented examines the media's harsh role in the representation of women, and the detriment this representation brings to women as a whole. Women are rarely portrayed as strong, empowered beings, and because women grow up without such coverage to aspire to and prescribe to, women tend to feel as if their role in the world is insignificant. The insecurity women contend with on a daily basis can be largely, if not solely, accredited to the media, and because of this insecurity, women aspire to less. Miss Representation even explores the reasons as to why women hold so little political power, and aims to improve the statistic.

Where can I watch it? Netflix.

The lesson to be learned: We need to stop letting the media dictate how we view 51% of America's population.

Emotional responses: A listless and pitiful chorus of head-nods and an all too real sense of understanding.

Warning label: Be ready to feel empowered, ladies.