It seems to me that since I began my vegan journey in 2009, vegan bashing has been going on just about everywhere. It was probably going on for a lot longer than that, but I guess I had no reason to notice. My first encounter with vegan bashing was at a performance by Joan Rivers at The Westbury Music Fair. I was there with my husband and two teenage boys, and I had been vegan for only a few months. When Joan came onto the stage, she asked “how many vegans are in the audience?” to which she promptly added “oh, never mind, your probably too weak to raise your hands.” My sons began hysterically laughing, while I sat there in amazement wondering why she would even bother to do a joke about vegans.
I began to notice the upward trending of vegan bashing on television and in the movies. Don’t forget, I have two teenage boys who live for shows such as “Family Guy” and “South Park.” I remember watching an episode of “South Park” with my kids last year in which a vegan kid, Feegan the Vegan, was ostracized because his parents made him wear a life preserver at all times fearing global warming. It was really quite funny because, at the end of the show, the kid decides to protest his parents by refusing to wear his life vest to a Broadway show. What happens? The vegan kid is the only one who drowns when the theater floods. This short clip sums up the nature of the show…
Who could forget the vegan feminist protestor, Zooey, with the hairy armpits played by Anna Faris in Sacha Baron Cohen’s movie “The Dictator?” This was, clearly, some serious vegan stereotyping. Zooey was portrayed with a boy’s haircut, wearing Doc Martens, and working in a Brooklyn Food Coop. Did I mention the hairy armpits? Oh, yes I did.
In “Wanderlust,” Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston play a married couple who decide to move into a commune with kooky vegan hippies after their yuppie life in New York City goes wrong. When Paul Rudd’s character tries to convince Jennifer’s character to leave the commune, he asks her something along the lines of “do you really want to live with free love, no bathroom doors and no meat?” When she decides to leave the commune, she chows down on a huge steak at a nearby diner where she sees the commune’s founder (played by Alan Alda) pigging out on fried chicken. When she looks at him in a puzzled way, he responds by saying something like “you don’t think I could live on that mushy bean curd everyday; I come to this diner every Sunday.”
But the funniest form of bashing was shown in the film “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” where a main character plays a vegan superhero. My sons’ friends showed me the following You Tube clip last night where he is confronted by The Vegan Police.
What do we make of all this vegan bashing in the entertainment industry? Do we protest it? I think not. Do we get insulted? Hardly. Do we laugh along and embrace it as a sign that the vegan community is growing and becoming recognizable to the mainstream? Sounds like a “yes” to me! You know how the old saying goes..negative publicity is better than no publicity at all. And we all know that Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Seth McFarlane are equal opportunists; they go after everyone like piranhas equally!!! Afterall, they do bash Mitt Romney, don’t they?